Baptist World Alliance, BWA News Release

Thousands of Chileans welcome the BWA

Baptist World Alliance Logo

Several thousand Baptists from across Chile welcomed the roughly 300 Baptist World Alliance® leaders and delegates at an evening of celebration in Santiago on the evening of July 2.

The BWA is having its Annual Gathering in Santiago from July 2-7.

Leaders from the two BWA member bodies in the South American country, the National Baptist Convention of Chile and the Union of Evangelical Baptist Churches of Chile, extended the formal welcome while an exuberant audience roared its approval. Responses from BWA President John Upton and General Secretary Neville Callam were warmly received, with Chilean Baptists expressing particular delight that Callam delivered his entire greeting in Spanish.

Performances by folk groups from the Baptist College of Temuco and the First Baptist of Concepcion, depicted aspects of Chilean culture, including from Easter Island, a Polynesian island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean that is a special territory of Chile.

The Bronces de Jerico Band, comprising mainly brass instrumentalists from Baptist churches across Santiago, Chile’s capital, performed a wide variety of musical items including jazz, swing, traditional and folk. Osvaldo Quadros, a well known Brazilian-Chilean singer, who has converted to Christianity, also performed.

Upton told the audience that Baptists had supported and remembered Chileans through periods of recent crises, such as the massive February 27, 2010, earthquake, and the mining disaster that trapped 33 miners underground for more than two months, from August 5 to October 13, 2010. He expressed the joy of the BWA to be able to come to Chile for its Annual Gathering of global Baptist leaders.

Callam assured Chilean Baptists that they are part of one Baptist family sharing oneness with other Christian believers around the world. “We are one Baptist family, brothers and sisters, witnesses for our Lord Jesus Christ,” Callam declared.

Baptist World Alliance®

© July 3, 2012

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.