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David Wong, president of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) from 1975 to 1980, died in Alhambra, California, in the
United States, on September 16. He was 97 years old.
Wong was born in Wuzhou and later lived in Guangzhou on the Chinese mainland, before moving to Hong Kong in
1949. He was the fi rst layman and the fi rst Asian to be elected president of the BWA.
Prior to becoming BWA president, Wong, an architectural engineer, was chair of the BWA Men’s Department and served
as president of the Asian Baptist Federation.
Wong was deeply committed to laymen’s ministry, and presided at the fi rst World Conference of Baptist Men, held in
Hong Kong in 1974, during his tenure as chair of the Men’s Department from 1970 to 1975.
He was elected BWA president at the 13th Baptist World Congress in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1975, during which a
comprehensive renewal of the structure of the BWA took place, an exercise in which he was a key player, having been a
member of the Committee on Structural Changes and Constitutional Revision that was appointed at the 1970 Congress.
This restructuring led to the creation of the General Council, which convenes annually. According to Baptists Together
in Christ 1905-2005, the authoritative history of the BWA, “The General Council assumed greater responsibility and was
able more effectively to do work which had hitherto been done by… the executive which was necessarily limited in its
The BWA Division of Evangelism and Education was also created, and greater recognition was given to regional bodies.
During Wong’s leadership, the BWA gave greater focus to newer and younger member bodies, granting them equal standing
within the BWA with older conventions and unions.
Wong travelled widely in fulfi llment of his duties as BWA president, visiting approximately 70 countries during his
BWA President David Coffey lauded Wong for not only being the fi rst layman and Asian to be elected BWA president,
but also for being “the fi rst BWA leader to visit Papua New Guinea.” He stated that Wong “distinguished himself as a good
man who served the BWA with faithfulness and loyalty. We express our gratitude to God for David Wong’s service and send
our loving sympathy to his wife Lillian and family.”
General Secretary Neville Callam, in paying tribute to Wong, said, “At the time of his passing, we return grateful thanks
to God for the gift to us that David has been.” Callam noted that in Wong’s memoir, “By the Grace of God: Memoirs of
David Y. K. Wong,” “David describes his life as ‘full of joy beyond all expectations.’ His own testimony is that ‘God’s love
has always been abundant.’”
Callam said, “We wish for his loving wife, Lillian, and his children and grandchildren whom he so dearly loved, fond
memories of a great soul who has gone to be with his Lord.”
(Photo: Former BWA President David Wong, third left, with wife Lillian, visiting with Baptist leaders in Venezuela in 1976.)

In Honor
Gifts to the Baptist World Alliance were given by:
William and Annette Bickers in honor of Paul Dekar
Duron Rutenber in honor of General Secretary Emeritus Denton Lotz
Mona and Faldo Khauli in honor of Denton and Janice Lotz
Gifts to Baptist World Aid were given by:
Emily and Bill Tuck in honor of Hugh McElrath Trinity Baptist Church, Newton, NC, for World Hunger in
honor of Rev. Fred Thompson

In Memory
Gifts to the Baptist World Alliance were given by:
Dr. and Mrs. William E. Hull in memory of Alma Hunt
Mona and Faldo Khauli in memory of Alma Hunt
Gifts to Baptist World Aid were given by:
Charles and Leah Teague for Myanmar Relief in memory of Frances D. Teague
Peter Traynham in memory of Mrs. Helen Peck Jones
Ruth and Ray M. Brewster in memory of Mrs. Nancy Miller Gantt

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