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general secretary of the Baptist Union of Southern Africa and immediate past chair for the Southern Africa sub region of the AABF. Moses Adebayo, fi nance director of the NBC, was elected as treasurer for the AABF. A special assembly is to be held in a country in Central Africa in 2012 to vote on amendments to the region’s constitution. A constitutional review committee is to be formed by the new AABF executive to continue the work on constitutional amendment ahead of the special assembly. The AABF received resolutions requesting that it be constitution- ally mandated that at least one of the AABF vice presidents be female, following on the less than adequate representation by women on the executive; and that the AABF assembly be held every three years instead of every fi ve years. A third resolution called for the adoption of South Sudan as a mission fi eld. This follows on an earlier resolution passed by the BWA in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in July 2011, encouraging Baptist bodies to engage in partnerships with Baptists in the country in order to strengthen Christian witness in South Sudan. South Sudan gained its independence from Sudan last July.

The Importance of Evangelism A key participant in the AABF assembly was BWA General Secretary Neville Callam who, among other things, was keynote speaker at the closing service where he and Msiza installed the new AABF leadership that was elected at the assembly. In an address at one of the meetings earlier in the week, Callam spoke of the BWA’s evangelism emphasis through the Bread of Life program, which is a follow-up on the BWA’s Living Water evangelism emphasis between 2005 and 2010. “The calling to do the work of evangelism is an urgent one,” Callam told the gathering. He hoped the program will help Baptists to clarify their understanding of mission and evangelism, maintain focus on Jesus Christ, and commit to a holistic understanding of ministry through word and deed. It is the church’s responsibility, Callam asserted, “to carry out the Great Commission so that Jesus, the Bread of Life, may nourish and enrich the people of every nation.” In telling and showing the world “the wonders of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,” the church, he said, should be engaged in “feeding the poor, healing the sick, and offering a prophetic critique of those powers and structures that keep people from experiencing life in its fullness.”

Hope Amidst Crisis

Several other speakers spoke to the challenges facing Africa as well as the hope that Africans have. Outgoing AABF President Msiza, in giving the presidential address, acknowledged that Africa faces political instability in a

Left: Worshippers and delegates at the AABF Assembly in Lagos, Nigeria

Right: Paul Msiza of South Africa, immediate past president of the AABF, delivers the presidential address during the AABF Assembly


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