WASHINGTON (BP)–Billy Kim, president-elect of the Baptist World Alliance, inaugurated the $2.1 million BWA Building Campaign during an April 28 dinner and worship service attended by hundreds of Washingtonians at Columbia Baptist Church, Falls Church, Va.
Kim, of Seoul, South Korea, emphasized the need for a new building to meet the needs of the BWA in the 21st century.
The new building, located in Falls Church, will provide:
— Enough space for existing and expanding ministries.
— Greatly improved conference facilities.
— Baptist World Library and Prayer Room.
— Exhibit of the work of Baptists worldwide.
— Media center.
— Space for the BWA president, vice presidents and other visiting regional leaders to work.
— Storage space for current material and archives.
“The new building will be a tremendous step to increasing our ministry ability,” said BWA General Secretary Denton Lotz. “The BWA needs a permanent home as we enter the 21st century. We need a building which will adequately meet our space needs so that we might better serve a needy world. The building is not extravagant, but a modest structure that will provide more room for all our divisions and departments.
“During this past century the Baptist World Alliance has developed from an annual fellowship meeting every five years to a significant instrument for uniting 196 Baptist conventions/unions worldwide,” Lotz continued. “Our programs of relief and development, mission and evangelism, communications and fellowship, including a concern for human rights, religious freedom and justice, have made the Baptist World Alliance a significant instrument for helping indigenous and national Baptist unions in their missions.”
The purchase of a new building was approved unanimously by the BWA budget and executive committees and the General Council which met last July in Dresden, Germany. The BWA moved to its present headquarters in McLean, Va., in 1985 after more than 38 years in downtown Washington.
The sale of the current building will enable the BWA to move into the new offices. Ten percent of all funds collected will be distributed for buildings for theological education around the world, Lotz said, noting, “We feel very strongly that we need to give a tithe to the new seminaries being established overseas.”
Already thousands of letters have been sent to BWA friends around the world. Baptist conventions/unions are being requested to contribute to the new building. Funds for memorials honoring former pastors and Baptist leaders also are being received.
Said Kim, “If we pray, as we do in Korea, every morning, God will bless all our efforts of the BWA to evangelize the world and to be an instrument to defend human rights, fight racism and help the needy.”
Kim was accompanied by a singing group from Korea, “The Singing Ambassadors,” for the campaign kickoff.
Inquiries and/or donations may be sent to BWA Building Fund, 6733 Curran St., McLean, VA 22101.