Ethics luncheon attendees will get an early preview of a new documentary – an untold story – about missionaries during a time of genocide in Nigeria in 1966.

Based on interviews with missionaries and missionary children who witnessed the atrocities, hundreds of unpublished photographs and scores of long-forgotten documents, the documentary pieces together what is one of the most compelling stories of the mission enterprise of the 20th century.

Documentary interviewee Professor Godfrey Uzoigwe, a genocide scholar, said, “What happened in Nigeria was worse than what happened in Rwanda.”

Most of our readers have an understanding of what happened in Rwanda. The Academy Award-nominated movie, “Hotel Rwanda,” captured the horror and desperation of the genocide that happened in that East African nation in 1994.

A number of documentaries and international trials kept Rwanda in the spotlight.

But only a few of our readers have an awareness of what happened in Nigeria. And almost no one recalls what missionaries did.

Reporters didn’t write about it. Scholars mostly skipped over it. Mission agencies spoke cryptically. Missionaries said almost nothing publicly about what happened – until now.

Even as one who lived in Nigeria as a child during these days, having read family correspondence and studied that nation’s history, I had no idea how many initiatives were taken to rescue, hide, smuggle, transport, intervene and care for the targeted ethnic group.

It’s a story of tragedy and triumph.

The luncheon will also recognize’s 2014 Baptist of the Year: Don Sewell.

Sewell is representative of how a number of goodwill Baptists have responded to the swelling refugee crises and the devastating disease of Ebola.

He and Baylor Scott and White Health’s Faith in Action Initiatives are examples of Christian faith in action.

The Baptist Center for Ethics’ annual ethics luncheon during the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s General Assembly on June 18 will be held at the headquarters of the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT).

We are grateful for the invitation and hospitality of Texas Baptists.

At press time, luncheon reservations were closed due to limited seating.

Parties interested in attending the luncheon may check with’s managing editor Zach Dawes about the availability of seating at the meal and on the motor coach that will transport attendees from the Dallas Hyatt Regency Hotel to the BGCT offices.

Robert Parham is executive editor of and executive director of its parent organization, the Baptist Center for Ethics. Follow him on Twitter at RobertParham1 and friend him on Facebook.

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