Pastoring in this church is a family affair. Dipika is a Deaconand is President of the Women's Ministry, which is a huge undertaking. Their son is the youth choir leader while their daughter is the youth leader.
William explained that are two specific but inter-related Baptist communities throughout Bangladesh. There are those churches associated specifically with the Southern Baptist Missionary Board and there is an indigenous Baptist movement with links to the Baptist World Alliance.
This indigenous Baptist work, referred to as 'Bangladesh Baptist Sangha' in the local language, represents the largest group with 350 Baptist churches and 35,000 official members and well over 55,000 adherents and many more when considering the health clinics and schools.
This is a very tiny proportion of Bangladeshis in total when you consider that Dhaka itself, the capital city of Bangladesh has close to 20 million people (approximately the same as the whole population of Australia).
Their church is representative of the density of population in this very crowded city, with 700 members plus many more adherents, even though the proportion of Christians in the community may be small. Further, when you consider the health clinic that is part of the church, the pre-school and the school, the contribution they make to the community far outweighs the actual numbers who attend the formal church services. This knock-on effect is replicated in most of their fellow churches
Their health clinics are inundated with people of all ages, from mothers and babies and young children, to primary school students and teenagers, then all the way through to the elderly who are unable to care for themselves.
The pre-schools and primary schools are a-buzz with activity and parents want their children to be part of such an education system as provided by the Baptists with a history of over 100 years of mission.
Therefore, William Proloy Samadder sees a great future for Baptist work in his country. The ongoing discussion with, and evangelism of, the major part of the population, (Muslims) is a continuing and interesting aspect of life in Bangladesh.
This interview with William Proloy Samadder and his wife Dipika with the Australian Missionary News can be viewed at either: tv.bushorchestra.com/BWC/videopages/proloy_samadder.html or www.safeworlds.net