The Global Baptist Family Annual Meeting
The annual meeting of the Baptist World Alliance, a global Baptist family, will meet at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, this week. I am traveling there to network with Baptist ministry leaders from around the world. More than 500 individuals have registered for this event, some in person, and some online. If you would like to join us, you can find information at www.baptistworld.org and look under “events” and click on “Annual Gathering.”
I have the wonderful blessing of serving as vice president of the Baptist World Alliance representing Baptists in the United States (19 Baptist conventions) along with 11 vice presidents from other global regions. The BWA is comprised of 51 million people in 128 countries, affiliated through 245 conventions across the globe. We truly are a global Baptist family. The last time the annual gathering was held in the USA was in 1970, more than 50 years ago.
Buckner International is an affiliated member of the BWA and is also affiliated through the Baptist General Convention of Texas. I am looking forward to a great week of networking and connecting with our brothers and sisters in the global village.
The theme of this year’s meeting is “Racial Justice,” a topic Baptist Christians have considered the past few years. I will be presenting a paper on “Mission and Racial Justice: A Theological Perspective.”
You may wonder why Buckner International is engaged with BWA? First, as an affiliated ministry of Texas Baptists, a member of the BWA, we want to be connected to our global Baptist family for collaboration. I am committed to Baptist principles and beliefs, distinctives, and history. I believe Buckner International has much to offer our global Baptist family on the topic of child welfare, serving vulnerable children, orphans, and families. Buckner has ministries in Texas, but also in Peru, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Kenya. I plan to connect with Baptist leaders in those countries for potential collaboration and opportunities to deepen our impact in those countries.
Buckner is hosting a small luncheon to launch a pilot project through Buckner Shoes for Orphans Souls with churches from Virginia. I am hopeful that this pilot will grow into additional efforts to help BWA churches grow by providing practical ways for members to live out their faith in Christ.
In recent months, I have been engaged with BWA officials in Ukraine, Russia, Eastern Europe, and collaborated through the Baptist Forum for Aid and Development (BFAD) and BWAid, under the leadership of Rev. Marcia Scipio. Buckner has engaged in support through humanitarian aid along with Texas Baptist Men in collaboration with Mickey Lenamon, president & CEO, who has deployed personnel and resources to Eastern Europe.
I am so pleased that my church, Park Cities Baptist Church, is a strong supporter of BWA and of Buckner International. We exist to serve the global family of Baptists and the people they serve. I am thankful for the leadership of Dr. Elijah Brown, BWA general secretary-CEO and Dr. Tomas Mackey, president of BWA, based in Argentina. I invite you to pray for our meetings this week. Pray for unity, vision, harmony, and global impact in the world for Christ.