Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Jamaican Baptist nominated for top BWA post

[Photo: Neville Callam speaking at the BWA Centenary Congress in Birmingham, England.]

Baptist World Alliance nominates new General Secretary

[UPDATE (03/08): Ethics Daily notes that if Callam is elected at the BWA General Council meeting in July, he would become the first non-white general secretary of the 102-year-old worldwide fellowship of Baptist conventions and unions.]

[See the original story here.] Neville Callam, a Jamaican pastor, theologian, author, media manager and educator, has been nominated to succeed Denton Lotz as General Secretary of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA). Lotz retires in December 2007.

Callam has had a long history of involvement in the BWA beginning in 1985. He served the international body as vice president from 2000 to 2005, and sits on its influential Implementation Task Force, which has the mandate to make recommended structural and other changes to the BWA. In addition, he has been a member of the Executive Committee and the General Council.

The Harvard graduate and Christian Ethics specialist has also served the BWA on its Academic and Theological Education Workgroup, Christian Ethics Commission, Division of Evangelism and Education Executive Committee, Division of Study and Research Executive Committee and the Membership Committee, among other committees, commissions and workgroups.

In the Caribbean, he served as president of the Jamaica Baptist Union (JBU) between 1985 and 1987, and from 2000 to 2002. He has held every senior position in the Jamaican convention, including vice president, general treasurer, and acting general secretary, and has given unbroken service on its Executive Committee since 1980. He is a former vice president of the Caribbean Baptist Fellowship, one of six continental federations that make up the BWA.

Callam holds several senior positions in media in Jamaica. He is chairman of the board of management and former general manager of The Breath of Change, a Christian radio station he founded, and is chairman of the board of the Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica, a public statutory organization. He is also a founding director of the National Religious Media Company of Jamaica, the largest religious radio and television broadcasting company in the country. Callam formerly chaired the Media Commission of the JBU which is responsible for the denomination’s radio and publication ministries.

A sought-after lecturer and teacher, Callam has taught at the United Theological College of the West Indies, Jamaica Theological Seminary, the Caribbean Graduate School of Theology, and as visiting lecturer at the Barbados Baptist College. He sits on the University Council of Jamaica, the major accreditation body for colleges and universities on the island.

The author of five books has written for several journals and has made presentations at numerous conferences, workshops, symposia and fora internationally, including in Spain, Mexico, Ireland, France, Thailand, South Africa, Malaysia, Germany, and other countries. He was one of the leading presenters at the BWA Centenary Congress held in Birmingham, England, in 2005.

In speaking of his commitment to the Christian gospel, Callam said, “Living for Jesus is what my life is about. My calling is to serve the cause of Christ. I have had reason to be very thankful for my Baptist heritage, which I celebrate.”

Callam has been an ordained Baptist pastor since 1977 and currently serves as senior pastor of the Tarrant Baptist Church in Kingston, Jamaica’s capital. He holds degrees from the University of the West Indies and Harvard Divinity School. He and wife, Dulcie, are the parents of two adult children.

Callam’s name is forwarded for the position of General Secretary after a long and exhaustive international search conducted by the Search Committee, chaired by John Sundquist. The committee consists of representatives from all six continental federations of the BWA, in addition to the core members of the Personnel Committee.

The process began with an invitation extended at the July 2006 General Council meeting in Mexico City for Baptists all over the world to submit nominations. After the time period for nominations closed October 31, 2006, the search committee engaged in a series of meetings and interviews that culminated with the recommendation of Neville Callam.

Search committee chairman Sundquist said that “In reviewing the documents and references and after the interviews, it is clear that Neville Callam is the kind of ecclesiastical and Christian statesman that we can have pride in.

"It is wonderful to meet someone whose biblical and theological grounding is not only deep, but whose life is such that his relationship with Christ and commitment to the church is so obvious."

The vote for General Secretary will take place during the BWA General Council meeting in Accra, Ghana, in July of this year.



At Wednesday, March 7, 2007 at 7:05:00 PM EST , Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White said...

Thanks for this tip, Daniel. I will pass this on for my church's blog, Life at Jeff Street.

At Wednesday, March 7, 2007 at 7:12:00 PM EST , Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White said...

I hate it that the BWA General Council meeting always seems to overlap with BPFNA's peace camp.

At Wednesday, March 7, 2007 at 10:20:00 PM EST , Blogger haitianministries said...

Glad you found this to be helpful. I don't normally pay too much attention to the BWA schedule, so I hadn't noticed the overlap w/Peace Camp.


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