Almost 4,000 Christians from around the world met in Goiania, Brazil, for fellowship, worship, preaching, and learning at the 18th Global Gathering of the World Convention, July 25-28.
Plenary speakers from Brazil, the United States, Australia, Ghana, and Portugal gave challenging lessons focused on the theme of “Sharing the Love that Unites.” Ken Young, along with singers and musicians from the United States and Brazil, led heartfelt praise to God in song. Teachers from eight countries led workshops on the Bible, Christian history, and worldwide ministries.
This was the first gathering to be held in what is called the Global South, after previous meetings in the United States, England, Australia, Canada, Scotland, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Jamaica, and New Zealand. The Gathering was led by World Convention President B.J. Mpofu of Zimbabwe, and organized by Vice President Victor Hugo Queiroz of Brazil. Gary Holloway of Nashville, Tennessee, serves as executive director of the World Convention.
Plans are underway for the next Global Gathering in Seoul, Korea, in 2016.
Meeting since 1930, the World Convention is a quadrennial global gathering of Christians who have a common heritage in the Stone-Campbell tradition, which includes a cappella churches of Christ, the Christian churches/churches of Christ, and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). It is the only entity working to connect all streams of the Stone-Campbell movement worldwide, and also the only one that gives our entire movement a seat at the table with other communions globally.
Churches of this movement are found in 181 countries. According to the World Christian Database, here are the countries with the most adherents (members and children): United States, 3,234,869; Congo DR, 1,052,000; Ghana, 700,000; Zimbabwe, 360,500; Philippines, 324,000; Malawi, 175,900; Nigeria, 171,800; Zambia, 140,400; Kenya, 114,700; Ethiopia, 100,000; South Korea, 84,400; South Africa, 83,400; Australia, 68,800; Brazil, 63,000; Mexico, 58,900; Central African Republic, 55,200; Guatemala, 46,100; Papua New Guinea, 35,300; India, 34,500; and Angola, 26,200.
Here are the movement’s numbers by continent: North America, 3,254,109; Africa, 3,064,860; Asia/Middle East, 490,370; Latin America/Caribbean, 367,290; Oceania/Australia/New Zealand, 124,120; Europe, 72,770.
The World Convention’s website is www.worldconvention.org.