Registration for the Baptist World Alliances Centenary Congress has surpassed the 1,000 mark, the BWA announced on Tuesday, November 16, 2004. The Centenary, the BWAs first since its inception in 1905, is expected to draw some 15,000 international Baptists to celebrate their joint heritage with a weeklong gala in Birmingham, England.
The Congress Office in England reports there are already 1,014 paid registrations from thirty six countries, the BWA announced.
According to the report, 623 registered from the United Kingdom, 151 from the United States, 100 from Jamaica, 36 from Australia and 23 from Angola. Representatives from Canada, India, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Uganda, the Cameroon, Benin, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Norway, Italy, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Germany, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Philippines, Myanmar, New Zealand and Bangladesh, have signed on as well.
"I am pleased to see that we have over a thousand registrations from so many countries," says Emmett Dunn, Congress Director. "While it is not very early, as we are only nine months away, we don't usually see these numbers until six months out. It is also encouraging to see so many from very small Baptist Communities trying to get to the Congress. We are still a long way off from our attendance goal of 15,000 but with these numbers, I am confident that we will reach it."
The BWA Centenary Congress marks the 100 year anniversary of the BWAs inception. According to the BWA, there are 32 million Baptist Christians in 200 countries and this quinquennial Congress is a opportunity for as many of those as possible to join together for a life-changing experience.
The following is the list of reasons to attend the congress, as released by the BWA:
Celebrate the news of God's unchanging love,
Worship the living God with heartfelt praise in a variety of styles,
Fellowship as we seek to unite all Baptists worldwide,
Evangelize as we seek to equip the church to reach the lost,
Seek justice as we fight for human rights and religious liberty,
Support mercy ministries, as Baptist World Aid responds to people in need,
Take away a heart and mind full of wonderful memories of people and experiences and a soul challenged to serve God, and
Reaffirm your faith in Jesus Christ, the Living Water who promises us we will never thirst again.