Baba, Panya

Baba, Panya
(b. 1932)
   international Evangelical missionary leader
   Panya Baba was born in Karu, Nigeria. He developed a personal faith in Christ as a teenager and attended Kagoro Bible College. He completed his studies at All Nations Christian College in the United Kingdom and the Fuller Theological Seminary in the United States.
   Returning to Nigeria, he held both pastoral and administrative posts with the Evangelical Churches of West Africa, one of Nigeria's largest church bodies, an outgrowth of the Sudan Interior Mission of the 1890s. In 1970, he became director of his denomination's Mission Society. In that capacity, in 1980 he persuaded the Nigerian Evangelical Fellowship to form a coordinating agency for the various indigenous missionary bodies in the country - the Nigeria Evangelical Missions Association, founded in 1982. The association included initially his own organization, plus the Calvary Ministries, His Grace Evangelical Movement, the Christian Missionary Foundation (CMF), Christ Ambassador Evangelical Team, and the Community Missions Board of the Church of Christ in Nigeria. Baba became the first chairperson, a position he retained for seven years.
   In 1988, he became president of the Evangelical Churches of West Africa. After the completion of his second term, he became the group's foreign missions director and missions consultant.
   Apart from his official positions, Baba emerged as an important international voice in the global Evangelical community for indigenous missions. He urged cooperation among indigenous mission agencies and between them and Western-based agencies. In particular, he has advocated the development of partnership models for cooperation between independent churches in former foreign mission fields and Western sending agencies. He networked 12 daughter churches of the Sudan Interior Missions into the Evangelical Fellowship Missions Association, which he served as first coordinator. He was active through the last half of the 20th century in the World Evangelical Alliance and served on the board of the ad 2000 Movement, which sought to place a missionary among all the peoples of the earth who had yet to hear a Christian witness in their own language.
   See also Africa, sub-Saharan; Nigeria.
   Further reading:
   ■ Panya Baba, "Cross-cultural evangelism," in J. D. Douglas, ed., Proclaim Christ Until He Comes (Minneapolis, Minn.: World Wide, 1990), 170-76; , "The Seriousness of the Task," International Journal of Frontier Missions 11, 1 (January 1994), 1-4 - Available online. URL:

Encyclopedia of Protestantism. . 2005.

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