Baptist World Alliance, BWA News Release

BWA Commissions New Vice President

Baptist World Alliance Logo

(BIRMINGHAM, AL – July 17, 2022) 

Samuel C. Tolbert, Jr. was unanimously elected Vice President for the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) at the global body’s Annual Gathering in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, on Thursday, July 14. The election comes after nominations were solicited from North American Baptist Fellowship and all BWA member bodies in North America. 

Currently serving as president of the North American Baptist Fellowship, one of six regional bodies of the BWA, Tolbert has had significant impact as a Baptist leader in North America.

Tolbert has been pastor of Greater St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church in Lake Charles, Louisiana for nearly 40 years. He is also a member of Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention, a BWA member body, and serves as president of the National Baptist Convention of America, International, Inc., which is also a BWA member body with over 12,000 churches and 3 million members. 

Tolbert will serve as BWA Vice President from 2022-2025. He joins 14 other Vice Presidents from all regions of the world who network and support the work of the BWA.

“I am indeed honored and excited to serve as a BWA Vice President,” said Tolbert. “I look forward to a tenure of networking with BWA constituents to impact the world for Jesus Christ. The Baptist global family is strategically positioned to pray, listen, and learn how to respond to challenges.”

In addition to his leadership in Baptist life, Tolbert is also a recognized civic leader. He served as a Commissioner for the Lake Charles Housing Authority, served 12 years as a representative of District “A” on the Lake Charles City Council, and served as a member of the Board of the Louisiana Economic Development Corporation. 

Tolbert holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Historic Bishop College (formally of Dallas, TX, USA), Master of Divinity from Payne Theological Seminary (Wilberforce, Ohio, USA), and earned a Doctor of Ministry from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, USA. 

Having a heart for missions, Tolbert has organized, led, partnered and participated in many global mission trips – spreading the Gospel in The Bahamas, Canada, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Guyana, Haiti, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, South Africa, Switzerland, and Zimbabwe.

Tolbert has been married to Matilda Edwards Tolbert for more than 30 years, and they have two daughters.

BWA Baptist World Alliance  -  Sam Tolbert Elected
Pictured L-R: BWA General Secretary Elijah Brown, BWA Vice President Lina Sawan, BWA First Vice President Karl Johnson, newly elected Vice President Sam Tolbert, BWA Vice President Elijah Wanje, past President Paul Msiza, and current President Tomás Mackey.
BWA Elijah Brown and BWA Presidents Prays for Samuel Tolbert
BWA General Secretary/CEO Elijah Brown joins with BWA Presidents (current and past) as well as BWA Vice Presidents to pray over newly elected Samuel Tolbert as he begins his term of service as a BWA Vice President.

The Baptist World Alliance, founded in 1905, is a fellowship of 253 conventions and unions in 130 countries and territories comprising 51 million baptized believers in 176,000 churches. For more than 100 years, the Baptist World Alliance has networked the Baptist family to impact the world for Christ with a commitment to strengthen worship, fellowship and unity; lead in mission and evangelism; respond to people in need through aid, relief, and community development; defend religious freedom, human rights, and justice; and advance theological reflection and leadership development.

Media Contact:
J. Merritt Johnston
Director of Communications & Media
Email: [email protected]