Rwandan accepts global human rights award
(News) Created on Friday, 24 July 2015

Munyamasoko speaking after receiving the Congress Human Rights AwardThe fifth Congress Human Rights Award was presented by the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) to Rwandan Corneille Gato Munyamasoko, general secretary of the Association of Baptist Churches in Rwanda (AEBR), during the 21st Baptist World Congress in Durban, South Africa.

Munyamasoko was recognized for his work in peace and reconciliation after the 1994 genocide in his country.

The Rwandan Genocide was a mass slaughter of Tutsi and moderate Hutu in Rwanda by members of the Hutu majority. During the approximate 100-day period from April 7 to mid-July 1994, an estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 Rwandans were killed, constituting as much as 70 percent of the Tutsi and 20 percent of Rwanda’s total population.

A citation read at the presentation on July 23 described Munyamasoko as a strong advocate; a prophetic witness; a champion of the vulnerable; and as a reconciler, peacemaker, pacifist and mediator.


Peace and freedom in Christ
(News) Created on Friday, 24 July 2015

Dimitrina Oprenova of Bulgaria speaking during the 21st Baptist World Congress in Durban, South Africa.Persons can experience freedom in the midst of turmoil and peace in the midst of conflict, declared Dimitrina Oprenova during the 21st Baptist World Congress in Durban, South Africa.

Oprenova, from Bulgaria, said Christians in her country experienced peace even during the turbulent communist era.

She told of the faith of her mentor, former Bulgarian Baptist pastor and leader, Ivan Angelov, who was sentenced to prison for eight years, “a man tortured by the communists.” After one particularly terrible episode of being beaten, Angelov, broken and believing he was dying, bemoaned the state of the church and cried out to God in desperation. “God, they have destroyed me, this is the end,” she recalled him saying. “God, what will happen to the church? We are all here, there is no pastor out there, what will happen to the flock?” whereupon a man dressed in white came to him in his cell and declared, “Ivan, this is my church, I will take care of it. And I will take care of you. You don’t worry about it.”


Baptists should shine their lights brightly
(News) Created on Wednesday, 22 July 2015

“Let us rejoice and celebrate.” With this announcement, Baptist World Alliance President John Upton officially declared the start of the 21st Baptist World Congress in Durban, South Africa, on July 22.

The roll call of the more than 80 nations encapsulated the celebratory atmosphere as more than 2,500 Baptists joined in singing songs such as “Shine, Jesus shine”; “Light of the world you stepped down into darkness”; “Lord, the Light of your Love is shining”; and “We are marching in the light of God.”

Keynote speaker Peter Chin of South Korea said that because the world is filled with so much darkness, it is imperative that Baptist Christians shine the light of Christ.

Chin declared that the darkness affecting humanity is reflected in suffering, death, ignorance, discrimination and abuse.

There is also darkness, he said, in the levels of deception and political corruption and oppression that exist. Economically, darkness is demonstrated in the levels of greed, poverty and debt that are so prevalent.

But worst of all, he said, there is “spiritual darkness, a darkness where people say there is no God.”


Baptists start streaming into South Africa for international congress
(News) Created on Friday, 17 July 2015

International Convention Centre Durban – Overlook

Joyful singing at the 2010 congress in Hawaii

Baptists from more than 80 countries are traveling to South Africa to participate in the 21st Baptist World Congress in the city of Durban, from July 22-26. It is the first Baptist congress in Africa, a region with the fastest numerical growth among Baptist Christians.

Already, several hundred Baptist women are gathered in Johannesburg for the Baptist Women Leadership Conference which precedes the congress, running from July 18-21.

The congress, normally held every five years, was first hosted in London in the United Kingdom in 1905.

Congress participants and others from around the world can follow the latest events on the website of the Baptist World Alliance at

Daily updates will include live video streaming of plenary sessions; constant flow of information through the BWA congress app; videos and photos on social media through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube; and regular press releases.


BWA launches congress app
(News) Created on Tuesday, 2 June 2015

The Baptist World Alliance has launched an app especially dedicated for use before, during and after the Baptist World Congress (#‎BaptistCongress15) scheduled to take place in Durban, South Africa, from July 22-26.

The BWA Congress 2015 app is for use on Android, iOS and Windows devices, in particular, smartphones and tablets.

