Pictured: Worshipping together at the 2018 BWA Annual Gathering in ZĂźrich, Switzerland, at the church where Pastor Huldrych Zwingli helped initiate the Reformation.
General Secretary’s Letter
Strengthening Worship, Fellowship & Unity
Leading in Mission & Evangelism
Responding through Aid, Relief & Community Development
Defending Religious Freedom, Human Rights & Justice Advancing Theological Reflection & Transformational Leadership
My first year as General Secretary of the BWA has been an incredible experience filled with the goodness of the Lord. As I consider all that occurred in 2018, I am humbled by the generosity of so many Baptists around the world living out their faith with courage and conviction. Thanks in part to BWA grants and partnerships, Baptists in Uganda hosted a conference where 2,300 people gave their lives to Jesus Christ, Baptists in St. Vincent and the Grenadines purchased hundreds of Bibles and resources for a new church plant, Baptists in Indonesia responded to natural disasters, and Baptists in both Bolivia and Bulgaria were able to help address proposed laws that would have imperiled or outright closed churches. Because of you and Baptists around the world, these 430 Baptist churches in Bolivia and Bulgaria remain open today to share the Gospel. Thank you! I also want to personally invite you to join us in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for Together 2020, a powerful gathering of Baptists from around the world united in worship, prayer, fellowship, and action. I know it will be an unforgettable experience, and I would love to share it with you. Register now at BWA2020.org. The opportunities for the BWA and BWA Baptists to pursue our mission “to impact the world for Christ” truly remain as vibrant today as ever. Please join me in praying for God’s continued guidance as together we work to impact the world for Christ!
Rev. Elijah M. Brown, PhD General Secretary & CEO
BWAid distributed more than $300,000 in 2018 in response to needs around the world, including a
partnership project with African Church Empowerment Ministries (ACEM) in Uganda to fund hunger relief efforts in local villages. The photo above features BWA Vice President Michael Okwakol with ACEM staff and Ugandan children. To view a video that shares more about this project, visit BWANet.org.
Centered in Jesus Christ and rooted in deep spiritual life, we strengthen our worldwide family through ongoing gatherings, pastoral presence, mutual friendships, and the cultivation of worship, fellowship, and unity.
General Secretary Elijah Brown spoke to more than
12,000 people at 40 events in 9 countries, including the delivery of a powerful message entitled “Blessed Are the Peacemakers” at the 2018 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Toronto, Canada.
© 2018 Parliament of the World’s Religions / Photo Credit:Anthony Maccari
This is one place where I feel I am a part of something much grander than myself and my circles, and it is a privilege to be associated, and to walk life’s journey, with these people. The BWA is not just an organization. It is a collection of wonderful, caring volunteers, working like a loving and honest family, who join together with one purpose – to bring the Peace of Christ to the world.” - Karen Bullock, USA
In 2018, the BWA family continued to bring Baptists together through worship and fellowship opportunities.
16 239 6
Number of countries BWA leadership visited to provide pastoral encouragement, advocacy, and advancement Total number of conventions and unions around the world with the addition of a new member body from St. Vincent and the Grenadines this year Countries represented among the collaboraters who created worship resources for World Communion Sunday Prayer partners who unite weekly in prayer with the BWA Team to “Pray Through the World”
Service hours from faithful volunteers who invested their time and talents on behalf of the BWA
Dollars contributed by the 1905 Founders Circle, member bodies that have faithfully journeyed with the BWA for more than a century, to create the newly opened Heritage & Mission Welcome Center at the BWA Office
A N N UA L G AT H E R I N G
320 people from 46 countries traveled to Zürich, Switzerland, to participate in the 2018 Annual Gathering. The conference included a worship service at Grossmünster Cathedral, a launching site for the Reformation.
General Secretary Elijah Brown reflected on the importance of remembering those who are daily living out a courageous conviction of faith in Christ in the face of persecution, with many still worshipping in caves and other secret locations around the world. He implored all Baptists to contemplate: “When the faithful are forced to the caves, how will we respond?”
Annual Gathering attendees gathered in the neighboring hillside community of Bäretswil to worship inside Täuferhöhle Cave where Baptists facing persecution met in secret in the 1500s.
Compelled by the Great Commission, we lead with a passionate commitment to Gospel witness in every context and people group, foster multidirectional partnerships that connect individuals and churches, and encourage global mission and evangelism.
In March, General Secretary Emeritus Denton Lotz traveled to Nepal to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Nepal Baptist Church Council, which has grown from five small churches with a collective membership of 200 to ...
with a MEMBERSHIP of
In 2018, the BWA doubled the amount given to encourage evangelism and discipleship around the world, including: • Purchasing over 200 Bibles and discipleship materials for a new church plant in the Caribbean • Equipping the Baptist Student Fellowship Conference in Uganda, resulting in more than 2,300 professions of faith • Providing African Baptist leaders with a gathering place to create one of the 1st Sunday School curriculums for African Baptists written by African Baptists
HELP US CELEBRATE A GLOBAL BAPTIST WITNESS
If you know a church that is creatively engaging in biblically-based, Christ-centered, culturally-sensitive evangelism, go to BWANet.org to submit your nomination for the first BWA-Kowloon International Baptist Church Evangelism Award, which will be awarded at the Together 2020 BWA Congress in Rio de Janeiro.
