More than 50 nations were represented in Vancouver during the Baptist World Alliance’s 2016 annual gathering held last week.

Baptist leaders from Australia, Fiji, Liberia and the United States spoke with on camera about keys to successful ministry as well as events and issues facing their nations.

A strong Australian Baptist contingent came to Vancouver, including Bill Brown, longtime senior pastor of Syndal Baptist Church and national chair of Australian Baptist Ministries.

Drawing on his 40 years of ministry in the same congregation, Brown shared tips for “staying fresh over the long-haul” as well as seven practices he uses to stay encouraged in his calling.

Fine Ditoka, a consultant for the Fiji Baptist Convention, shared how February 2016’s Cyclone Winston had devastated her nation, how Baptists had organized to provide aid, and how it was connected to global warming.

Liberia was represented by Olu Q. Menjay, president of the Liberia Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention. He spoke about Baptists pushing back against an initiative to pass legislation making Christianity the nation’s official religion.

Sam Tolbert, the longtime pastor of St. Mary’s Missionary Baptist Church in St. Charles, Louisiana, and the newly elected president of the North American Baptist Fellowship (one of the six BWA member unions), was among the U.S. folks present.

Tolbert shared his vision for the NABF and emphasized the need for ongoing conversations about improving Baptist-Muslim relationships in light of increased tensions in the U.S.

Five news stories written by Brian Kaylor, contributing editor at, about the gathering are available here.

Pictures from the event can be viewed on the Facebook page and Pinterest page.

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