Baptist World Alliance leader visits Winston-Salem church

Baptist World Alliance leader visits Winston-Salem church
November 02
06:00 2017

The Rev. Dr. Ngwedla Paul Msiza, a native of South Africa, and president of the Baptist World Alliance and the leader of the Baptist world, including Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and Eastern Europe, and USA, was the guest of the Emmanuel Baptist Church, where the Rev. Dr. John Mendez is the pastor.

The Baptist World Alliance is a worldwide fellowship of Baptist churches and organizations, formed in 1905 at Exeter Hall in London during the first Baptist World Congress. The organization consists of over 42 million Baptist Christians, making it the largest fellowship of Baptist churches in the world.

Dr. Msiza was elected president of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) by the General Council, which convened during its Annual Gathering in Izmir, Turkey in July 2015. President Msiza, 53, is the second African elected to the BWA presidency. William Tolbert of Liberia was BWA president from 1965-1970. Tolbert also served as president of his country until his assassination during a military coup in 1980.

President Msiza has also served as president of the All Africa Baptist Fellowship, one of six regional fellowships of the BWA, and general secretary of the Baptist Convention of South Africa. Dr. Mendez served as guest preacher for a weeklong conference of the Baptist Convention of South Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa, accompanied by Dr. Alton Pollard, who lectured, and Frankie Jones, who also was a part of the delegation. The BWA Congress generally convenes every five years. It is the largest international gathering for Baptists. The next Congress will be in Brazil in 2020.

Emmanuel held a special reception for President Msiza on Saturday evening, Oct. 28, which was attended by other Baptist pastors such as Rev. Dennis Leach of Morning Star, Dr. Frankie Jones, and others.

President Msiza thanked Emmanuel for receiving him and supporting the BWA over many years. President Msiza acknowledged and thanked Dr. Mendez for his work on the Human Rights Commission of the BWA for continuing to push the issues that must be addressed.

On Oct 29, President Msiza preached during the 10 a.m. worship service where he talked about, “Christ as the Door.” His sermon was focused on Christ as the Good Shepherd who knows his sheep and whose sheep know him and recognize his voice.

He said it is important that the church have a spirit of discernment to distinguish between false prophets who are wolves in sheep clothing that come to hurt the sheep and real shepherds who care for the sheep. He also talked about the need to recognize the humanity of all people.  He used the word, Ubuntu, a term introduced by Bishop Desmond Tutu that means in essence, “I am because we are.”

“We see ourselves in each other. We must resist racism, sexism, and classism because it violates our humanity.  In Christ, who was the most human among us, our humanity is redeemed so we can be human toward ourselves and each other.”  President Msiza left Emmanuel and friends encouraged to continue in its ministry of social justice and salvation.

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