It is available for free download through the Apple iTunes store and Google Play, or one may go to to be automatically directed to the proper download version for each device. To download the app through Amazon, visit

During congress, the app will feature video, music and speaker clips. Constant updates will be provided at the time of the congress. There will be push notificati

ons such as alerts, reminders and changes in schedule or location for meetings.

Included on the app are a greeting from BWA General Secretary Neville Callam and the congress calendar with features such as focus groups and Bible Study language groups.

Links to BWA publications and newsfeed, as well as to BWA social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube, are also available via the app.

Persons have the opportunity to make donations via a secure platform on the app.

For questions, contact

Baptist World Alliance®
© June 2, 2015

General Secretary’s Statement on Congress 2015
(News) Created on Monday, 27 October 2014

The 21st Baptist World Congress will take place in Durban, South Africa, as planned from July 22-26, 2015. The meeting will be preceded by the Baptist Women’s Leadership Conference in Johannesburg, July 18-21, 2015.

This decision was arrived at after the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) leadership conducted a broad canvass across the worldwide Baptist family.

The need to review the scheduled date of the 2015 congress was based on a number of factors. The first was the damage being done by the Ebola virus especially in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea and the need to intensify our focus to aid the affected persons and communities that face the fury of Ebola.


Speakers for international Baptist congress confirmed
(News) Created on Tuesday, 14 October 2014

The keynote speakers for the 21st Baptist World Congress to be held in Durban, South Africa, from July 22-26, 2015, have been confirmed.

Speakers are Peter Chin from South Korea, Donald Ndichafah from Cameroon, Dimitrina Oprenova from Bulgaria, Anthony Carroll from the Bahamas, Luiz Soares Silvado from Brazil and Joel Gregory from the United States.

Chin is senior pastor of the Global Mission Church in Bundang-Suji district in South Korea. He earned degrees from several schools in the United States — Fuller Theological Seminary, Midwestern Baptist Seminary, Trinity International University in Ministry and the University of Virginia. He previously pastored Baptist churches in the United States before going to Korea.

Ndichafah is a vice president of the All Africa Baptist Fellowship, one of six regional fellowships of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) and was, from 2008-2012, general secretary of the Cameroon Baptist Convention. He was previously field pastor for the Yaounde Area in Cameroon. Ndichafah is a member of the BWA Commission on Baptist Worship and Spirituality.

Oprenova is associate pastor at First Baptist Church in Sofia, president of the Bulgarian Baptist Women’s Department and a member of the Executive Committee of the European Baptist Women’s Union. She has been engaged in ministry among women, children and youth. She earned degrees from Spurgeon’s College in the United Kingdom and the International Baptist Theological Seminary.

Carroll is senior pastor of Antioch Native Baptist Church in Nassau and former president of the Bahamas National Baptist Missionary and Education Convention. He is a graduate of the American Baptist College and Emory University’s Candler School of Theology in the US. Carroll is a member of the BWA General Council and the Commission on Evangelism.

Silvado is pastor of Bacacheri Baptist Church in Curitiba, Paraná, and president of the Brazilian Baptist Convention. He holds degrees from the Federal University of Paraná, the South Brazil Baptist Theological Seminary and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in the US. Silvado is a member of the BWA General Council and the Mission, Evangelism and Theological Reflection Advisory Committee.

Gregory is professor of preaching at Baylor University’s Truett Seminary in Texas and distinguished fellow of Georgetown College in Kentucky. He is founder and principal of Joel Gregory Ministries, an international ministry of teaching and preaching. He earned degrees at Baylor University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where he taught preaching for three years. He is lead author of the recently published, Baptist Preaching: A Global Anthology, which was launched during the BWA Annual Gathering in Izmir, Turkey, in July 2014. He is a member of the BWA Commission on Baptist Worship and Spirituality.

Baptist World Alliance®
© October 14, 2014

BWA statement on Congress 2015
(News) Created on Tuesday, 16 September 2014

The Baptist World Alliance (BWA) is excited about the prospect of thousands from all over the world gathering in Durban, South Africa, in July 2015 for the 21st Baptist World Congress.

At a meeting last week of the Congress Core Committee, we noted that more than 1,000 hotel rooms have been reserved and Baptists from around the world continue to make use of the “early bird” registration discount. The Local Arrangements Committee is hard at work preparing for the Congress that we expect will be one of our finest ever.

