Baptist World Alliance, BWA News Release

Major Steps Toward Reconciliation

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BWA General Secretary Neville Callam has praised leaders of the Baptist Convention of Kenya (BCOK) for the courageous actions they took during a recent meeting at their national church office in Nairobi. After years of conflict and division, the leaders decided it was time to take decisive action to turn the corner on their difficulties.

The parties attending the meeting drafted and signed a letter to the Kenyan Registrar of Societies withdrawing charges they had made against each other. In addition, action was taken to bring to an end legal action that had commenced against specific leaders in the Convention.

The process toward reconciliation included a marathon meeting involving leaders of the BCOK, the All Africa Baptist Fellowship (AABF) and the BWA. In their follow up to this meeting, Paul Msiza and Harrison Olan’g, former AABF president and general secretary, respectively, traveled to Kenya for further discussions with the wider Kenya Baptist family. After his election to the presidency of AABF, Michael Okwakol from Uganda continued to press for reconciliation among Baptists in Kenya.

In his recent Nairobi meeting, Callam was joined by Okwakol and together they witnessed a major step in the reconciliation process. Apart from the action taken to remove major obstacles to peace in the convention, encouragement was given to the team that continues to work on the revision of the BCOK constitution. In addition, consideration has been given to certain initiatives that will be taken as a prelude to a General Assembly at which BCOK will choose its leaders.

Callam has appealed for prayers for all who are seeking to complete the process of reconciliation, especially Daniel Thieri, Julius Mbagaya and Shem Okello.

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.