Held in Ndola, Zambia, February 10-15, 2020
PREAMBLE: The annual Executive and General Council meetings of AABF was held at the Zambia Baptist Association headquarters, Ndola, Zambia with the theme “Go and make disciples” (Matthew 28.19).
The meeting was presided by the President, Dr. Ernest Adu-Gyamfi and attended by Executive members, Regional Chairmen, Department heads, Convention leaders and delegation of American Baptist Churches International Ministries led by Karen Smith (Africa Area Director) and Jim Bell (Associate Executive Director), the General Secretary, Dr. Duro Ayanrinola coordinated the secretariat.
This year, the meeting received an august visitor/participant in the person of the General Secretary of the BWA, Dr. Elijah Brown. Dr. Leslie Holon, Senior Pastor Trinity Baptist Church, San Antonio, Texas, and Bro. Gbile Akanni from Peace House, Nigeria led our thoughts on the theme.
The meeting received the following:
a) Presidential address
b) General Secretary’s report
c) BWA General Secretary’s good will message/ challenge
d) Greetings from the three Baptist bodies in Zambia
e) Report from regions, departments and annual financial report
f) Several lectures / Presentations and revival services
These activities threw up the following 12-point resolutions:-
1. On the visit of the General Secretary of the BWA, Dr. Elijah Brown
Resolution: Council appreciates his visit, his message of hope and support. Council commends him for providing inspirational leadership for the Baptist Family worldwide and recommits to supporting him in this great task.
2. On the visit and partnership of the International Ministries’ team
Resolution: Council once again reiterates its appreciation to the ministry for its work in Africa and solicits for greater partnership. Council congratulates Karen Smith on her appointment as Area Director for Africa and pledges its continued support.
3. On the goodwill messages / report of activities from the three Unions/ conventions in Zambia
Resolution: Council commends them for the progress they have made individually especially in coming together to host this year’s meetings. Council encourages them to close ranks and work more closely to make more gains for Baptist work in Zambia.
4. On the Presidential address by Dr. Ernest Adu Gyamfi and General Secretary’s report as presented by Dr. Duro Ayanrinola
Resolution: Council resolves as follows:
To put in place mechanisms for succession and seamless transition in the AABF.
Council commends the various workshops put in place by the leadership for capacity building and ecumenical synergy. Council encourages sustenance of these noble initiatives.
Council resolves to encourage our various Unions/ Conventions to take advantage of the Success Training Institute Program (see page 10 of programme booklet)
Council resolves to put in place a deliberate plan of action/policy to develop young people and integrate them into the main stream of AABF and its member bodies
5. On the 2020 BWA Congress in Rio BRAZIL
Resolution: Council resolves to appreciate Unions / Conventions whose delegates have registered and encourages others to do likewise. Council also notes that this congress will see the exit of Rev. Paul MSIZA as President of BWA. Council resolves to support/honor him with our full participation and to formally congratulate him for a successful tenure. Council also congratulates the two outgoing Vice Presidents from Africa , Dr Ernest Adu-Gyamfi and Dr Michael Okwakol on their successful completion of office. Council equally resolves to congratulate the two incoming Vice Presidents from Africa, Dr. Supo Ayokunle from Nigeria and Elijah Wanje from Kenya as they assume office in Rio, Brazil. Council commits to support them and Incoming President, Dr. Thomas Mackey.
6. On the establishment of new Conventions in Equatorial Guinea, Sudan and Niger Republic
Resolution: Council notes with joy the establishment of these new Conventions and their desire to be part of AABF and BWA. Council welcomes them with open arms and resolves to visit and encourage them in their efforts.
7. On Boko Haram activities and General insecurity in Africa
Resolution: Council frowns at the reports of kidnappings and killings across Africa especially the attack on the church and its members and resolves as follows: Council will use all means to draw the attention of governments of these countries and the international community through the AU, UN, and BWA to rise up and take decisive actions against these negative activities. Council equally calls on all member bodies of AABF to intensify prayers and advocacy programs to deal with this evil in the land.
8. On funding of AABF and BWA
Resolution: Council expresses disappointment and displeasure over non remittance of dues by member bodies and organizations. Council resolves to increase the minimum yearly amount payable by Unions/Conventions to 500 USD annually against 300 USD. Council also encourages all Unions /Conventions to pay a minimum of 100 USD annually to the BWA.
9. On the next Continental Congress of the AABF in 2021
Resolution: After receiving the report of its adhoc committee on the initial plans for the Congress, Council resolves to hold the General Assembly/transition/handover Congress from November 21-27, 2021 at Shepherdhill Baptist Church, Obanikoro Lagos, Nigeria with the theme: Experiencing God’s Kingdom, Power and Glory.
10. On the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus epidemic
Resolution: Council expresses grave concern on this development in China and now across the globe. Council stands in solidarity with the Baptist churches in Hong Kong whose ministry has been adversely affected by this epidemic. Council pledges to continue our prayer support for them and convey our message of solidarity. Council further commiserates with families of victims and commends measures put in place by governments and non-government actors and calls for greater effort to arrest its spread. Council also calls on governments to respect the rights and protect the dignity of the citizens in its attempt to deal with the epidemic.
11. On global peace and security
Resolution: Council is concerned with the rising tensions in various parts of the globe. Council stands in solidarity with people in war torn countries of the world. Council stands in prayers and solidarity with Christians especially the Baptist family in Syria and other troubled spots in the world. Council recommits itself to prayers, advocacy and possible relief support to these troubled spots.
12. On the hosting of the 2020 Executive and General Council meetings in Ndola, Zambia
Resolution: Council notes with joy the excellent hosting arrangements put in place by the Zambia Baptist Family. Council equally notes with appreciation the solidarity of the government and people of Zambia led by President Edgar Lungu. Council consequently resolves to do a formal appreciation to the 3 Unions / Conventions in Zambia and His Excellency President Edgar Lungu and the city authorities in Ndola, Zambia. Council further resolves to stand in the gap with prayers for the government and people of this great nation.
These resolutions are made and adopted here this 14th day of February 2020 in Ndola, Zambia.
Dr. Ernest Adu-Gyamfi Dr. Duro Ayanrinola
President General Secretary