Pictured are a father and daughter in front of a Baptist church under construction in Kalaymyo, Myanmar, slated to open in April 2020. In the last 25 years, Baptists in Myanmar have grown over 110% to more than 1 million today, joining another 46 million BWA Baptists around the world.
Challenged to generously love our neighbor, we respond to people in need, collaborate in times of crisis, network agencies, support sustainability and creation care, build capacity, empower local church engagement and resource aid, relief, and community development. I am very grateful for what God has done for me through the Baptist ministry. I am so grateful for my onion field, thanks to the support of BWAid who funded the seeds for me and my family. We now have food. We will eat and plant for the next seeding season.”
Central African Republic
59% 21% 17% 3%
In 2018, BWAid supported
COUNTRIES, impacting more than
• Hunger/Water • Natural Disaster • Refugee/Displacement • Medical
61% 17% 13% 9%
• Refugee Support • Agriculture/Husbandry • Hunger/Water • Human Trafficking Recovery
• Skill Training/Education • Workshop Support
During a solidarity visit to eastern Ukraine, BWA President Paul Msiza and Ukranian Baptist Leader Igor Bandura pause at a site where bombardment scraps have been gathered as a memorial. In the midst of this unrest, Ukranian Baptists continue to gather faithfully for worship, fellowship, and prayer.
The Caribbean Baptist Fellowship and member bodies in Haiti partnered together to provide Sunday School training, a youth conference, and a joint worship celebration at First Baptist Church in Port-au-Prince. More than 1,000 people from multiple Haitian Baptist groups attended the service, which included a keynote address entitled “One in the Spirit” from General Secretary Elijah Brown.
Commissioning prayer time at the 6th Annual Conference of the Zomi Baptist Convention of America, one of many emerging immigrant member bodies affiliated with the BWA.
The BWA partnered with 21Wilberforce to co-sponsor the “Change Not Chains” advocacy event for prisoners of conscience on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, USA.
Nearly 700 million people around the world lack access to safe drinking water. Through the efforts of BWAid, people like the boy pictured below in Kondepalli Village, India, now have access to a source of life-giving water. Our well grants also provide much more than clean water. They create a safer environment for the women who previously walked more than 5 miles to the nearest water source, making them targets for human trafficking.
Committed to a biblical understanding of the image of God in every person, we defend an ethic of life, support religious freedom for all, stand in solidarity with the marginalized, advocate at every level, train and network proactively, and mobilize for religious freedom, human rights, and justice.
A war-ravaged Baptist church near the Ukranian conflict zone
In 2018, the BWA advocated for religious freedom, human rights, and justice through: • Hosting “Siyon,” a North Korean defector, in Washington, DC, and facilitating a day of advocacy on Capitol Hill around human rights and religious freedom in North Korea • Hosting two key advocacy meetings to facilitate action on behalf of those facing religious persecution in Nigeria and issuing a grant to further peace-building activities nationwide
The BWA and EBF led a joint Human Rights Solidarity Visit to Ukraine. During the visit, the team met with key government leaders, including the Ukranian President, Prime Minister, and National Defense Secretary, and traveled to the conflict zone to visit those who continue to live out their faith in the midst of this four-year conflict.
• Supporting 6 representatives actively engaged in service and advocacy through the United Nations • Sharing worship resources for Human Rights Sunday created by Baptist leaders from 4 countries
• Engaging more than 200 global leaders in the signing of a commemorative banner celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
• Honoring Christer Daelander from Sweden as the 2018 BWA Denton and Janice Lotz Human Rights Award recipient
THANKS TO YOUR SUPPORT 128 Bulgarian Churches Are Open Today
In late 2018, Baptist churches in Bulgaria came under sudden and immediate threat of closure due to proposed government legislation. The actions of Baptists in Bulgaria combined with the BWA and BWA Baptists around the world, along with the work of many others, resulted in a surprise Christmas miracle that reversed the proposed legislation and allowed these churches to remain open.
“We are relieved that the most discriminatory and limiting clauses which affected us have been successfully removed or changed appropriately. God has granted us a remarkable blessing, by allowing us to see the will of the political powers changed. We are fully aware that this would not have happened without the strong international support and prayers.” – Teodor Oprenov (General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Bulgaria) –
Called to discipleship, we advance multicultural and multilingual training, empower next generation leaders, encourage meaningful dialogue and praxis, and engage in relevant theological reflection and transformational leadership.
