David Coffey, President and Neville Callam, General Secretary of Baptist World Alliance have dedicated on March 20 at Bethany Beyond Jordan a Baptism Centre that will be owened by the Jordanian Baptists. The centre was raised with funding provided by the Jordanian government.
Prince Ghazi Bin Mohammad Tony Blair
The ceremony had as guests of honour, Prince Ghazi Bin Mohammad, the special representative of King Abdullah of Jordan and Tony Blair, former Prime minister of Great Britain and special enjoy of the Quartet for the Middle East.
River Jordan at Bethany Baptism in Jordan
With this occasion, over one hundred Jordanians have been baptised in the Jordan river at the site that was dedicated.
Coffey read special messages for this event from Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, former Presidents of the United States, both Baptists, and the well-known Baptist Pastor Rick Warren, of Saddleback Church in California.
Here is a summary of Tony Blair’s discourse, as reflected in the excellent article written by Michael Ireland for ASSIST News Service:
“When Moses shattered the golden calf and called on the people to worship the one true God, he renewed the idea of faith, removing it from the realm of superstition to the realm of belief.
“When Jesus opened our eyes to the true will of God, he renewed the idea of faith not as legalistic ritual, but as love, love of God and love of our neighbor as ourselves.
“When the Prophet Mohammed took the stone of Ka’aba and made it the place of Hadj, he transformed it from a place of pagan idolatry and transformed it into a testament of submission to God’s will.”
Concluding, Mr. Blair said: “So, in dedicating this site, let us too renew. Renew our faith in our God, in our Lord, and in his message: that true love is not measured in the receiving but the giving; and the giving, not limited by human prejudice but enlarged by the infinite possibility of the love of God.”
It is the first time in history that Baptists feature so prominently in the Jordanian press.
I also attach here a PDF newsletter about this event that I have received from the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development.