Join us July 10-15 for this strategic gathering hosted by Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, USA. Baptist leaders from around the world will meet for this powerful time of prayer, fellowship, learning, and planning together.
Annual Gathering Opportunities
Gathering for the first time in two years, join with a global family of Baptist leaders through worship, prayer, learning, relationship building, and shared ministry.
Engage in racial justice-focused plenaries, Bible studies, regional ministry updates, and small group reflections developed by 14 BWA Commissions.
Join the “Leading for Social Change” Pre-Conference, follow a dedicated path through the Annual Gathering, and receive a leadership certificate.
Experience a visit to a nearby community that provides a historic lens as well as commissions us to serve as ongoing leaders pursuing racial justice around the world today.
Engage with BWA resolutions and resources and discover practical ways individuals, churches, and conventions can take immediate action to further racial justice around the world.
Guest Speaker: Dr. Allan Boesak
Dr. Boesak’s involvement in public life and South Africa’s freedom struggle began in 1976 when he began to play a leading role in resistance politics in the South Africa. In 1983, he called for the formation of the United Democratic Front which would grow into the largest, nonviolent, non-racial anti-apartheid formation in the history of the struggle.
A fervent believer in direct, militant, nonviolent action, he became its most visible leader at home and abroad. He worked with President Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Tutu, and an array of African and world leaders to end apartheid. Come and hear from this racial justice visionary as together we gain a global perspective on this critical issue.
Dining and Accommodations
Stroll through the 240+ beautiful acres of Samford University and enjoy convenient onsite dining and accommodations. Comfortable rooms and a variety of meal options await.
Samford University, the 87th-oldest university in the United States, is a storied academic institution with international reach – including students from 48 states and 22 countries.
View a Special Welcome from Samford University President Beck A. Taylor.
Sign Up for Annual Gathering Updates
“… then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.”
Philippians 2:2 (NIV)
There is unquestionable strength in numbers, but that strength becomes supernatural when people align around a common mission. In a world that all too frequently seeks to show what divides us, the last year has also revealed what can happen when we allow love to unite us.
Unity in Action
On March 6, 2020, I boarded a flight in Washington, D.C. It would be my last for the year. A week later, the United States government declared a national emergency, and sobering reports of the rapid spread of the coronavirus began to pour in from Baptist sisters and brothers around the world. Our team at the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) scrambled to respond to the crisis, but it was unlike any we had witnessed in our lifetime. For a ministry whose mission is to network Baptists to impact the world for Christ, how could we effectively do so at a time when the world was forcibly isolated?
When the best step to take is unclear, the best choice to make is draw near.
Physical distance mandates had separated humanity, but there was no need to socially distance from our Savior. The best choice was to pray. Our team got to work planning a global prayer call that would feature brief interview segments with ministry leaders from an array of institutions ranging from healthcare to higher education. The call would serve as a kickoff to a 24-hour prayer marathon with an invitation for people to intercede in one-hour time slots. More than 600 people from 44 countries joined the initiative, which led to the formation of a global prayer team and intercession for thousands of prayer requests in the months that followed.
There are few things that can unite the people of God more effectively than praying together. This is the basis for our Baptists One in Prayer resource, a weekly email that highlights several countries each week and how to specifically pray for God’s work in those areas. Over the course of the year, recipients have the opportunity to pray for every nation in the world as well as for specific needs that arise when disasters strike or religious freedom is threatened. Using the One in Prayer email as our guide, the BWA team gathers each Wednesday for a strategic time of prayer for the world and for one another.
At a time when international travel is limited, you have the opportunity to bring the world to your people.
- Invite your community to sign up for the weekly One in Prayer email at BaptistWorld.org/prayer.
- Set aside a time for a global prayer focus within your worship services, Sunday School classes, and Bible study gatherings.
- Seek out and share firsthand prayers from ministry leaders serving in other parts of the world. The BWA shares such prayers in both video and written formats throughout the year.
- Consider placing a map in a prominent place in your home as both a reminder to pray for the world but also as a teaching tool to encourage children / grandchildren to become global prayer warriors.
While we long for the day when Gospel witness can again take place face-to-face, we must make certain we are ready for the doors God will open. We have long prayed for the Spirit to ready the hearts of the lost, but we will have missed the mark if do not seize this time to ready ours. The challenges of this pandemic have prepared the way, softening what was once hard soil into fertile ground awaiting harvest.
- Write down the names of five people in your life who are in need of Christ’s love.
- Ask God to open doors for you to be a source of encouragement and hope in their lives and for the Spirit to bring Colossians 4:6 (NIV) to bear so that “your conversation [may] be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
I wholeheartedly believe praying people are powerful people. Imagine the revival that might await if believers around the world are united in prayer in the pursuit of our shared mission.
But may we never forget the object of our pursuit is a Person. A post-pandemic world without our ever-present Savior is a sad world indeed, so let us pray together as Moses did: “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here” (Exodus 33:15, NIV). Lead us on, Lord.
For Reflection and Discussion
- Why do you think prayer is often perceived as the last resort rather than the first step?
- In your spiritual life, has prayer felt more like a passive step or an active one?
- What steps can you take to incorporate a global prayer focus into your daily life? Into your community?
- What lessons have you learned during this season that you can share as part of your Gospel witness with those seeking answers?
- What steps can and will you take in your community to ensure no one loses sight of our shared mission?
BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1963-08.2
- RESOLUTION ON NUCLEAR TEST BAN. Mimeographed copies of a proposed resolution on Nuclear Tests were passed out. Tulles reported that a committee appointed by the Administrative Committee had drafted this statement for the approval of the Executive Committee. Te committee had consisted of Binns, Ivanov, Stassen, Payne, Tolbert, Tulles, Y. Zhidkov, and Nordenhaug. Discussion of the resolution followed. Tulles also read the section dealing with nuclear testing included in the resolution passed by the Tenth Baptist World Congress in Rio de Janeiro, on July 2, 1960. Stassen stressed that the present Nuclear Test Ban Treaty should be neither overestimated nor underestimated. It is a first step, but a very constructive step.
MOTION was made and approved that the Executive Committee adopt the following resolution and commend it to the Alliance constituency for study and consideration:
We the members of the Executive Committee of the Baptist World Alliance, meeting at Baylor University in Waco, Texas,
Do hereby express our commendation and our prayerful thanksgiving that the Governments of the United States of America, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and the United Kingdom have signed treaty to stop nuclear tests in the atmosphere, in outer space, and under water.
We note with appreciation the thorough support for this treaty expressed by President Kennedy, Chairman Khrushchev, and Prime Minister Macmillan.
We welcome the reports that 61 governments thus far have signed the treaty, and we express the hope that all other governments may a their signatures in binding agreement.
We recall the resolution urging action of this general nature adopted at the Tenth World Congress of the Baptist World Alliance in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1960.
We also recall numerous similar resolutions adopted by constituent Baptist Conventions and Unions.
We consider this treaty to be a definite step in the interests of all humanity on this earth under God.
We trust an pray that this step will be followed by other steps of a safeguarded, careful, inspire nature to move further toward the cessation of the arms race and to maintain a just and lasting world peace.
MOTION was made and adopted that the General Secretary be requested to send a copy of the statement to President John F. Kennedy, Chairman Nikita S. Khruschchev, and Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, and that he arrange for its release in the Baptist World, in the Baptist press, and in the secular press.
BWA; Nuclear Test Ban; United Kingdom; United States; U.S.S.R.
Original Source Bibliography: Nordenhaug, Josef, editor. Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of the Executive Committee Held at Baylor University, Waco, Texas, August 19-23, 1963. Washington, D.C.: Baptist World Alliance, 1963.
Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Josef Nordenhaug, ed., Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of the Executive Committee Held at Baylor University, Waco, Texas, August 19-23, 1963 (Washington, D.C.: Baptist World Alliance, 1963), pp. 25-26.
Online Document Full Citation: BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1963-08.2 Nuclear Test Ban; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.
In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1963-08.2).
BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1947-05.1
The General Secretary read the resolution which he had presented to the Southern Baptist Convention at St. Louis, as follows:
WHEREAS, there are in camps in Germany, Italy, and Austria, nearly a million displaced persons of various denominations, composed of men, women, and children, 80% of whom are Christians, and 20% Jews, including 150,000 children below the age of 17, and;
WHEREAS, these displaced persons are unable to return to their own homes because of persecution or fear of persecution by reason of their race, religion, or political beliefs, and desire above all else to start a new life in a nation where there is freedom of speech, freedom of worship, and freedom of movement, and have demonstrated their faith that this nation and others allied with it will do them justice, be it
RESOLVED, that the Southern Baptist Convention go on record as favoring the admission by the United States of its fair share of those displaced people, such share amounting to 400,000 over a period of the next four years, and urge the Congress to provide emergency legislation to accomplish this result.
Motion was made and adopted that this same resolution be passed by our Committee.
BWA; Displaced Persons; Immigration; Jews; Refugees.
Original Source Bibliography: Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of Executive Committee Held at Washington, D.C., U.S.A. on Wednesday, May 14th, 1947. London: Baptist World Alliance, 1947.
Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of Executive Committee Held at Washington, D.C., U.S.A. on Wednesday, May 14th, 1947 (London: Baptist World Alliance, 1937), pp. 11-12.
Online Document Full Citation: BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1947-05.1 Restrictions on Immigration; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.
In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1947-05.1).
Note: The Southern Baptist resolution can be found in the Annual of the 1947 Southern Baptist Convention, Committee on Resolutions Report, “Displaced Persons,” p. 51.
BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1935-05.1
(a) Alderman Herbert Marnham. The death of Mr. Herbert Marnham, a member of this Executive Committee from the founding of the Alliance and for many years its Eastern Treasurer, was referred to in feeling terms, and the ex-President, at the request of the members, drew up a resolution which was adopted in the following terms:—
The members of the Executive Committee of the Baptist World Alliance desire to place on record their deep sense of sorrow and loss in the passing of their honoured friend, Mr. Herbert Marnham. His death removes one of the outstanding laymen of the Baptist world brotherhood. Mr. Marnham was keenly interested in the affairs of the Alliance from its beginning. Almost from its founding he served as its Eastern Treasurer, and his wise counsel, sound business sense, and deep understanding of world problems made him an invaluable colleague. To these qualities were added that warm sympathy, generous hospitality, and Christian beneficence which endeared him to a wide circle of friends throughout the world.
BWA; Herbert Marnham.
Original Source Bibliography: Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of Meeting of Executive Committee, Held at Memphis, Tenn., U.S.A. on Tuesday, May 14th, 1935. London: Baptist World Alliance, 1935.
Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Baptist World Alliance: Minutes of Meeting of Executive Committee, Held at Memphis, Tenn., U.S.A. on Tuesday, May 14th, 1935 (London: Baptist World Alliance, 1935), p.5.
Online Document Full Citation: BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1935-05.1 Memorial Resolution — Alderman Herbert Marnham; https://o7e.4a3.myftpupload.com/resolutions.
In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA Executive Committee Resolution 1935-05.1).