AMBASSADOR BIOGRAPHIES

Rev. Dr. Wati Aier

Asia Pacifc

Dr. Wati is the former Principal of the Oriental Theological Seminary from the Nagaland Baptist Church Council in India, where he served for 26 years.

Dr. Wati is passionate about peace and reconciliation. He convened the Council of the Naga Reconciliation, where they brought together 3 Naga Warlords to sign the peace agreement. He currently serves as the Convenor of Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR).

On July 9, 2011, he became the first recipient of the Baptist World Alliance Denton and Janice Lotz Human Rights Award in recognition for his tireless work to broker peace within the northeast Indian state of Nagaland; although the final settlement for Nagas is still being worked on. He has worked on the forefront of peacebuilding in India and Southeast Asia for the past decade. Dr. Wati is the former vice president of the Asia Pacific Baptist Federation and current member of the BWA Commission on Peace.

Dr. Dawari George

Africa

The son of a Baptist clergyman, Dr. Dawari George is a political economist with a doctorate degree in Political and Administrative Studies (Development Studies) and a wide-ranging career in development, government, academia, and church leadership.

As a development expert, he served between 2005 and 2009 in various agencies and projects to advance development in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. He was a member of the State Working Group UNFPA Advocacy Project, Rivers State; Project Officer (Governance) Niger Delta Peace and Security Secretariat (NDPASS); Research Assistant, JHU/USAID Project for Population Communication; Member, Steering Committee, World Bank/Nigeria Employment and Empowerment Project (NUYEEP); and Director, Southern Gas Company Limited, Central Horizon Limited, and Treasure Energy Resources Limited.

Dr. George is a former Member of the Nigerian parliament (House of Representatives) as well as the West African(ECOWAS) Parliament. As a legislator, he took up radical legislative actions on human rights abuses, ethics and privileges.

He has been for many years involved in youth and community development advocacy and peace building. He rose in that area to be the Chairman of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Rivers State. He has also occupied several positions in the Executive and Legislative arms of government in Nigeria, influencing critical policies of government to protect the weak and vulnerable.

Dr. George serves currently as Chairman of the Board of the Baptist College of Theology, Obinze, Nigeria. He was Chairman of the International Missions Committee of the Global Missions Board, Nigerian Baptist Convention, member of the Executive Committee of the All Africa Baptist Fellowship (AABF), and the General Council of the BWA where he continues to serve in several commissions including the commission on Transformational Leadership and the Resolution committee of the BWA. He is a past National President of the Baptist Men of Nigeria and recently a past President of the All Africa Baptist Men’s Fellowship, before which his election in 2000 he served as Vice President of the Men’s Department of the BWA. He has taken up several other responsibilities and assignments within the Christian Association of Nigeria and the All Africa Conference of Churches, promoting ecumenism and religious freedom and harmony.

Dawari is married to Ibiama, a family health expert, with whom he has four children (two boys and two girls).

Hon. Ratu Inkoke Kubuabola

Asia Pacifc

Hon. Kubuabola is one of the Vice-Presidents of the Asia Pacific Baptist Federation (APBF), a former Fijian politician, and former Cabinet Minister. He is the former leader of the opposition and Minister of Foreign Affairs. In 2014, he was named Fiji’s Minister of Defense and National Security.

Hon. Kubuabola had previously acted as Minister for Information following the 1987 Fijian coup d’etat, an event he had played a role in organising as a Fijian nationalist. He was first elected to Parliament in 1992. During the 1990s, he served variously as Minister for Youth, Employment and Sports, Minister for Regional Development and Multi Ethnic Affairs, and Minister of Works, Infrastructure and Transport.

He has previously served in several leadership capacities, such as the Chairman of the Fiji Council of Churches, Chairman of the Fiji Baptist Convention, Chairman of the Elders Boroko Baptist Church in Papua New Guinea, Board Member of World Vision, PNG, and Chairman of the Suva Baptist Church. Ratu is an honorable distinction which in Fijian means “chief.”

