Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) executive John Upton’s nomination to become the next Baptist World Alliance (BWA) president speaks well of this gifted leader and Virginia Baptists.

Upton (left, in photo with British Baptist and current BWA president David Coffee) is a strategic thinker with a global perspective. The Uptons were formerly Southern Baptist missionaries to Taiwan.

As the world gets smaller while remaining complex, the work of BWA is increasingly important. It is both a laboratory of learning across cultures and a network for assisting those across the globe who face difficulties from war, natural disasters and religious persecution.

Pulling out of the BWA a few years ago was one of the Southern Baptist Convention’s most tragic self-inflicted wounds among multiple shots. But with 216 member bodies with tremendous diversity in size, culture, language and religious practice, this worldwide fellowship provides a wonderful voluntary connection for those who share Baptist commitments to individual and congregational freedom.

Upton’s nomination to a five-year term as president will occur next summer at the BWA World Congress in Honolulu. For more info on that gathering, the relief efforts of BWAid and all the wonderful work of BWA visit

[Photo by Tony Cartledge.]

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