Campbellsville University to Host President of Baptist World Alliance in Baptist Heritage Series

By Ashley Sidebottom, staff writer

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky.—The next installment of Campbellsville University’s Baptist Heritage Series will feature Dr. David Coffey, president of the Baptist World Alliance.

Coffey will speak during the university’s Chapel/Convocation service at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 25, in the Ransdell Chapel.

Following his presentation, Coffey with attend a luncheon with local pastors and community leaders, and at 2 p.m. will conduct a television interview with John Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president at CU, for Chowning’s program “Dialogue on Public Issues.”

“We are pleased to be hosting Dr. David Coffey,” said Chowning. “Since his selection to serve as the head of the BWA for this five year period, Dr. Coffey has traveled extensively throughout the world and has encouraged Baptist Christians all over the globe to be involved in winning the world for Christ, as well as in speaking out on important issues of the day.”

“Dr. Coffey’s visit is another opportunity for Campbellsville University to host an international leader, and one who serves as the voice of Baptists worldwide,” he said.

“Both the campus and local community will have the opportunity to meet a man who interacts with people of diverse backgrounds and experiences. His visit promises to be a significant one for us,” Chowning said.

Coffey met with Israeli President Shimon Perez, the President of Lebanon Emile Lahoud and King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein of Jordan this past September as part of a Middle Eastern tour.

He became an ordained Baptist minister with the Baptist Union of Great Britain in 1967, and is a graduate of Spurgeon’s College in London, England. Coffey has served as pastor of three churches in England: Whetstone, Leicester; North Cheam, Sutton; and Upton Vale, Torquay.

He was also president of the Baptist Union of Great Britain in 1986-87, and, in the same time period, published “Build That Bridge”, a book that studies conflict and reconciliation in church life.

From 1988-1991, Coffey served as National Director of Evangelism for the Baptists, and in 1991 was appointed as General Secretary of the Union. He served as President of the European Baptist Federation from 1997-99, and at the Baptist World Congress in July 2005, he was selected to serve as their president until 2010.

In 2003, he was elected to serve as the Moderator of the Free Churches Group to represent the nineteen Free Church denominations in England until this year.

Coffey also serves as one of the four Presidents of Churches Together in England alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster and a representative of the Orthodox churches.

He has a strong commitment to preaching and bible teaching and has published a commentary on Romans in “The Crossway Bible Guide” series.

Coffey has been married to Janet for 40 years, and they have two adult children, Niki, who is married to Pete, and Philip, and four grandchildren: Samuel, Abigail, Naomi and Rebekah.

The mission of Campbellsville University’s Baptist Heritage Lecture Series is to promote the study, discussion, and research of Baptist historical events, theological distinctive, traditions and leaders that are unique and essential to understanding who Baptists are.

Chowning said Campbellsville University’s Baptist Heritage Lecture Series was established to promote contemporary study of the 400 years of Baptist history and to help 21st century Baptists and others to understand the tradition of Baptists being a “free people in a free state.”

The Baptist Heritage Lecture Series will explore changing patterns in Baptist life, with emphasis given to the Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist World Alliance, Kentucky Baptist Convention, etc.

Chowning said the series was also established to promote reconciliation among Baptists across lines of race, ethnicity, language, etc., and to help highlight the unique contributions of African-American Baptists.

Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 2,405 students who represent 100 Kentucky counties, 32 states and 28 foreign nations. Listed in U.S.News & World Report’s 2008 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 22nd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South and eighth in the South for “Great Schools, Great Prices.” CU has been ranked 15 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his ninth year as president.

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