Gathering Global Baptists for More Than 100 Years

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 Alliance have continued for more than a century. World conflicts made it impossible to hold to a strict five-year plan, but BWA has held 21 Congresses since 1905.


Past Congress Locations

1905 London, England

1911  Philadelphia, PA (USA)

1923  Stockholm, Sweden

1928 Toronto, Canada

1934  Berlin, Germany

1939  Atlanta, Georgia (USA)

1947  Copenhagen, Denmark

1950  Cleveland, Ohio (USA)

1955  London, England

1960  Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

1965  Miami Beach, FL (USA)

1970  Tokyo, Japan

1975 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.

1980  Toronto, Canada


1985  Los Angeles, California (USA)


1990  Seoul, South Korea

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

1995  Buenos Aires, Argentina


2000  Melbourne, Australia


2005  Birmingham, England

2010  Honolulu, Hawaii (USA)

2015  Durban, South Africa

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the 22nd Baptist World Congress originally scheduled to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2020 has been rescheduled to a virtual event on July 7-10, 2021.