Baptists gather in historic city in Turkey
Washington, DC (BWA)–More than 300 Baptist leaders, pastors, theologians, seminary presidents, professors and interested Baptists from around the world are traveling to Turkey for worship, fellowship, study and decision meetings.
The Annual Gathering will take place in Izmir, known biblically as Smyrna, from July 6-12 and will include meetings of the General Council and Executive Committee, two governance bodies of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA).
Important highlights include the election of a new president for the BWA, along with 12 vice presidents, who will serve the BWA from 2015-2020.
The 2014 Denton and Janice Lotz Human Rights Award will be presented to Ilie Coada of Moldova for his work in fighting human trafficking and sex slavery in his country.
In addition to a broad range of committee meetings, commissions will host presentations on a wide array of subjects in theology, mission and evangelism such as theological education, church planting, Baptist identity and Baptist preaching.
Justice issues related to human rights, religious freedom, social oppression, poverty, gender, the environment and other areas of concern will also be explored.
Participants will tour the ruins of Ephesus, an important city in Early Christianity. Ephesus and other biblical cities such as Laodicea and Colossae are in modern western Turkey, usually referred in the New Testament as Asia or Asia Minor. The Apostle Paul spent at least two years in Ephesus, as recorded in the book of Acts. Ephesus was the capital of Asia Minor when the book of Revelation was written and the church in that city was, along with Izmir (Smyrna), two of seven to which Revelation was addressed.
After the gathering, some participants will go on additional tours to biblical sites in Turkey and Greece.
The Baptist World Alliance is a fellowship of 228 conventions and unions in 121 countries and territories comprising 42 million members in 177,000 churches. Its priorities are nurturing the passion for mission and evangelism, promoting worship, fellowship and unity, responding to people in need, defending human rights and justice and advancing relevant theological reflection.
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