The Moravian Board of World Mission
A deep commitment to world mission has characterized the Moravian Church since its earliest days. A small 300-member Moravian community in Herrnhut, Germany sent missionaries to the Danish West Indies in 1732. Since then, God’s call to proclaim the good news of God’s saving work in Jesus Christ has taken hundreds of Moravian missionaries from the mountaintops of Ladakh, India to the savannas of La Mosquitia, Honduras. Today, Moravian churches or societies worship and minister in about forty nations and number over 700,000 believers.
The Board of World Mission (BWM) is the overseas mission sending and support agency of the Moravian Church in America. It continues the work begun in 1745 by the Society for Propagating the Gospel, North America’s oldest Protestant mission society. Founded in 1949, BWM acts on behalf of the Northern Province, Southern Province, and Alaskan Province of the Moravian Church and its affiliate Unity of the Brethren.
A representative Board of Directors oversees the work of the Board of World Mission, which is also accountable to the synods of the Moravian Church in America. Meeting biannually, the directors determine BWM’s goals, policies, and areas of mission involvement and appoint all staff and overseas personnel.
The Board of World Mission has two offices. The office of the Executive Director is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Winston-Salem, North Carolina is home to the office of the Director of Intercultural Ministries and Communication and the Director of Moravian Volunteer Resources.
BWM nurtures historic and vital partnerships with Moravian Churches in Alaska, Costa Rica, Eastern West Indies, Guyana, Honduras, Labrador, Nicaragua, and Tanzania.
In addition, the Board of World Mission is supportive of cross-cultural outreach of Moravian partners in Belize, Burundi, Cuba, Honduras (Garifuna), Haiti, Kenya, Peru, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Uganda.
The Moravian Church in America is a member of the National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA, and the World Council of Churches. The Board of World Mission currently is working in active partnership with Church World Service and Witness (CWSW), Action by Churches Together (ACT), and the Reformed Church in America.
The content and purpose of the mission of the Board of World Mission is best expressed in words taken from the Ground of the Unity, the doctrinal statement of the Moravian Church:
The Lord Jesus Christ calls His Church into being so that it may serve Him on earth until he comes. The Unitas Fratrum (Moravian Church) is, therefore, aware of its being called in faith to serve humanity by proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It recognizes this call to be the source of its being and the inspiration of its service. As is the source, so is the aim and end of its being based upon the will of its Lord.