African-American leaders are positioned to take a leading role in the future of world evangelism at the upcoming Lausanne III Congress on World Evangelization, an historic and unique gathering of evangelical and other mission-minded believers, to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, 16-25 October 2010.
Over forty African-American delegates, among more than four hundred from the USA and over four thousand worldwide, will come together to advance the gospel of Christ throughout the world, continuing the historical pioneering influence in missions among African-Americans. Consider:
- The first missionary from the United States was African-American.
- The black believers and their churches have engaged in world missions for hundreds of years.
- Communities around the world are waiting and calling for African-American believers to emerge and come share with them the gospel of Jesus Christ.
At Lausanne III: Cape Town 2010, African-Americans will convene with other African-descended leaders from the continent and the diaspora. Led by the Holy Spirit, they will reconcile, fellowship, unite, pray, and strategize on how best to reach African-descended people and the whole world with the gospel of Christ.
“Just as the Church at Antioch sent forth black prophets and teachers to evangelize Asia Minor and Europe in the first century of the Church, the Holy Spirit is renewing his thrust to engage modern day black leaders and congregants to spread the gospel and impact missions worldwide,” said Rev. Dr. Walter McCray, president of the National Black Evangelical Association and author of the Black Presence in the Bible.
In 2007, the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization (LCWE) assembled in Budapest 360 of the world’s top evangelical leaders, representing more than 60 countries, to begin praying, planning, and working together in preparation for Lausanne III in South Africa. Steve Woodworth, chairman of the Lausanne Communications Working Group, said at that time, “This is the first real opportunity for international input into the planning process for Lausanne III: Cape Town 2010. Perhaps the most significant outcome of the meetings so far has been the overwhelming sense of unity.”
Donovan Case, president of International Christian Ministries, was also in attendance at that initial meeting. “In Budapest, I was impacted by the range of speakers from a global perspective and anticipate more of the same in Cape Town,” he said.
As Rev. Case recalls, there were a limited number of African-Americans in Budapest, but he is encouraged that God is moving upon the hearts of men and women of all colors as universal unity and reconciliation is taking place within the Body of Christ and that a multitude of people groups, including African-Americans, will be central figures in Cape Town 2010. The number of African-Americans is steadily increasing, as Case is working with LCWE executive chairman Doug Birdsall to pave the way for other leaders to be in attendance, on the platform and taking a key role in the discussions of world missions and evangelism.
In addition to McCray and Case, the forty African-American mission-minded leaders planning to attend the historic Cape Town Congress include:
- Sabrina D. Black, president of Global Projects for Hope, Help and Healing
- Carl Ellis, president of Project Joseph
- Tom Fortson, president of Transformed Men
- Paula Fuller, vice president and director of multiethnic ministries of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
- Russ Knight, president of the Chicago Urban Reconciliation Enterprise
- Glen Mason, executive director of Carver International Missions
- Brian Johnson, national coordinator of Cooperative Missions Network of the African Disaspora
- Michelle Lloyd-Paige, dean for multicultural affairs at Calvin College
- Bishop George McKinney, presiding prelate of St. Stephens Church of God in Christ (COGIC)
African-American church leaders, congregants, and communities are preparing to get involved in mass numbers in Lausanne III: Cape Town 2010, which is fast approaching. You can join the excitement and be a part of this great occasion of our generation by praying, spreading the word, and visiting www.capetown2010.com.
Upon their return to America, the African-American delegation will host another world event, the 2011 African-American Evangelization Summit, to be held next spring. This gathering will serve as a catalyst for the clarion call to a Spirit-led movement through which all black church bodies, Christian organizations, and believers can join together. They will learn the history of African-Americans in missions, reclaim their missions-heritage, renew their fires for bringing salvation to lost souls, and spearhead holistic evangelization efforts in their communities, across the nation, and around the world.
To learn more about Lausanne and become involved, go to www.lausanne.org. To join in and add your voice to the global conversation addressing a wide range of issues such as religious pluralism, ethnic conflict, urbanization, and the human future, go to www.lausanne.org/conversation. During the Congress, evangelicals may also gather at official GlobaLink sites across sixty-eight nations to watch broadcasts of key addresses and share their reflections with others around the world. To host a site, go to www.lausanne.org/globalink.