We have been following closely news of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. BWA and its partners are actively engaged in providing needed assistance. We encourage everyone to continue to pray for the families and the communities affected and for the outbreak to end.


Mission opportunities during global Baptist meeting in South Africa
(News) Created on Thursday, 03 July 2014

Baptists attending the 21st Baptist World Congress in South Africa in July 2015 will have the opportunity to participate in mission projects in South Africa and other countries in Southern Africa.

The Baptist World Alliance does not organize or arrange mission projects. These are made between partners. However, the BWA may facilitate such partnerships through the provision of contact information.

There are four broad options available.


Congress registration now open
(News) Created on Friday, 27 June 2014

Registration for the 21st Baptist World Congress in Durban, South Africa, from July 22-26, 2015, is now open online.

Early bird discounted registration fees are in effect until November 30 after which the standard registration fees will apply.

Registration is best done on the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) website at

Persons from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Taiwan, the United States and Western Europe will pay US$200 until November 30 and US$250 after that date.

Registrants from other countries in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Central America, South America, Central Europe and Eastern Europe will pay US$150 until November 30 and US$200 thereafter.

South African residents will pay a set fee of US$100 regardless of the time of registration, as will youth ages 12-18 who will pay US$50 and children less than 12 years old, US$25.

Online registration closes on July 10, 2015.

An invitation letter for visa purposes will be generated when online registration is complete.

All persons attending the congress must register. Registration will not take effect unless the applicable fee is paid.

Application and other information, including alternatives to online registration, is available on the BWA website.

Baptist World Alliance®
© June 27, 2014

Tour opportunities at Baptist World Congress
(News) Created on Friday, 30 May 2014 12:05

Participants at the 21st Baptist World Congress in South Africa will have the opportunity to participate in a number of tours during and after the week of meetings, the first in Africa.

The congress will be held July 22-26, 2015.

There will be a choice between two half day tours on July 25, either a Durban City tour or the Ushaka Marine World Tour. These two tours will be restricted to a maximum 2,000 persons.

Several one day tours are available. A Walk to Freedom Tour includes a visit to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for many years and a tour of Langa Township, the oldest apartheid housing scheme in the Cape, and other townships.  Visitors will be provided hands-on experience of life in a township.


BWA negotiates discounted airfare for 2015 congress
(News) Created on 16 April 2014

Participants attending the 21st Baptist World Congress in Durban, South Africa, in 2015, can benefit from discounted airfares from South African Airways (SAA), the official airline for the congress.

The congress will be held from July 22-26, 2015, at the International Convention Center Durban.

A Baptist World Congress authorization code will be issued to participants by the BWA upon registration for the global event, after which the code may be used to book a discounted airfare directly with SAA. Registration for the congress is preferably done on the BWA website,

The discounted fares will become available as of August 2014. Travel must take place between July 8 and August 10, 2015. The discount ranges between 5 percent and 18 percent, subject to flight availability.

The discount is available on international, regional and domestic travels. Fare discounts will be determined by the origin of travel, flight schedule, and whether persons travel business or economy class. Code share flights are excluded.

Both the BWA and SAA encourage travelers to the congress to take advantage of the discounted airfares.  

Further details are available on the BWA website.

Baptist World Alliance®
© April 16, 2014

South Africa getting ready to host the world
Created on 06 July 2013

Baptists in South Africa are making preparations to host thousands of Baptists from around the globe during the 21st Baptist World Congress in the city of Durban in July 2015.

“We want people to have the ubuntu experience,” said Paul Msiza, a vice president of the Baptist World Alliance® (BWA) and chair of the congress Local Arrangements Committee (LAC). Ubuntu is a distinctive South African word that speaks to African hospitality and respect for each other.

“We are intentional about making the congress a truly international gathering with an African flavor, declared Emmett Dunn, the BWA staff person who has special responsibility for meetings and conferences. “Bible study sessions will be multilingual. Bible study materials will be written from a world perspective and will be made available on the BWA website prior to the congress.”

Dunn said “we will plan the congress in such a way that those who attend will experience the city of Durban.” He encouraged African Baptists to “show real African hospitality to their international guests.”

The four BWA member organizations in the country – the Baptist Union of Southern Africa, the Baptist Convention of South Africa (BCSA), the Baptist Association of South Africa and the Baptist Mission of South Africa – have joined together to ensure that the next congress will be memorable for all the right reasons.