2003: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The commission met in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during the BWA’s Annual Gathering from July 8-11, 2003.

Seoul To Rior_Copa

The SARS epidemic affected travel to Asia and travel generally throughout the world, causing the annual BWA meetings to be switched from Seoul to Rio. As a consequence, the numbers in attendance at the commissions and General Council were down significantly. The Brazilian Baptists were most hospitable. We enjoyed their music and the beauty of the sea and mountains.


In addition to the resources on this site, some other resources that were tabled include:

… The Baptist World Alliance and Inter-Church Relationships by Ken Manley, Baptist Heritage & Identity Booklet No. 1, 2003. This is a 40 page booklet containing the script of the address given by Ken in Seville and is available from the BWA headquarters.

… A paper by Noah Israel, President of the Baptist Association of South Africa entitled Baptist Association of South Africa Centenary 1903-2003.

Commission Programme in Rio

Our meetings had a Latin American colour to them. We had planned (on the recommendation of Tony Cupit) to address the theme of Baptists and Worship. This seemed most appropriate for Seoul and when we transferred our plans to Rio we maintained our commitments to those who were able to attend in Brazil.

Quinn Pugh

On the Tuesday evening 8 July, (our session was three hours), after introductions, Quinn Pugh presented a mono-drama in which he took the role of Dr Truett, a former pastor and President of the Baptist World Alliance. This was good for aiding our understanding of the various dimensions of Truett’s ministry and in conveying something of the presence and influence of the man amid the issues of his time. Read this paper.

de Oliveira

During the second part of this first session we heard an interesting address by Dr Zaqueu Moreira de Oliveira on Principles and Customs of the Baptists: A Historical Perspective With Focus on Brazil. Dr de Oliveira earned his Ph.D in Church History from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and has been the President of the Baptist Theological Seminary in North Brazil from 1994-2002. Read this paper.


On Thursday 10 July, on the basis of the success of last year’s combined session, the Heritage & Identity Commission teamed up with the Ethics Commission. Frank Rees from Melbourne’s Whitley College gave a paper entitled, Baptist Identity: Immersed Through Worship. Read this paper.


On the same program, Nigel Wright from Spurgeon’s College in England spoke on the theme, Body Politics: Baptist Principles and Ethical Formation. Read this paper.


On Friday 11 July we received a paper from Mario Ramos Elgueta on The Baptist Story in Chile. Mario is the President of the Convention of the Baptist Church of the Chilean Mission.
We did make some time to share resources and news from members who were present. We reviewed the format for Rio with three longer sessions. We decided that refreshments and breaks were necessary to relieve tiredness.

Future topics suggested included:

… The future of denominationalism in a post-denominational age

… Baptists and social justice, war and peace, religious liberty. This topic also provoked the thought of a combined session with the Freedom and Justice Commission in Korea.


If there are resources known to you that you would like us to post on the web site, do email these to me. If you have news about Baptists who are working on heritage issues please also let me know.

Web Site

Our web master David Parker would like to receive from us:

… Cameos on Baptist history from different parts of the world including text and simple graphics

… Information about resources in the way of books and conferences. In particular, standard histories of various areas and movements

… Links for interesting web sites

… General ideas to improve the interest in the web site.

Please send them to David at dparker@pacific.net.au

Check out our web site at https://www.bwabaptistheritage.org

Every blessing,

Geoff Pound
Secretary, BWA Baptist Heritage & Identity Commission