BWA Connect May 2017
From the General Secretarygensec

Strengthening Christian world mission


Many religious groups have been severely affected by the Great Recession of 2008. Since the onset of the financial meltdown that precipitated that recession, many religious institutions are still trying to recover from the undesired harmful effects of that experience.

Member Bodies in Action mbody

Participants at a conference of the Baptist Convention of Angola 
(Photo: Valentino Yequenha,  http://www.angop.ao)

Founded on June 25, 1940, in the city of Huambo, on the initiative of the Portuguese missionary Manuel Ferreira Pedras, the Baptist denomination spread rapidly throughout Angola. The work received the support of Angolan evangelists and the impetus received from North American and English missionaries who arrived in Angola after national independence.
 
The Baptist Convention of Angola, recognized by the government, is a member organization of the Baptist World Alliance. It was a founding member of the Evangelical Alliance of Angola, the Cooperation Committee of the Baptists of Angola and the African Baptist Brotherhood.
 
Angolan Baptists maintain relations of cooperation with their counterparts in Brazil, Portugal, the United States of America, South Africa and Germany.
 
The convention has 315 congregations and about 40,000 members spread throughout the country. It maintains two theological seminaries in the provinces of Luanda and Huambo. 

With the opening of the country following the peace in 2002, it has worked to build its presence in Angola and to stimulate its evangelical impact. Toward this end, the convention launched a project in 2005 called "Movement for the Planting of Churches." This project intended the planting of 1,340 new churches by 2017. 

The realization of this ambitious project depended on the commitment of the leadership, the strengthening of Baptist national identity and on the development of new leaders, including successes in theological and pastoral training.
 
A major deficiency of the churches associated with the Baptist convention is the lack of infrastructure. Contrary to what happened in other parts of the world where North American and European missionaries built and left behind church buildings, schools, hospitals and orphanages, only the First Baptist Church of Luanda possesses a building of historic architectural value. Other important churches function in small buildings without space to expand. This problem is worse in villages and smaller towns where members are forced to meet under the shade of trees or grass roofs. Land for the construction of churches is extremely costly.
 
The Theological Seminary of the Baptist Convention of Angola is located in the city of Huambo. In addition to this theological seminary, the Baptist Convention of Angola, founded in 1942 and located throughout the country, has similar training centers in Luanda, Uíge and Lobito.
Church Spotlight church 



First Institutional Baptist Church (FIBC) aims to become "a discipling fellowship through evangelism and emancipation" with a purpose to "believing and living, going and growing, sharing and caring, as active witnesses of the Kingdom of God on Earth."
 
The "Missions Mania" of the Phoenix, Arizona, USA, congregation includes the planting of churches in India and Africa and the sending of missionaries.
 
Other congregations planted by FIBC include the First Institutional Baptist Church of Soweto, South Africa, which was dedicated in 1993. The founding of the church was done through the Seed Church program established by the Foreign Mission Board of the National Baptist Convention, USA.
 
FIBC is a "sister" church to Calvary Baptist Church in Akividu, Andhra Pradesh, India, which has planted dozens of churches in the surrounding areas.
 
FIBC's Tribe Mentoring program addresses "gaps faced by boys and young men of color ... ensuring that all young people can reach their full potential." The program takes its cue from then United States President Barack Obama's launch of his My Brother's Keeper initiative in 2014.
 
FIBCO Family Services, founded in 1986 by Warren Stewart, FIBC senior pastor, serves the community through "food and clothing distribution, African immigrant and refugee support services, job readiness programming and affordable housing for individuals with disabilities and youth in foster care." It benefits hundreds of individuals and families each week and provides "opportunities for change in the lives of those we serve."
 
Stewart, who served the Baptist World Alliance on various commissions and committees including its Executive Committee, was inducted in April 2015 to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
 
An oil portrait of Stewart hangs in the Martin Luther King (MLK), Jr. International Hall of Honor with those of MLK and Coretta Scott King, as well as those of other notable personalities such as former US President Jimmy Carter, former South Africa President Nelson Mandela and influential African American author, philosopher, theologian, educator, and civil rights leader, Howard Thurman.
 
"Evangelism and Discipleship are our #1 Priority at FIBC," the church declares. "As Jesus Christ called us to go into all the world to teach, preach and live the Gospel through Evangelism and Discipleship, here at FIBC we endeavor to fulfill the Great Commission of our loving and liberating Lord, Jesus Christ."
Memoriam memoriam 

Prominent South African Baptist layman, Bongani Khumalo, 58, died on April 19 and his wife, Matlakala Khumalo, 56, died on April 22, both from natural causes.
 
In 1998, Bongani Khumalo was part of the Transformation Committee of the Baptist Convention of South Africa (BCSA). As chair of the BCSA Constitution Committee, he led in the drafting and passing of the convention's constitution and bylaws and influenced the constitutions adopted by Baptist regional associations affiliated with the BCSA.
 
Khumalo was instrumental in formulating model contracts for churches, pastors, human resource departments and for church properties.
 
His knowledge and expertize in church constitution and contracts led to his appointment as chair of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee of the Baptist World Alliance from 2010-2013. During that time, the BWA made significant constitutional changes.
 
He was also a member of the BWA Executive Committee and the Commission on Human Rights Advocacy.
 
Khumalo served his country in significant capacities. He was a former chair and chief executive officer of the Financial and Fiscal Commission. In this capacity, he made recommendations to Parliament, provincial legislatures, local government and other organs of state on financial and fiscal matters. In December 2016, he was recognized for his contribution by the country's parliament.
 
Between 2007 and 2010, Khumalo was CEO of Boxing South Africa, which administers and regulates professional boxing in the nation.
 
At the time of his passing, he was deputy commissioner of the Human Rights Commission of South Africa.
 
Matlakala Khumalo was ailing for sometime when she died just days after husband's passing.
 
A joint funeral service and burial took place April 27. 

They are survived by an adult son and daughter.
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To Eron Henry, associate director, Communications, Baptist World Alliance, on the death of his mother, Christine Henry, on April 24.

To patsy Davis, former director, BWA Women's Department, on the death of her sister, on April 24. 
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Baptist World Aid Bwaid

The following are disbursements by Baptist World Aid during the month of April. Unless otherwise stated, amounts are in United States currency.

Africa
Zimbabwe                            Food Relief                                       $3,000.00

Asia
India                                  Living Water                                     $1,775.00

Caribbean
Haiti                                  Hurricane Matthew Relief                   $15,000.00

South America
Peru                                  Mudslide and Flood Relief                   $10,000.00
*New BWA Publications* Book

Engaging the Jubilee: Freedom and Justice Papers of the Baptist World Alliance (2010-2015)

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Jesus Christ, the Door: The Official Report of the Twenty-first Baptist World Congress

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About the Baptist World Alliance
The Baptist World Alliance, founded in 1905, is a fellowship of 235 conventions and unions in 122 countries and territories comprising 45 million members in 177,000 churches. Its priorities are nurturing the passion for mission and evangelism; promoting worship, fellowship and unity; responding to people in need; defending human rights and justice; and advancing relevant theological reflection.
 
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