Baptist World Alliance Day is observed on May 3 and 4, depending whether Baptists worship on Saturday or Sunday. The emphasis is "Hear the Spirit – Transformation."

Baptists around the world are encouraged to worship together and to pray for each other. Participants are also encouraged to share their insights and experiences on Twitter @TheBWA  or in the BWA Facebook group, so the global Baptist family  can celebrate together.

Observation of BWA Day began in the 1920s as "Baptist World Sunday."  Previously celebrated in February, it now occurs on the first Saturday and Sunday in May.

The 2014 worship guide was prepared by Thomas Jackson, pastor emeritus at Wake Forest Baptist Church in North Carolina in the United States. He is author of the hymn, "We are called to be God's people."

Worship resources are available on the BWA website.

Baptist World Alliance®
© April 17, 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, www.bwanet.org/congress.

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

Emmett Dunn, director of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) Youth Department, was one of six persons conferred with an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree by the Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary (LBTS) on March 31.

"The Board of Trustees with the Administration of the Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary recognizes Emmett Lafayette Dunn's distinguished labor in His Service, the commitment to humanitarian advances and excellent leadership to the church, the community, the nation, and the world," the citation reads.

Dunn, a Liberian and alumnus of LBTS, showed "excellence and promise" from early. This promise has been fulfilled in his studies, life and work as he "has increased in wisdom and stature and in favor of God and humanity."

Despite his involvement on the global stage, the BWA director “has not allowed his global identity to detract from his local commitments to the Body of Christ” in Liberia.  Dunn was chair of the Board of Advisors of the Ricks Institute School in Liberia from 2006-2012 and serves on its Board of Trustees. Ricks, founded in the 1880s, is a Baptist school from kindergarten to grade 12, with a coeducational residential campus. He also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of LBTS from 2009-2012.

Dunn was born in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital. After earning a Bachelor of Theology degree from LBTS, he was ordained to the Christian ministry in 1987 at Providence Baptist Church, his home church, and was appointed education director and assistant minister.

He received a World Council of Churches scholarship and studied at the Virginia Theological Seminary and the Howard University School of Divinity, in the United States. He has done additional studies in sustainable community development at Colorado State University.

Dunn became director of the BWA Youth Department in 1994 and, as of 2006, helps to coordinate planning for the Baptist World Congress, conferences and meetings.

Others conferred with the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree by LBTS were Liberians Anthony Jonah and Mydea White, as well as Americans John Mark Carpenter, second president of LBTS, philanthropist Earl Stafford and advocate for Liberia, Esther Worthington.

 Baptist World Alliance®
© April 9, 2014

Made Whole through Christ

This is the day when frightened disciples, cowered behind closed doors, embraced the solidarity of misery. Sorrowing, they shared the solidarity of loss; grieving, their minds were blistered by disappointment.

 Jesus, their Lord, had been crucified. Dead, he had been buried. Disciples who had left their homes and their livelihood to follow him were left to contemplate their indescribable loss. Their sorrow defies words; their grief no pen can explain. What could this bunch of disappointed followers do but curse their fate and count the cost of their supposed error in following Jesus?

But it was Sunday! Soon, their gloom would disappear.  The pain that consumed them was to come to a glorious end.  An all-embracing joy consumed their piercing sorrow because that Sunday, when the bewildered disciples assembled, was the first Easter Day.

And today is Easter Day! Churches in the East and the West, the North and the South – Catholic and Orthodox, Protestant, Evangelical and Pentecostal – break out in celebration of the good news of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus.

Christ has trounced the enemy called death. He has vanquished his foes, seizing bright hope through the darkness of the tomb! Dying, he secures our salvation. Rising, he seals our liberation.

And his resurrection confirms that we can laugh in the evening of the darkest night. We can rejoice when fierce lions stalk us. We can find reason to celebrate even when, cursing our fate, we feel imprisoned in the den of despair.

It is Easter Day and this is what we know: even though we pass through the dark night of sorrow, morning comes. Light shines to dispel the darkness; hope springs new as our Lord gives to us the gift of abundant life.

Having overcome life’s trials and death’s darkness, Jesus breathes new life into minds brutalized by unbelief, stained by cynicism, or paralyzed by fear.

Risen with a spiritual body, Jesus renews and revitalizes bodies that are scarred by struggle, wounded by disobedience, or disfigured by wrongdoing.

It is Easter day! Jesus breathes into us bright hope that pierces the all-encompassing gloom.

And every Sunday is Easter Day all over again.  During the week, when our life is a roller coaster of mismatched experiences, we discover, through the cycle of dying and rising, the mystery of faith renewed and, by God’s grace, we are transformed by hope.

Rejoice! It’s resurrection day! Baptized into our Lord’s death and made alive through his resurrection, we are, indeed, made whole!

Neville Callam
General Secretary

Men’s devotional now available online

A daily devotional for Baptist men around the world is now available on the website of the Baptist World Alliance.

A project of the BWA Men's Department, it invites participants to reflect on God, life, faith and discipleship.

Preparers included Ayoola Badejo, president of the All Africa Baptist Men's Fellowship, Lucky Ray, president of American Baptist Men USA and Roy Scott, first vice president of Eastern Region Laymen of the Progressive National Baptist Convention in the United States.

In addition, information for the Baptist Men's World Day of Prayer, is now available for download. Observed on April 26, prayer focus will be on global concerns.

The devotional guide and Men's World Day of Prayer resources may be viewed or downloaded Here.

Baptist World Alliance®
© March 26, 2014