Mexico City — The Baptist General Convention of Missouri has been accepted as a member of the Baptist World Alliance. BWA leaders approved the BGCM's application at a meeting in Mexico City July 3-7.
The Missouri convention, with 125 member churches, joins the Baptist General Convention of Texas and the Baptist General Association of Virginia as state Baptist conventions that have been accepted into BWA since the Southern Baptist Convention withdrew its support of the world body two years ago.
At the time, SBC leaders cited concerns about a drift toward theological liberalism as the convention's reason for leaving the BWA fold, a charge BWA leaders denied.
The BGCM first had to be accepted for membership in the North American Baptist Fellowship, a BWA regional arm. The NABF approved the Missouri convention's application in January.
"I look forward to the opportunities we will have to build relationships and minister with Baptists around the world," noted BGCM president Jim Hill, who attended the Mexico City meeting.
"The BWA's acceptance of the Baptist General Convention of Missouri as a member is an important step in the maturing of our young convention," BGCM president Harlan Spurgeon said. "It speaks eloquently of our commitment to fellowship and partner with fellow Baptists at home and abroad as opportunity allows."
In the past, BGCM congregational health team leader Bob Perry served on the BWA's budget and finance committee. As a participant, Perry said he has seen "the great world mission impact and influence of the millions of Baptists around the world as they speak with one voice on important issues and focus their prayers and gifts on solving international problems." (07-13-06)
(From staff and wire reports)