A Storied History

The Inaugural Meeting of the first Baptist World Congress was held at Exeter Hall on Tuesday, July 11, 1905. His Honour Judge Willis, K.C., President of the Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland, occupied the chair, and the hall was crowded with the delegates, numbering nearly 3,000.

The meeting opened with the hymn:
“From distance climes, from every land,
Behold us, Lord, before thee stand.”

The quinquennial global gatherings of the Baptist World Alliance have continued for more than a century. World conflicts made it impossible to hold to a strict five-year plan, but the BWA has held 22 Congresses since 1905.

This includes the most recent Congress, the 22nd Baptist World Congress held virtually for the first time in 2021 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. 1905

    London, England

  2. 1911

    Philadelphia, PA (USA)

  3. 1923

    Stockholm, Sweden

  4. 1928

    Toronto, Canada

  5. 1934

    Berlin, Germany

  6. 1939

    Atlanta, Georgia (USA)

  7. 1947

    Copenhagen, Denmark

  8. 1950

    Cleaveland, Ohio (USA)

  9. 1955

    London, England

  10. 1960

    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  11. 1965

    Miami Beach, FL (USA)

  12. 1970

    Tokyo, Japan

  13. 1975

    Stockholm, Sweden

    Billy Graham Preaching in Sweden, BWA Congress Stockholm, Sweden
    Billy Graham is pictured preaching at an open-air rally to a crowd of 30,000 – a powerful conclusion to the 1975 Baptist World Congress in Stockholm, Sweden.

  14. 1980

    Toronto, Canada

  15. 1985

    Los Angeles, California (USA)

  16. 1990

    Seoul, South Korea

    Seoul Covenant BWA Congress 1990
    In 1990, the BWA adopted the Seoul Covenant, which launched a decade of intentional evangelistic efforts with the goal for all people to hear about Christ in their own language

  17. 1995

    Buenos Aires, Argentina

  18. 2000

    Melbourne, Australia

  19. 2005

    Birmingham, England

    BWA Congress Birmingham Congress 2005

  20. 2010

    Honolulu, Hawaii (USA)

    BWA Congress Honolulu 2010

  21. 2015

    Durban, South Africa

    BWA Congress Durban 2015