The BWA launched an expanded version of Horizons, a global training program in 12 languages for children and youth leaders. 250 leaders are already enrolled in this free, 24-module online leadership program. Participants from the recently concluded Baptist-Methodist Dialogue
In 2018, the BWA focused on ecumenical dialogues and the raising up of new leaders to broaden Christ-centered followership around the world. • Completed the multi-year Baptist-Methodist dialogue between the BWA and the World Methodist Council, resulting in a collaborative report entitled “Faith Working Through Love” Having Horizons available in our language is a huge blessing. It’s an amazing tool to challenge and equip our present and future youth leaders, a way of promoting unity within different Baptist unions, and a platform to collaborate on common projects.”
Youth Pastor & Director of Baptist Youth of Spain
• Mobilized 16 BWA commissions of 444 world-class Baptist leaders from 57 countries to strengthen meaningful theological reflection on the critical issues of our day, foster dialogue around praxis, produce substantive resources for churches and individuals, and enhance collaborative action • Sent a delegation from around the world to Rome for the ongoing bilateral dialogues between the BWA and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity centered on the theme: “The Dynamic of the Gospel and the Witness of the Church” • Launched the new Annual Gathering Church Leadership Certificate, which was earned by Baptist leaders from 8 countries
2018: A YEAR OF IMPACT
125 239 47 PEOPLE MILLION
COUNTRIES & TERRITORIES
touched through BWA pastoral visits, grants, & mobilization of Baptist leaders for international engagement
serving on 16 Commissions addressing todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most relevant issues
MISSION & EVANGELISM
impacting more than 14,000 people in 16 countries
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, HUMAN RIGHTS & JUSTICE
1 WORSHIP, FELLOWSHIP & UNITY
saved through BWA-supported
RELIEF, AID & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
THEOLOGICAL REFLECTION & TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP
remain open as a result of religious freedom advocacy
COUNTLESS LIVES CHANGED 13
FISCAL REPORT We are incredibly thankful for the faithful and generous support of our ministry partners around the world. In 2018, our supporter base increased by 18% and total giving to the general budget increased by 10%.
SUPPORT & REVENUE
Churches, Individuals and Others
Program Services Administration
* Support revenue totals do not include unrealized investment gains or losses
“The response of this international group of Baptists to global crisis situations and disasters is one led by indigenous leaders and is a wonderful combination of immediate compassion and longterm results. The leaders of the Baptist World Alliance demonstrate skill, integrity, compassion, and careful stewardship of the resources they receive. I give to support their Each year representatives from each of our six regions sacrificially give of their time and resources to serve in volunteer leadership roles within the Baptist World Alliance. We are grateful for the faithful investment of their gifts and their willingness to steward resources to travel to our Annual Gatherings and planning events. Pictured are representatives from Nigeria at the BWA Executive Committee Meeting in Falls Church, VA, USA.
work with great confidence that my gift makes a difference in the lives of people around the world.” – Jim Hill, USA
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Ngwedla Paul Msiza, President Elijah M. Brown, General Secretary Ernest Adu-Gyamfi Samson Olasupo A. Ayokunle John Beasy
Jerry Carlisle Jules Casseus Tapan Chowdhury Miyon Chung Regina Claas Joina Dhlula Carolyn Fossen Lynn Green
Amanda Haines Melvin Harris Johnathan Hemmings Karl Johnson David Kerrigan Thomas Klammt Edwin Lam Tomás Mackey
Ksenija Magda Tim McCoy A. Roy Medley Michael Okwakol Dimitrina Oprenova Suzii Paynter Jorge Quinteros Jan Saethre
Luiz Roberto Silvado Terry Smith William Thompson Naomi Tyler-Lloyd John Upton Steve Vernon Anselm Warrick
PARTNER WITH US FOR GLOBAL IMPACT SUMMARIZED STATEMENT OF POSITION 2018*
Cash and Cash Equivalents
Receivables and Prepaid
Total Current Assets
Property and Equipment Net Investments
Endowment Fund Investments and Other Investments
Total Other Assets
Total Investments Other Assets
Pledges Received – Net
NEEDED IN 2019
2020 In anticipation of Together 2020, we have a goal to raise $2.5 million to position the BWA for maximum impact in the years to come. When you partner with the BWA, you are supporting the spread of the Gospel, justice for those silenced by persecution, life-saving resources to those in need, raising up of new leaders, and strengthening a diverse and gifted Baptist family comprised of 47 million people living out the Great Commission in 125 countries. Will you pray about how we can make a difference together?
$1.7 MILLION RAISED IN 2018
MAIL: 405 N. Washington St • Falls Church, VA 22046 USA
PLANNED GIVING: BWAGift.org
PHONE: +1 (703) 790-8980
The Baptist World Alliance is a registered 501(c)(3) organization within the United States, ensuring your generous gift is tax-deductible.
BAPTIST WORLD ALLIANCE CELEBRATION
July 22-26, 2020 RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
bwa2020.org WORSHIP • FELLOWSHIP • PRAY • NETWORK • SERVE