VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 10/18/18)—The American Baptist Churches USA 2019 Biennial Mission Summit will feature two speakers who are leaders of the Baptist World Alliance. Elijah Brown, general secretary of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA), will speak during the Saturday evening worship service. Ngwedla Paul Msiza, BWA president, will bring the message on Sunday morning.
“Summit by the Sea” is the theme of the June 21-23, 2019 event, to be held in Virginia Beach, Va. American Baptist Churches USA has historically welcomed BWA leaders to its Biennial event, held every two years in different locations throughout the United States.
“The Planning Team is excited to announce two powerful speakers for the event in Virginia Beach. BWA leaders Elijah Brown and Ngwedla Paul Msiza will bring a stimulating worldview to our event and I hope that American Baptist are challenged and inspired as they hear from these two significant Baptist leaders,” said Rev. Dr. Philip James, chair of the Biennial Mission Summit Planning Team.
Elijah Brown, originally from the state of Texas, assumed the position of general secretary of the BWA on January 1, 2018. The general secretary is the CEO of the BWA and has overall responsibilities for the administration and operations of the organization, and is its chief representative to global organizations and institutions, ecclesial and secular, and to governments.
Brown had more than a decade long involvement in the international umbrella organization for Baptists before joining its staff, starting in 2005. In 2007 he was named one of 35 global emerging leaders by the BWA. He is past BWA regional secretary for North America and general secretary for the North American Baptist Fellowship.
Brown was executive vice president of the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, a Christian human rights organization based in Virginia, and was previously associate professor of Religion at East Texas Baptist University where he was founding director of the Freedom Center.
Brown’s specialties lie in human rights and religious liberty. His dissertation focused on issues related to world Christianity, including mission and church growth, peacebuilding and conflict resolution and the interaction of religion and politics.
Ngwedla Paul Msiza is a native of South Africa, born in Mamelodi, a township of Pretoria, the capital city. He was installed on July 25, 2015, as the second African to be president of the BWA. He has been actively involved in the BWA since 1998.
Prior to serving as President, in 2010 he was elected one the 12 Vice-Presidents of BWA. Msiza was president of the All Africa Baptist Fellowship, one of six regional fellowships of the BWA, from 2006-2011 and general secretary of the Baptist Convention of South Africa (BCSA) from 2001-2010. He was the chairperson on the Local Arrangement Committee for the hosting of the 21st Baptist World Congress in 2015, which was hosted in Durban, South Africa.
The fifth child in a family of six, Msiza grew up during the difficult times of the Apartheid in South Africa. Even though he was not connected to the church as a child, he started attending church on his own as teenager and in High School heard the gospel message and accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior.
Msiza was trained at the Hebron Teacher Training College and worked bi-vocationally as a pastor and school teacher from 1988 until he became founding principal of the Baptist Convention College in 1995, from where he left to become BCSA general secretary. He studied at the Baptist Bible Institute, University of South Africa, University of Witwatersrand and Baptist Theological College (BTC). He is currently registered with the University of Pretoria for a Post-graduate program and was recently presented with an Honorary Doctorate in Ministry by the Theological University of Andhra Pradesh, India.
He is the senior pastor of Peniel Salem Baptist Church in Pretoria. He has been married to Sanna Mapula Msiza since 1986 and they have three sons.
In addition to hearing from significant speakers in Baptist life, American Baptists and friends will have an opportunity to take part in an all-new Biennial Academy, with tracks offering continuing education and spiritual growth opportunities for both clergy and lay leaders alike. Academy Tracks will include Social Media, Technology and Ministry; 21st Century Options for Church Planting and Renewal; Transition Ministries Training; Bible Studies; and more.
The 2019 event will also offer opportunities for all ages featuring new events for youth and children, with VBS-style classes available for elementary ages and a new youth track for middle and high school students. Day care will also be offered.
For more information about the event, visit www.americanbaptists2019.com.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.