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Published on July 23rd, 2015 | by ABCUSA

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ABC Voices from Durban

Baptist Christians from all around the world‎ have gathered in Durban, South Africa, for the 21st Congress of the Baptist World Alliance. The theme for this Congress is “Jesus Christ, the Door.” Among the attendees and participants in various categories of ministry is a group of American Baptists, who are reflecting in interviews about their time in Durban.

This first interview takes place‎ in the International Convention Centre in downtown Durban. Rev. Dr. Leo Thorne, associate general secretary for Mission Resource Development with ABCUSA, interviews Rev. Dr. Marshall Peters, executive minister of Mid-American Baptist Churches, and his wife, June.bwacongress

Question‎:
When did you arrive in Durban?
Answer:
My wife and I left the United States on Sunday, July 20 and arrived in Durban on Tuesday.

Question:
Is this your first BWA Congress, and why did you choose to attend this one?
Answer:
No, I attended the one in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1975, and I wanted to attend this one because it is the first Congress to be held in Africa, now a free nation since its independence some twenty or so years ago. South Africa is a special nation, and I wanted to experience the effect Nelson Mandela has had on this nation and experience the influence Christ has had on this nation, now liberated from a dark past.

Question:
What has been the greatest impact so far on your being here?
Answer:
It is wonderful to see 105 countries coming together as a global family of Baptists, and to remind myself that we are ‎part of a global family. This is a very important aspect of the BWA.

Question:
And, June,‎ what has made the greatest impact on you so far?
Answer:
I am thrilled by the vitality of these Baptists. I see that Baptists can dance, and that we are all part of the same family.

Question:
What does a gathering like this say to us as American Baptists?
Answer:
It says that we‎ are made up of a fellowship of thousands and that we are partners with all these wonderful people of God in ministry.

Visit the ABCUSA website again in the next few days to see additional “ABC Voices from Durban.” Or, learn more about the 21st Congress of the Baptist World Alliance, here.


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