Rev. Anthony (Tony) Peck

Europe

Tony Peck is a British Baptist minister. Following his upbringing in Scotland, he studied music and education at the Guildhall School of Music and the University of London, as well as Theology at Oxford-University.

He served as a local pastor, regional minister, and Baptist College tutor before becoming General Secretary of the European Baptist Federation (EBF) in 2004. In his work for the EBF, Tony has had practical experience of defending religious freedom for Baptists and others where it is under threat or violated. He has participated in several human rights visits to various countries, especially in the Caucasus and Central Asia. He developed the idea of a specialist team at the EBF to give greater leverage on Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) issues, which resulted in the appointment of a part-time EBF Researcher in FoRB in 2018.  The EBF is connected into key FoRB ecumenical networks as well as the human rights office of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Tony developed a practical and academic interest in religious freedom at the time of his first sabbatical leave in 1992 and became inspired by the costly witness of the early Baptists, such as Thomas Helwys, to religious freedom for all. His main academic research interest is in the concept of religious freedom, especially as pioneered by the English Baptists during the 17th century, as well as its contemporary role in the modern concept of human rights. He has written extensively on this Baptist ‘core value’, as well as on aspects of Baptist identity and contemporary missiology, what is now set in the wider context of human rights across Europe as a whole.

He has represented Baptists in ecumenical and intergovernmental bodies and conferences on FoRB and spoken widely on religious freedom. Tony lives in Bristol, UK with his wife Alison, and they have three grown children.

André Simão

Latin America

André Simão is a tax attorney by profession and a religious freedom advocate by passion.

Holding an LL.B and a Master in Law, he provides advisory services in Brazil for national and international companies, mainly in the oil & gas, naval construction, and automotive industry. At the same time, throughout his career, André has assisted pro bono several local churches, missionary organizations, and Baptist Conventions entities, and served at the Rio de Janeiro Evangelical Hospital board of directors for many years.

His passion for missions and human rights, enhanced by previous experiences as a local correspondent to Open Doors Brazil, led him to a sense of calling to stand with vulnerable brothers and sisters harassed for their faith in numerous countries. Getting involved in successful advocacy efforts, taken in 2013, together with the BWA, to release a pastor imprisoned overseas on religious grounds also emboldened such commitment.

André is engaged with the BWA Commission on Religious Freedom since 2012 and serves as its current vice-chair (2020-2025). André has conducted research on subjects related to religious freedom concerns in Latin America and Brazil and has participated as a consultant in the Latin American Regional Consultation Process of the G20 Interfaith Forum (IF20).

André is a member of the Itacuruçá Baptist Church, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he lives with his wife Daniela and their two little daughters, Sofia and Luísa.

Dr. Warren H. Stewart, Sr.

North America

Dr. Warren H. Stewart, Sr., is the Founder and Senior Pastor of the First Institutional Baptist Church in Phoenix, Arizona. Following his upbringing in Kansas, Dr. Stewart received his BA from Bishop College; M.Div. and STM from Union Theological Seminary; and DMin from American Baptist Seminary of the West.

Dr. Stewart has traveled and preached extensively throughout the US and internationally to include 38 States and Territories, and 52 Countries.

Dr. Stewart is the recipient of numerous awards and commendations from churches, colleges, civic and community organizations, locally, statewide and nationally. He is  the former Chair and Executive Secretary of the Home Mission Board of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. In 2018, he became Chairperson of the African American Christian Clergy Coalition, leading over 100 clergy in the Valley. 

He has authored four books and published several articles and sermons in several major publications. He has also served as Adjunct Professor of Ottawa University-Phoenix Campus, Phoenix Seminary, and the Doctor of Ministry Program at Fuller Theological Seminary, as well as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the American Baptist Seminary of the West, Berkeley, California. Currently, he serves on the Phoenix Seminary Board of Directors.