WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Baptist World Alliance (BWA) will lead a service of dedication for the new Baptism Center in Jordan at its official opening March 20.
The center is on the bank of the River Jordan on land closely approximate to the region known as Bethany beyond Jordan, where it is believed John the Baptist baptized Jesus Christ.
“The opening of the Baptism Center is an answer to our prayers and we express again our deep gratitude to King Abdullah for the gift of the Center as a place of Christian worship and pilgrimage,” said BWA President David Coffey. “I hope that many Baptists and other evangelical Christians will visit the site as pilgrims and some will choose to confess their faith in Jesus Christ in the waters of baptism.”
The Center will be owned and managed by the Baptism Site Commission of Jordan, and joins buildings of many other denominations that have recently been constructed on the official Baptism site of Jesus Christ. The center will be available for use by all Christian traditions that practice believer’s baptism by immersion.
The offer of a designated plot of land for a Baptism Center was made by Jordan’s King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein in September 2007 during Coffey’s visit with the leader. “In a time of severe conflict in the Middle East, where the numbers of Christians are rapidly declining, the opening of the Center is a significant sign of tolerance and peaceful relations with those of other faith traditions,” said Coffey.
The Jordan Baptist Convention has a membership of 20 churches with 1,200 members.