Down below, the BWA’s General Council met for a final two sessions. Some constitutional and bylaw changes were either enacted or presented for consideration next year, including one that will return the 12 vice-presidents to the Executive Committee.
Representatives from the six world regions gave brief reports on work in their areas, and the council then discussed and approved six resolutions. These included a resolution of appreciation for African-Amercan preacher Gardner C. Taylor, and an affirmation of religious liberty that recalls the 400th anniversary of Thomas Helwys’ tract A Short Declaration of the Mystery of Iniquity, widely regarded as the first document to call for complete religious liberty.
A resolution on global missions celebrated the 200th anniversary of the pioneering work in Asia by Adoniram and Anne Hasseltine Judson and Luther Rice, along with others who followed, while another resolution called for the BWA to endorse a guide for missionary behavior called The Christian Witness in a Multicultural World. The document has previously been endorsed by the World Evangelical Alliance, the World Council of Churches, and the Catholic Church.
A fifth resolution added to previous resolutions in 2008 and 2009, calling for Baptists worldwide to express concern about global climate change, and urge governments, multi-national corporations, and other entities to work toward reducing the impact of climate change. The resolution went so far as to encourage the BWA to reduce the carbon footprint of its meetings.
A final resolution decried recent violence in Nigeria, calling for Baptists to pray for the people there who face religious conflict, and to advocate for peace.
The 2013 Annual Gathering of the BWA will be held July 1-6, 2013, in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, followed by a BWA Youth Conference in Singapore July 17-21.
Professor of Old Testament at Campbell University Divinity School in Buies Creek, North Carolina, and the Contributing Editor and Curriculum Writer at Good Faith Media.