Karen Baptist Convention

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1. The Karen Baptist Convention

The KBC is the co-operation and co-ordinating body of all the Karen Baptist Churches in Myanmar.

2. Brief Historical Background

The first Karen Baptist convert was a former illiterate and uncouth man named Saw Ko Tha Byu. He was converted through the ministry of the American Baptist pioneer missionary Adoniram Judson. Later he asked for baptism and on a trip to Dawei with George Dana Boardman, the first American Baptist Missionary to the Karens, he was baptized at Dawei on May 16, 1828, at the age of 50. His conversion turned him into a flaming evangelist. By the time of his death on September 9, 1840, at age 62, there were 1270 Baptist church members among the Karens. He was also given a title of "The Karen Apostle" by The American missionaries.

3. Vision and Mission

3.1 Vision

The vision of the Karen Baptist Convention is to organize all the Karen Baptist Churches in Myanmar for co-ordination and co-operation in holistic Mission.

3.2 Mission Statement

Karen Baptist Convention is the co-operating body organized with all the Karen Baptist Churches in Myanmar. The KBC is committed to strive for the oneness of the Karen Baptist Churches, and working together in Church planting, holistic development of the Church leaders and church members, spiritually and physically which will lead to the fullness of life with dignity through worship, fellowship and meeting, training, publishing of literature and co-operation with churches and organizations, inside and outside the country.

The Convention, however, shall have no power to interfere with the internal affairs of its churches and associations in its endeavor to fulfill its purposes.

4. The Organization

The following churches association’s co-operate fully in the work of the Convention.
  1. The Hpa-an Mawlamyaing Karen Baptist Association.
  2. The Pathein Myaungmya Sgaw Karen Baptist Association.
  3. The Yangon Home Mission Karen Baptist Association.
  4. The Hinthada Karen Baptist Association.
  5. The Shwegyin Karen Baptist Association.
  6. The Toungoo Paku Karen Baptist Association.
  7. The Toungoo Thandawn Bwe Moh Bwa Karen Baptist Association.
  8. The Dawei Myeik Karen Baptist Association.
  9. The Toungoo Kehko Kehbah Karen Baptist Association.
  10. The Pyi Thayawady Karen Baptist Association.
  11. The Kayah Moh Bwa Baptist Association
  12. The Hpa-pun Karen Baptist Association.
  13. The Nyaunglebin Karen Baptist Association.
  14. The Upper Myanmar Karen Baptist Association.
  15. The Myaungmya Sgaw Karen Baptist Association.
  16. The Myeik Karen Baptist Association.
  17. The Kayah Poo Baptist Association.
  18. The Bago-Yangon Baptist Association
  19. The Kya Inn Karen Baptist Association
  20. The Myro Baptist Association

5. The Departments of the Convention

  1. Finance and Property Department
  2. Evangelism and Mission Department
  3. Christian Education Department
  4. Publication Department
  5. Care and Counseling Department
  6. Leadership Promotion Department
  7. Christian Social Service & Development Department
  8. Theological Department
  9. Department for Youth Work
  10. Women's Department
  11. Ministers' Department
  12. Communication Department
  13. Men's Department
  14. Literature and Culture Department

6. Standing Committee

  1. Social Ministry Board

7. Projects of the Convention

  1. Study Bible translation Project
  2. 21st Century 10-year project

8. Commissions under the Supervision of General Secretary

  1. Church Affairs and Peace
  2. Partnership in Mission

9. The Institution and Work Centre

  1. The Karen Baptist Theological Seminary
  2. The Go-Forward Printing Press
  3. Rural Mission Development Centre
  4. KBC Care Clinic

10. The Administration Officers of the Convention

President - Rev. Dr. Crainer
Vice President - Rev. Thein Aung Htay
Vice President - Rev. Dr. Mu Soe
General Secretary - Rev. Dr. Samson
Assosiation General Secretary - Rev. Ywa Du Moo
Cheif Executive officer for Social Ministry board - Thramu Myaung Mya Paw
Treasurer - Thramu Ker Kaw Htoo
Directors of the Departments
(1) Finance and Property - Thramu Ker Kaw Htoo
(2) Evangelism & Mission - Thra Htoo Ka Baw
(3) Christian Education - Thramu Daffodils
(4) Publication - Thramu Tin May Phyu
(5) Care & Counseling - Thramu Htoo Ku Kalu Paw
(6) Leadership Promotion - Thramu Myaung Mya Paw
(7) Christian Social Service & Development - Thramu Ju Paw
(8) Theological - Thramu Lah Paw
(9) Department for Youth Work - Thramu Hsa Blut Wah
(10)Women's Department - Thramu Myint Myint Thein
(11) Ministers' Department - Rev. Kwalar Yo Tha Taw
(12) Communication - Thra Moo Pler Htoo
(13) Men's Department - Thra Ywa Hso Gay
(14) Literature and Culture - Thramu Nita

11. Coordinators of the Projects

  1. Study Bible Translation
  2. 21st Century 10-year Project

12. Officers of the Karen Baptist Theological Seminary

  1. Rev. Dr. Say Lwe Wah (Principal)
  2. Rev. Dr. Christopher Day (Vice Principal)
  3. Thramu Swe Swe Latt ( Treasurer)

13. The Growth of KBC

With a modest beginning of 1270 members at the death of Saw Ko Tha Byu in 1840, the KBC today has 20 Churches Associations, 1802 Churches and 270878 members.

Its annual budget reaches Kyats 570 Million in 2009. The great majority of the Karen Baptist Churches had reached the three goals of missionary effort; being self-supporting, self-governing, and self-propagating.

The KBC is affiliated to the Myanmar Baptist Convention which in turn, has relationship with the Myanmar Council of Churches, the Board of International Ministries of the American Baptist Churches, the Baptist Council of World Mission, the Asia Baptist Federation, the Baptist World Alliance, the Christian Conference of Asia, and the World Council of Churches, for participation in world-wide mission.

14. The latest statistics of the KBC (2016)

No. Associations Church Membership
1 Hpa-an Mawlamyaing 87 10876
2 Pathein Myaungmya 296 48418
3 Yangon 326 57646
4 Hinthada 112 14750
5 Shwegyin 103 14550
6 Toungoo-Paku 158 17237
7 Toungoo-Bwe Moh Bwa 81 9576
8 Dawei Myeik 69 14433
9 Kehko-Kehbah 52 4593
10 Pyi-Thayawady 60 5461
11 Kayah MohBwa 54 7681
12 Hpa-pun 44 7415
13 Nyaunglebin 51 6971
14 Upper Myanmar 20 6691
15 Myaungmya 57 14007
16 Myeik 91 10505
17 Kayah Poo 45 6284
18 Bago-Yangon 25 4747
19 Kya Inn 51 6735
20 Myro 20 2302
Total 1802 270878