March 24, 2009

More than 120 Baptists Baptized in Jordan

Eron Henry, Associate Director of Communications
Neville Callam, General Secretary
Baptist World Alliance

More than 120 persons were baptized in the Jordan River on Friday, March 20, by pastors from the Jordan Baptist Convention.

The baptism was the culmination of an afternoon of celebration in which the Baptism Center at Bethany beyond Jordan was dedicated for use by Baptists and other evangelical Christians.

Baptist World Alliance (BWA) General Secretary Neville Callam, who gave the main address, said, “Today, as we assemble by the Jordan … we unite to mark the opening and dedication of this Baptism Center – a place where people from all parts of the world may assemble for a journey and an experience.”

The BWA leader expressed the hope that “the waters of the Jordan extinguish the crippling fires of hopelessness that burn in the hearts of those who have no knowledge of God.”

Also speaking at the dedication ceremony was former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Blair, who established a faith foundation upon demitting office as British Prime Minister, commended King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein and Prince Ghazi Bin Mohammed for exhibiting courage in the inauguration of the Baptism Center . The Center joins buildings of other churches, including the Orthodox Church, which have recently been constructed on the official Baptism Site of Jesus Christ. Blair stated, “In dedicating this site, let us renew our faith in our God, our Lord, and in His message.”

BWA President David Coffey and Fawaz Ameish, Jordan Baptist Convention president and BWA vice president, expressed gratitude to King Abdullah and Prince Ghazi for facilitating the construction and dedication of the center.

An estimated 1,700 persons attended the dedication and opening ceremony.

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