American Baptists attend BWA Annual Gathering

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American Baptists attend BWA Annual Gathering

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 7/7/11)—A group of American Baptists, many with leadership positions, are attending the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) meetings in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from July 4-9, 2011.

“We are part of a global fellowship, and we need to learn from and be encouraged by our Baptist brothers and sisters worldwide,” said Roy Medley, general secretary of American Baptist churches USA (ABCUSA).

Among those attending from ABCUSA are:

  • Denton Lotz, former General Secretary of BWA and an American Baptist pastor
  • Mary Hulst, past president, ABCUSA
  • Jeffrey Haggray, Kent Berghuis, Charles Wallace Smith, and Amy Butler, American Baptist pastors
  • Reid Trulson, executive director of International Ministries
  • Lauran Bethell and Dan Buttry, missionaries with International Ministries
  • Yvonne Martinez Thorne
  • Roy Medley and Leo Thorne, general secretary and associate general secretary, ABCUSA

Medley serves on the Executive Committee of the BWA, and Thorne is a member of the Commission of Doctrine and Church Unity. Additionally, Thorne also led a workshop on “Using Audio Visual Media for More Effective Communication” for the Asia Pacific Baptist convention.

In a press release from the BWA, it was noted that, “Approximately 480 guests turned up at the Berjaya Hotel and Convention Center in Kuala Lumpur to the welcome dinner of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) Annual Gathering.

“The dinner was a gift offered by Malaysian Baptists, and included performances by children from the Kuala Lumpur Baptist Church and Baptist Christians who belong to indigenous tribes in Malaysia.”

“What a wonderful land this country of Malaysia is,” said BWA President John Upton. “We will carry you in our hearts and prayers. We assure you that, as always, you are not alone. We are proud to be your brothers and sisters.”

The release stated, “[The BWA Annual Gathering] involves yearly meetings of a number of BWA groups, including the General Council and the Executive Committee; executive sub-committees and divisional advisory committees; women’s, men’s, and youth departments; regional groupings; and commissions of the divisions of Freedom & Justice, and Mission, Evangelism & Theological Reflection, and others.”

Persons may view updates of the meetings on the BWA website at, as well as follow the meetings on Twitter, Facebook and Flickr.
American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with 5,500 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.