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The Executive Committee (EC) of the Baptist World Alliance, which met March 3-4 in Falls Church, Virginia,
considered several matters, some of which are to be brought forward to the General Council (GC) meeting in July in Ede,
The EC approved a resolution brought by the Budget and Finance Committee to reduce the 2009 budget by 29 percent,
in response to a loss of 36 percent in investments suffered by the BWA during 2008.
The investment loss, which occurred as a consequence of the global economic crisis, resulted in a reduction in the level
of reserves held by the BWA, which were built up over the previous four years. Despite the loss suffered on its investments,
the BWA nevertheless experienced an increase in the level of contributions to restricted funds, which are designated for
special uses such as aid, development, mission, evangelism, and training.
In response to the levels of giving to the international Baptist body, BWA General Secretary Neville Callam said, “We
are deeply indebted to the members and partners of the BWA whose commitment to the global Baptist movement was
severely tested. In spite of the difficulties they faced, they rose to the challenge and supported the BWA.”


Several structural changes were considered by the EC. These included the restructuring of the Divisions of Evangelism
& Education and Study & Research. In the document, “Rationalizing the structure for the operation of E&E and S&R,”
it was proposed to the executive that the two divisions be merged into one that would be named the Division on Mission,
Evangelism and Theological Reflection, and that would comprise seven commissions. The new division would reflect
both historical and contemporary concerns of Baptist life, take into account the relevant clusters of commitment that were
affirmed by the BWA, and would have a more direct impact on the ministry of Baptist churches, associations, conventions,
and unions affiliated with the BWA. The matter is to be further discussed and voted on in July in the Netherlands.
The Executive Committee decided that the Division of Mission Advancement, which was introduced in 2005 on a three-
year experimental basis, should be disbanded and that the leaders of its two portfolio areas, Communications and Promotion
and Development, report directly to the General Secretary.
The Constitution and Bylaws Committee presented proposed changes to the BWA bylaws in order to bring the bylaws in
line with constitutional amendments that were voted on by the GC in Prague, Czech Republic, in July 2008. Bylaw changes
include the composition of the EC, the election and roles of vice presidents, and the establishment of an audit committee,
among others.
A report from the BWA Consultation with Regional Leaders proposed that the general secretary of each of the six
regions be made BWA associate secretaries, rather than being regional secretaries, the current designation. The proposal, to
be further discussed in Ede, called for the six regional leaders for Africa, Asia Pacific, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America
and North America to be nonvoting members of the GC.
Several significant announcements were made during the EC meetings. Raimundo César Barreto Jr. of Brazil is being
recommended by the Personnel Committee for the position of Director of the Division of Freedom and Justice (F&J). The
recommendation will be presented for a vote at the next meeting of the GC. If appointed by the GC, Barreto would be the
first person to become director of the F&J Division, which was established on September 1, 2008, following the decision of
the GC in July 2008 to create the newest division of the international Baptist organization.
Leena Lavanya from India was also announced as the 2009 recipient of the Denton and Janice Lotz Human Rights
Award. Lavanya is being recognized for her work among the poor and dispossessed of India. Her “Serve Trust” organization
operates several ministries, including homes for the aged, lepers, and adults and children living with HIV/AIDS, among
other ministry endeavors, such as a computer school aimed at females and poor youth, and a skills training program for
female sex workers and their daughters. The award will be presented to Lavanya during the GC meeting in Ede.

Photos: BWA Consultation with Regional Leaders;
Joanne Hendricks, Accounting Services Manager, was honored upon her retirement after more than 10 years at the BWA;
Raimundo Barreto, who was recommended by the Personnel Committee for the position of Director of the Division of
Freedom and Justice;
Regina Claas, General Secretary of the Union of Evangelical Free Churches in Germany, leads Executive Committee
members in worship.
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