General Secretary

Rev. Elijah M. Brown, PhD

Drawing from his experience in academia, church ministry, and global human rights advocacy, Elijah Brown (USA) began his ministry as Baptist World Alliance General Secretary on January 1, 2018.

The General Secretary is the CEO of the BWA, has overall responsibilities for the administration and operations of the organization, and is its chief representative to global organizations and institutions, ecclesial and secular, as well as governments. 

Brown became involved in the BWA in 2005 and served the global Baptist family in various ways for more than a decade before joining the staff, including roles as BWA Regional Secretary for North America and General Secretary for the North American Baptist Fellowship.

He also formerly served as a member of the BWA General Council; the Constitution and Bylaws Committee; the Nominations Committee; the Congress Committee; the Mission, Evangelism, and Justice Advisory Committee; the Commission on Theological Education, and as the vice-chair of the Commission on Religious Liberty. In 2007, he was named one of 35 global emerging leaders by the BWA. 

Brown was previously Executive Vice President of 21Wilberforce, a Christian human rights organization based in Virginia, USA, and associate professor of Religion at East Texas Baptist University where he was founding director of the Freedom Center.

The son of a pastor, Brown was ordained to Christian ministry in July 2002 while serving as associate pastor at Taylor’s Valley Baptist Church in Temple, Texas.

Brown earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Texas, USA, with a double major in religion and history, and a Ph.D. in Divinity with a focus on World Christianity from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Brown’s specialties lie in human rights and religious liberty. His dissertation focused on issues related to world Christianity, including mission and church growth, peacebuilding and conflict resolution and the interaction of religion and politics.

He has conducted research on, led training events in, and did human rights advocacy work in several countries. He has submitted reports to the United Nations and the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, as well as numerous foundations and groups.

Brown is married to Amy and is father to Hudson, Sahara, and Keziah.