IZMIR, Turkey (ABP, TAB) — South African Ngwedla Paul Msiza has been elected to lead the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) and will succeed American John Upton.
Msiza, 53, is only the second African ever elected to the BWA presidency. The first was Liberian William Tolbert, who held the office from 1971 until his assassination in a military coup in 1980.
Msiza’s election came in voting during the BWA’s six-day Annual Gathering in Izmir, Turkey. Twelve vice presidents also were selected to help oversee BWA.
Msiza, pastor of Peniel-Salem Baptist Church, Pretoria, South Africa, will assume leadership at the conclusion of BWA’s next annual meeting July 2015 in Durban, South Africa.
He is a vice president with the organization and holds degrees from the University of Witwatersrand, the University of South Africa, the Baptist Theological Seminary of Southern Africa and the Baptist Bible Institute.
He was president of the All Africa Baptist Fellowship, one of six BWA regional groups, from 2006 to 2011 and served as general secretary of the Baptist Convention of South Africa from 2001 to 2010.
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