Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization Renews the Vision Billy Graham Initiated with 1974 Lausanne Congress

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA/COLORADO SPRINGS, CO USA, 4 May – The Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization (LCWE, today announced plans for the International Congress on World Evangelization, to be held 16-25 October, 2010, in Cape Town, South Africa. Lausanne III: Cape Town 2010 will gather mission and church leaders from every part of the globe to address challenges and opportunities that are before the church with respect to world evangelization. Lausanne III will be held in partnership with the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), whose leaders will participate in each dimension of the design and planning of the Congress.

Rev. S. Douglas Birdsall, LCWE Executive Chairman, says the year 2010 was selected to celebrate the centenary of the historic World Missionary Conference convened in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1910 under the leadership of Dr. John R. Mott. The selection of Cape Town also has historic significance, as William Carey, considered the father of modern missions, first proposed an international missionary conference to be held there in 1810. “We believe the 200th anniversary of William Carey’s vision and the centennial of its fulfillment is an appropriate time to, once again, encourage international leaders to come together to chart the course for the work of world evangelization in the 21st century,” Birdsall said. Dr. Michael Cassidy, Founder of African Enterprise and a member of the Lausanne III Advisory Council, also believes Lausanne III “will add enormous impetus and encouragement to the African church to fulfill its destiny in World Missions in the 21st Century.”

“There is no doubt we have entered a new era in global Christianity,” Birdsall added. “We need to strategize about how we can advance the spread of the gospel around the world. This is especially important as our world continues to shrink through new technologies, and as the evangelical population has shifted to the Southern hemisphere,” he stressed.

Mr. Lindsay Brown, newly appointed International Director for LCWE, points to the dramatic shifts that have taken place in Christianity over the course of the last century, shifts that are reflected in the leadership of Lausanne III. Anglican Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda will serve as the chairman of the Africa Host Committee. The Lausanne III Advisory Council is chaired by Dr. Samuel Escobar from Latin America. Bishop Hwa Yung, of the Methodist Church in Malaysia, is chairman of the Participant Selection Committee. The Program Committee will be chaired by Rev. Ramez Atallah, Director of the Bible Society of Egypt. Lausanne III Congress Director Rev. Blair T. Carlson, a former International Crusade Director for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, grew up in Hong Kong and has spent most of his life working and living in locations around the world.

Cape Town has literally opened its arms to the Lausanne III Congress. Christians throughout the area are offering their homes to host as many as one thousand of the 4000 church and mission leaders from 200 countries who are expected to attend. “We have been overwhelmed by the welcome we have received from Cape Town,” said Mrs. Robyn Claydon, LCWE Deputy Chair. “We look forward with great excitement to what God is going to accomplish through this event and the city of Cape Town.”

The first International Congress on World Evangelization (Lausanne I) was held in 1974 in Lausanne, Switzerland. The gathering was convened under the leadership of Rev. Billy Graham and drew more than 2700 evangelical leaders from 150 countries. The focus of the meeting was both practical and theological, producing The Lausanne Covenant, a document that provides theological underpinnings for intentional collaborative world evangelization. The Covenant includes fifteen articles dealing with major issues such as the authority of scripture, the nature of evangelism, Christian social responsibility, the urgency of world evangelization, faith and culture, and the nature of spiritual conflict. The Covenant has provided a framework for unity and serves as the statement of faith for hundreds of organizations around the world.

In 1989, 3600 leaders from 190 nations attended Lausanne II in Manila, Philippines. The resulting Manila Manifesto reaffirmed and expanded upon The Lausanne Covenant and the call to “Proclaim Christ Until He Comes.”

The foundational work for Lausanne III began with the 2004 Forum for World Evangelization in Thailand which brought together 1500 participants in 31 simultaneous consultations to deal with the seminal issues in respect to world evangelization. Two years later, the preparation continued with a concerted effort to engage a new generation of Christian leadership, as 500 younger Christian leaders from 120 countries gathered for the 2006 Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering in Malaysia. The Lausanne Bi-Annual Leadership meeting this June in Budapest will accelerate the planning for the Lausanne III Congress.

“The pressing issues before us today, such as engaging worldviews increasingly hostile to Christianity, the threat of terrorism, and HIV/AIDS, coupled with new opportunities and new technologies, are very different from those issues faced in 1974,” Birdsall explained. “New global challenges require thoughtful and prayerful global responses. We pray that Lausanne III: Cape Town 2010 will serve to unite and energize the Church with a new vision and a new commitment to partnership for the work of world evangelization for a new time.”


