This week’s Baptist World Alliance annual gathering lays the groundwork for the 2015 congress in South Africa.

By Bob Allen

About 300 Baptist leaders from around the world are in Santiago, Chile, this week for an annual gathering of the Baptist World Alliance.

In an opening celebration service July 2, BWA President John Upton recalled worldwide Baptist support for Chileans during recent crises like the massive Feb. 27, 2010, earthquake and the mining disaster that trapped 33 miners underground for more than two months, from Aug. 5 until Oct. 13. Upton, executive director of the Baptist General Association of Virginia, expressed the BWA’s joy to be able to come to Chile for its annual gathering of global Baptist leaders July 2-7.

Delivering his entire greeting in Spanish, BWA General Secretary Neville Callam reminded Chilean Baptists they are one part of one family with other Baptist Christians around the world. “We are one Baptist family, brothers and sisters, witnesses for our Lord Jesus Christ,” Callam said.

During business sessions prior to the annual meeting, a committee signed two major contracts in preparation for the 21st Baptist World Congress in Durban, South Africa, in 2015.

Based on reporting by BWA communications.