(BIRMINGHAM, AL – July 20, 2022)
Meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, on July 12, the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) General Council unanimously approved the Missionary Baptist Conference, USA (MBC), as the newest member of the global Baptist body.
With 10,000 members in 59 churches, MBC has planted churches and ministries in North America, Africa, Oceania, and the Caribbean.
The group, which describes itself as a “multi-ethnic missional Baptistic Revivalistic movement in the Black Baptist tradition,” traces its heritage to Ethiopian Baptists of Jamaica and the witness of George Lisle, Hagar Simpson, Hannah Williams, and other enslaved persons working in Jamaica.
Led by President John Harris, General Clerk Carrie Jarrell Turning, and Vice President for Intra-Baptist Relations Jill Awuni, MBC states it “is a national and international body of Baptist followers of Jesus Christ, individuals and autonomous congregations who bear witness to the gospel of Jesus the Christ through cooperative resources, ministry, and missions, as well as answering God’s call for reconciling this fragmented world.”
The MBC mission aligns strategically with the BWA’s commitment to network Baptists worldwide with the unified purpose to impact the world for Christ.
“Membership in the BWA means that the Missionary Baptist Conference, USA, takes seriously the high priestly prayer of Jesus ‘that they all may be one’ (John 17:21),” said Harris. “In covenant with other Baptistic bodies globally, together we are faithfully living out the convictions of our common Baptist faith and witness, proclaiming the good news of the Gospel in Jesus Christ, and fulfilling the great commission. MBCUSA believes cooperation among Baptists is necessary to advance the Kingdom of God ‘on earth as it is in heaven.'”
MBC also recently joined the North American Baptist Fellowship (NABF), one of six regional fellowships of the BWA.
“We believe that the Missionary Baptist Conference, USA, is a welcome addition to the broad work and ministry of the North American Baptist Fellowship and therefore the Baptist World Alliance,” said Jeremy Bell, General Secretary of NABF. “They are an active and growing work that is committed to collegial engagement and ministry.”
The addition of MBC brings the total membership of BWA to 246 conventions and unions in 128 countries and territories. MBC is BWA’s 21st member body in the United States.