Three correspondents covered last month’s Baptist World Alliance congress in Stockholm. Roger Palms reported on the central proceedings and color of the congress, Bill Thomas digested major speeches and scouted the Billy Graham rally, and Robert Linder kept an eye on people and events related to eastern Europe. Their coverage was edited into the following single account by News Editor Edward E. Plowman:
Baptists have a worldwide constituency of about 43 million souls. These include around 33.7 million baptized members in churches in 113 countries and twenty-eight offshore dependencies. Last month, 9,600 of them from eighty-four nations got together in high-cost Stockholm for the thirteenth congress of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA). The six-day congress, an event held every five years, turned out to be the largest gathering in the history of the BWA. It was also the largest meeting of its kind in Stockholm’s history. Delegates filled most of the city’s hotels and spilled over into many Swedish homes.
Sessions in St. Erik’s Massan Center were marked by robust singing, high-spirited camaraderie, and an emphasis on Baptist programs and styles that contrasted starkly with pronouncements about ecumenical activity. Speeches, Bible studies, panel discussions, and other platform doings were translated into seven languages and broadcast through earphones. The theme, “New People For a New World Through Jesus Christ,” based on second Corinthians 5:7 (“Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature”), reflected a contemporary awareness of womanhood—thanks to some women who last year succeeded in getting “new men” changed to “new people.”
Major speakers included outgoing BWA president V. Carney Hargroves of Philadelphia and ...1
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