August 10, 2009

New BWA President and Vice Presidents Nominated

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

John Upton, executive director of the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) in the United States, has been nominated to be president of the Baptist World Alliance.

The next Baptist World Congress, to be held in Hawaii in 2010, will vote on the General Council's nomination. If elected, Upton will be president of the BWA from 2010-2015, succeeding David Coffey of Britain, who was elected during the Centennial Congress held in Birmingham, England, in 2005.

Upton has had a long association with the BWA, and has served on the two governing bodies of the international Baptist organization, the General Council and the Executive Committee. He is currently chair of the Congress Program Committee, which assists in planning the 20th Baptist World Congress to be held at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu from July 28-August 1, 2010. In addition, Upton has served on the Baptist World Aid Committee, the Commission on Christian Ethics, and the Executive Committee of the North American Baptist Fellowship, one of six regional fellowships of the BWA.

The president-elect attended the Baptist-affiliated Averett College (now Averett University) in Danville, Virginia, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, in the USA, and the Taiwan Language Institute. He received a Doctor of Divinity degree from the International Baptist Theological Seminary in Kerrala, India.

Twelve persons were also chosen by the General Council as nominees for vice presidents, after recommendation by the Officers Search Committee. The 12, two selected from each of the six regions of the BWA, will be voted on at the Congress in Hawaii.

The nominees for vice presidents are Daniel Carro of Argentina and Joel Alberto Sierra Cavazos from Mexico; Harry Gardner of Canada and William Epps from the United States; Olu Menjay of Liberia and Paul Msiza from South Africa; Victor Manuel Gonzalez Grillo from Cuba and Burchell Taylor from Jamaica; Regina Claas of Germany and Nabil Costa of Lebanon; and John Kok of Malaysia and Ross Clifford of Australia. Carro, an Argentinean living in the USA, was nominated to be BWA first vice president.

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