BROWNWOOD – August 1, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s Dr. Melody Maxwell, assistant professor of Christian studies, and Dr. Derek Hatch, associate professor of Christian studies, presented papers at the annual gathering of the Baptist World Alliance in early July. This year’s gathering, which hosted more than 300 Baptist leaders from dozens of countries, was held in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The Baptist World Alliance is a fellowship of Baptist conventions and unions from around the world. According to the organization’s website, www.bwanet.org, the alliance exists to nurture the passion for mission and evangelism; promote worship, fellowship and unity; respond to people in need; defend human rights and justice; and advance relevant theological reflection.
Dr. Maxwell is a member of the BWA’s Commission on Mission, which includes missiologists, missionaries and church leaders from around the world.
“At this commission’s meeting I presented a paper titled ‘Baptists and the Modern Missionary Movement,’ in which I traced the history, strategies and legacy of nineteenth century Baptist missionaries,” she said. “It was an honor to present and learn at this global gathering.”
Dr. Hatch is a member of the Commission on Doctrine and Christian Unity which involves ministers and scholars in reflection on theological relationships within the Baptist family and between Baptists and other Christian communions. The group was tasked with examining the relationship between Baptists and the saints.
“My paper concerned the possibilities for Baptists to celebrate the lives of the saints in their worship and practice,” he said.
Dr. Donnie Auvenshine, professor of Christian studies and dean of HPU’s School of Christian Studies, said opportunities for faculty members to participate in conversations with Baptists from around the world is beneficial to students.
“Participating in such global conversations not only broadens the minds of our faculty members, but those of their students as well,” he said. “I am pleased with the initiative shown by Drs. Hatch and Maxwell and look forward to seeing them reap the positive results in their classrooms.”