Logsdon Professor Speaks at BWA World Congress

Dr. Robert Sellers, Professor of Theology presents "Neighbors of Other Faiths" to global baptists.


A Logsdon Seminary professor was part of an elite group invited to speak at the 21st Baptist World Alliance World Congress July 22-26 in Durban, South Africa.

Dr. Rob Sellers, Professor of Theology, and Logsdon’s Connally Professor of Missions, spoke on the topic, “Neighbors of Other Faiths,” as part of the World Congress, which was attended by more than 2,500 global Baptists from 80 countries.

“It was extremely exciting,” said Sellers of his experience at the BWA World Congress, which occurs every five years; the 2010 World Congress was in Honolulu. “The meeting was characterized by immense enthusiasm, joy and wonderful color.”

Sellers’ talk centered on answering the question, “How does a church develop positive relationships with congregations in their neighborhood that belong to other faiths?”

“I encouraged those in our forum to get better acquainted with the neighbors of other faiths by doing such things as: 1) tour other houses of worship; 2) respond to hate, violence and conflict with public presence; 3) exchange pulpits with the religious leader of another faith; 4) engage social justice causes; and 5) introduce your congregation to religious practitioners of multiple traditions,” said Sellers, who co-presented with a Maori Baptist from New Zealand. “I also challenged them to improvise and experiment … asking them to strike their camps and move out from among those who might be insular and exclusivist; instead, go intentionally to a new, more hospitable place.”

Currently, BWA brings together 210 Baptist groups representing more than 47 million baptized believers in more than 200 countries. The Alliance is divided into six regional or geographical fellowships; each regional fellowship is served by an executive secretary.

Sellers has been aligned with BWA for more than 15 years, and has served in various capacities, including the Peace and Justice Commission, and Christian/Muslim Interfaith Relations.

Each worship service featured a speaker from one of BWA’s six global regions: Anthony Carroll from the Bahamas, Peter Chin from South Korea, Donald Ndichafah from Cameroon, Dimitrina Oprenova from Bulgaria, Luiz Soares Silvado from Brazil, and Joel Gregory, from Baylor University’s Truett Seminary.

“When you’re part of the World Congress – especially the worship sessions – it is inspiring to be there with Baptist brothers and sisters from all over the world,” said Sellers. “I was energized with the joy of being a global Baptist, and excited to be there as part of a group committed to the priesthood of believers.”

The theme for this year’s World Congress was “Jesus Christ as the Door.” The next World Congress is scheduled for Rio de Janeiro in July of 2020. The joint meeting – combined with the Baptist Youth Congress – will be called, “Celebration 2020.”

Dr. Sellers will also be the featured speaker for this year’s Logsdon Forum on November 16, 2015.

For more information visit www.logsdonseminary.org.


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