NOTE: For more information or to request an interview with Rev. S. Douglas (Doug) Birdsall, please contact Melany Ethridge at 214.912.8934 or [email protected]. Additional translations of the press release will be available online next week at


What Global Leaders Are Saying About Lausanne III: Cape Town 2010

“The 1974 Lausanne Congress was critical to the evangelism efforts of that day. But the issues facing today’s generation are radically different. That’s why I strongly support the need for a new congress in 2010.”
Rev. Billy Graham
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
Founder, Lausanne Movement

“I'm impressed with the current Lausanne leadership. Chairman Doug Birdsall is the right man to take this movement to a new generation. His gifted team shares the spirit of Lausanne and I believe that God will use them to unite the church in world evangelization.”
Rev. Dr. John R. W. Stott
Chief architect, The Lausanne Covenant
Honorary Chairman, Lausanne Movement

“I praise God for the Lausanne Movement and as chairman of the Africa Host Committee it will be my privilege to welcome the Lausanne III delegates to the continent of Africa. The church in Africa and also around the world needs the fresh stimulation and motivation to evangelism which this congress will bring. The congress will also equip us all in tackling the new issues and demanding challenges facing Christianity both here and world-wide.”
Most Revd Henry Luke Orombi
7th Archbishop, The Church of the Province of Uganda
Chairman, Lausanne III Africa Host Committee

“It will be our great privilege as South African believers to host the Lausanne III: Cape Town 2010 Congress in Cape Town. Lausanne III will add enormous impetus and encouragement to the African church to fulfill its destiny in World Mission in the 21st Century. I rejoice also to see this renewal and rejuvenation of the Lausanne Movement at a time when many in the church across the world are losing their nerve about evangelism in a post-modern era. The need is great and urgent to revisit our theology both of evangelism and the uniqueness of Christ, and then be motivated afresh as those at Edinburgh in 1910, into the evangelization of our world in this generation. We need to show that our changeless Gospel is more relevant than ever in these changing times.”
Dr. Michael Cassidy
Founder and International Team Leader, African Enterprise
Chairman, Lausanne III Mission Committee

“Lausanne III promises to be a truly global initiative, and not just one from the west, for proclaiming the Gospel of Christ in the 21st century. What a wonderful way to further the vision of the 1910 World Missionary Conference of Edinburgh!”
Bishop Hwa Yung
The Methodist Church in Malaysia
Chairman, Lausanne III Participant Selection Committee

“As a young leader at the 1974 Lausanne International Congress on World Evangelization, I was tremendously impacted by the vision, unity and creativity of all the presenters as well as the many participants whom I had the privilege of getting to know. My prayer is that the revived Lausanne Movement, which is gearing up for Lausanne III: Cape Town 2010, will do for the 21st Century what the Lausanne Movement did for the latter part of the 20th century.”
Rev. Ramez Atallah
General Director, The Bible Society of Egypt
Chairman, Lausanne III Program Planning Committee

“I invite every Christian leader, church, denomination and believer—anyone who cares about reaching the world for Christ—to join hands and band together backing the 2010 Lausanne Congress. It’s truly that important.”
Dr. Jack W. Hayford
President, Foursquare Church and Chancellor, Kings College and Seminary
Member, Lausanne III Advisory Council

“The church needs renewed momentum, passion and focus on the unique problems facing this generation. The 2010 Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization will be a historic opportunity for discussion, strategy and action.”
Pastor Rick Warren
Senior Pastor, Saddleback Church
Member, Lausanne III Advisory Council

“I'm grateful for Lausanne’s commitment to the whole Gospel of Christ. The 2010 Lausanne Congress will emphasize that true evangelism means reaching out in Jesus’ name to every part of society — including those who are sick, hungry, poor and disabled.”
Mrs. Joni Eareckson Tada
Founder, Joni and Friends International Disability Center
Lausanne Senior Associate for Evangelism Among Disabled People

“I believe the Lausanne III Congress will make a major contribution to world evangelization.”
Dr. Steve Douglass
President, Campus Crusade for Christ International

“A key to successful world evangelization is embracing the richness of the entire body of Christ – and then inviting its participation. The Lausanne III Congress will enthusiastically rally the global church to complete the Great Commission.”
Pastor Ken Fong Evergreen Baptist Church of Los Angeles


ALRC: Larry Ross – 1.972.267.1111
Melany Ethridge – 1.214.912.8934

Naomi Frizzell – 1.904.262.5202

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