Original Research - Special Collection: Church

Baptist identity and mission in a rainbow nation: Distilling imperatives from mixed-methods research within the Baptist Union of Southern Africa (1994–2012)

Desmond Henry, Cornel J.P. Niemandt
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 71, No 2 | a2026 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i2.2026 | © 2015 Desmond Henry, Cornel J.P. Niemandt | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 June 2013 | Published: 06 April 2015

About the author(s)

Desmond Henry, Department of Science of Religion and Missiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Cornel J.P. Niemandt, Department of Science of Religion and Missiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

The Baptist Union of Southern Africa’s (hereafter BUSA) future is conspicuous unless it understands the context within which it ministers in our ‘rainbow nation’. As a union of churches, BUSA faces significant challenges that have been highlighted through a mixed methods research approach. Through many months of data collection at the Baptist Union archives, an online survey and informal interviews spanning many parts of South Africa, the researcher practically demonstrates the importance of the cumulative results for the future of BUSA. This article highlights, in overview fashion, a few of the major challenges that need to be urgently addressed in the light of BUSA’s historic ecclesiological presuppositions that have their roots in the missional ministry of Hugo Gutshe who saw each of his Baptist congregants as missionary, and expanded the influence of BUSA in South Africa.

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Crossref Citations

1. Missional postures and practices for South African Baptist churches
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doi: 10.4102/ve.v39i1.1817