EDITORS’ NOTE: The following stories supplement those about the BWA General Council meeting carried by Baptist Press 7/26/99.
DRESDEN, Germany (BP)–The Baptist World Alliance’s General Council, in a meeting with record attendance, approved plans to purchase a building in the Washington, D.C., area as its new headquarters and nominated a South Korean as the BWA’s next president.
The council gave BWA General Secretary Denton Lotz unanimous permission to proceed with a building purchase, approving recommendations by the council’s budget and finance committee and executive committee. Lotz said the present building in McLean, Va., home to the BWA the last 14 years, with 11,000 square feet, does not have enough space to meet the growing staff and ministries of the BWA.
Anticipated cost of the building to be purchased, with 25,000 square feet, will be more than $2 million; its location is yet to be disclosed. Funds for the purchase, council members were told during their July 11-17 annual meeting in Dresden, Germany, will come from the sale of the current facility, fund-raising among BWA member bodies and gifts from major donors.
Meanwhile, the council nominated Billy Jang Hwan Kim, pastor of the 7,000-member Central Baptist Church, Suwon, South Korea, and an international evangelist and broadcaster, as the BWA’s next president.
The council has approximately 450 members; in Dresden, the meeting was attended by 550 Baptist organizational and church leaders from 51 countries.
Among dates announced for future BWA-related meetings were the July 3-9, 2000, sessions of the General Council in Cuba, marking the first such BWA gathering to be scheduled in the nation. Leoncio Veguilla, president of the Baptist Convention of Western Cuba, in comments to the council welcomed Baptists to come and see their churches next year.
Emmett Dunn, BWA youth director, announced that Hong Kong will host the 14th Baptist World Youth Conference, July 16-20, 2003.
The BWA women’s department announced that Audrey Morikawa, executive director of the Baptist Women’s Missionary Society of Ontario and Quebec, and Alicia Zovzoli of Argentina, editor of Spanish-language materials for Latin America and other parts of the world, will be presented to the Women’s Leadership Conference, slated Jan. 10-13 in Melbourne, Australia, for approval as the department’s new president and treasurer, respectively, for five-year terms beginning in January 2000.
Kim, expected to be elected at the 18th Baptist World Congress, Jan. 5-9, 2000, in Melbourne, Australia, will succeed current President Nilson do Amral Fanini, a Brazilian pastor and evangelist, who has led the BWA the past five years.
The council also re-elected Lotz to the position he has held since 1988, along with current BWA division and department directors, for new five-year terms, 2000-2005.
Division directors are Tony Cupit of Australia, evangelism and education and study and research; Douglas Inglis of Scotland, promotion and development and congress director; Paul Montacute of England, Baptist World Aid, and Wendy Ryan of Trinidad, communications.
Department directors are Patsy Davis of the United States, women; Emmett Dunn of Liberia, youth, and Jerry Gash of the United States, men.
Theodor Angelov, president of the Baptist Union of Bulgaria and pastor of the Sophia Baptist Church, was approved as general secretary of the European Baptist Federation and regional European secretary for the BWA. Angelov, the immediate past President of the EBF, will succeed Karl Heinz Walter of Germany on Oct. 1.
Four Baptist bodies with a total of 369 churches and 46,000 members were accepted as new BWA members: the Khmer Baptist Convention of Cambodia; the Bengal Baptist Union and the Evangelical Baptist Convention of Manipur, both in India; and the Union of Baptist Churches of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“I am so happy to be a part of the BWA,” said Touch Ben Sueum, general secretary of the Cambodian convention, where the first Baptist church was started in1992.
With the new members, the BWA represents more than 195 Baptist organizations with 43 million baptized believers.