Photo - Any one want a “congress bag” Baptist World Congress in Hawaii
Good memories are very special. This is one. 68 years ago the Baptists of Australia and New Zealand hired a ship which took 400 hundred delegates to the 1950 Baptist World Congress in London – this story comes from our Australian Missionary News IPTV interview with the late Dr Geoff Blackburn who passed to glory in 2014 aged 99.
Back in those days travelling by ship was the norm, the Australian cricketers likewise travelled by ship to the old dart for their Ashes series.
Therefore to engage in the 1950 Baptist World Congress in London, and only five years after the conclusion of WWII, Australian and New Zealand Baptists put their heads together to find a way to attend.
They came up with hiring a ship and so it was. The ship embarked the Australian Baptists delegates first in Melbourne and then Sydney, and then headed to Auckland where the New Zealand contingent alighted.
There were 400 Baptists in all. The old adage that when two Baptists get together there are five opinions, one might only imagine this trip.
When the antipodean delegates arrived with such a contingent at the London Baptist World Congress, they were met with both welcoming arms and some astonishment that so many had made the journey 'back home', as England was then nostalgically referred to with something of a passion.
Geoff Blackburn said that the 1950 Baptist World Congress was the most memorable and remarkable conference he has attended, largely because of the six week journey to and from London where friendships were formed for a life time.
Geoff Blackburn is noted for a number of things in Baptist life. He was the Minister at Sindall Baptist Church in Melbourne from 1972-86 which was a period of significant Baptist growth and from 1975-80 he served as the Vice President of the Baptist World Alliance.
His duties as the Vice President of the Baptist World Alliance was the south west Pacific in which he travelled extensively and pastored the leadership.
Photo - Baptist World Congress volunteers
Baptist World Congress since 1970
1970 – Tokoyo, Japan
1975 – Stockholm, Sweeden
1980 - Toronto, Canada
1985 - Los Angeles, USA
1990 - Seoul, Kroea
1995 - Buenos Aires, Argentina
2000 - Melbourne, Australia
2005 - Birmingham, England
2010 - Hawaii, USA
2015 – Durban, South Africa
My wife Delma and I have attended three, Melbourne in 2000, Birmingham 2005 and 2010 in Hawaii. We conducted many Australian Missionary News IPTV video interviews. They can be found by scrolling down the video list on our YouTube channel.
These are three of 35
Stamford Simon - West Indies
Joel Sierra - Mexico
Walter Klimt - Austria
Photo - Neus Sendra Mefford French Baptist, Baptist World Congress
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at
Dr Mark Tronson - a 4 min video
Chairman – Well-Being Australia
Baptist Minister 44 years
- 1984 - Australian cricket team chaplain 17 years (Ret)
- 2001 - Life After Cricket (18 years Ret)
- 2009 - Olympic Ministry Medal – presented by Carl Lewis
- 2019 - The Gutenberg - (ARPA Christian Media premier award)
Gutenberg video - 2min 14sec
Married to Delma for 44 years with 4 children and 5 grand children