A three-year dialogue seeks closer ties between two groups that combined represent about one fifth of the world’s Christians.

By Bob Allen

Formal dialogue between Baptists and Pentecostals scheduled this week has been postponed due to unexpected personnel changes at the venue and the unavailability of some participants, leaders of both groups announced Aug. 8.

Last December a preparatory meeting took place at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., to establish the parameters for dialogue and schedule the first round of meetings between the Baptist World Alliance and Pentecostal World Fellowship Aug. 4-11 in Quito, Ecuador.

This week, however, BWA General Secretary Neville Callam and Cecil Robeck of the Pentecostals released a joint statement saying the meeting is off and in the process of being rescheduled.

The dialogue is scheduled to last three years, culminating with recommendations about pursuing closer ties between two faith groups that together represent about one fifth of the world’s Christians.