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Jamaican-born English musician to lead worship at BWA congress

WASHINGTON (BP)–Thousands of people at Spring Harvest, the largest annual Christian festival in the United Kingdom, have enjoyed musician Geraldine Latty’s skills in leading them in praise and worship.
Next Jan. 5-9, at the evening celebrations of the Baptist World Alliance’s 18th Baptist World Congress in Melbourne, Australia, Latty will lead in worship as several thousand Baptists welcome the new millennium with praise to God for his enduring love and faithfulness. Latty and other worship leaders will be joined by a 40-voice Australian choir and a 25-piece orchestra.
Born of Jamaican parents, Latty directs the music ministry at the Cairns Road Baptist Church in Bristol and is director of music at a local secondary school. She is well-known in England not only for her music ministry at Spring Harvest attended by more than 50,000 Christians from the United Kingdom, but also for her appearances on the popular “Songs of Praise” and “First Light” programs aired on the British Broadcasting Corporation television. She also has conducted vocal workshops with local churches or groups of churches in England and other countries.
After the Baptist World Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1995, Latty was part of a musical tour of the United States to promote “World Praise,” the international collection of songs used at the congress. The upcoming congress’ edition will be published by LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Latty frequently heads up the worship team at the annual assembly of the Baptist Union of Great Britain. “I consider Geraldine Latty as one of the most gifted worship leaders on the British church scene,” David Coffey, BUGB general secretary, said. “She is a talented musician with a humble heart, dedicated to serving God’s people through music and worship.”
Music groups from Australia, Germany, India, Korea, Venezuela and the United States are already signed up for the more than 150 opportunities for music ministry at the congress.
Meanwhile, Australian Baptists are geared up to receive Baptists from around the world and host them in hotels, student accommodations, homes and churches.
Douglas Inglis, BWA congress director, just back from a trip to Melbourne, reported hundreds of volunteers from Baptist churches are at work on different parts of the congress preparation.
Members of Werribbee Baptist Church near Melbourne will meet and greet the crowds expected at the Melbourne airport. Teams will welcome as many as 200 people a day, beginning right before Christmas 1999. They will transport congress participants from the airport, take them to a nearby church and offer them hospitality until they can be taken to their host families.
Keith Joy, from the Syndal Baptist Church, will help the BWA clear equipment at customs, while churches in the northern suburbs will help store congress materials such as program books and bags for those who attend.
Oasis/Logosdor, a children’s ministry well-known in Australian evangelical churches, will lead a children’s program during the congress, and plans are under way for a “house of fellowship” at the Exhibition Center where people can relax, meet others and enjoy the live kangaroo Australian Baptists hope they can display.
While the “Y2K” computer problem continues to trouble some people, congress registrations are steadily growing, with more than 750 registered. Around the world, the largest number is from the United States, nearly equaled by host country Australia. Europe currently has the next-highest registration.

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  • Wendy Ryan