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BGAV & Texas Baptists Announce Chaplaincy Endorsement Partnership

Posted: 2/23/17 at 2:07pm.

From L-R: David Hardage, BGCT executive director; Bobby Smith, BGCT director, chaplain relations; Todd Combee, BGAV chaplaincy representative; Steve Vernon, associate executive director, BGCT. (Photo courtesy of Texas Baptists)

Richmond, VA – The Executive Board of the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) and the Executive Board of the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT) have approved a partnership for chaplaincy endorsement and training.

Rev. Todd Combee, senior pastor at New Bethesda Baptist Church in Mechanicsville as well as a retired military chaplain, will serve as the BGAV representative.

Rev. Combee shared with BGCT executive board members, “[We] are very excited about this partnership, allowing us to minister to chaplains in our area, as well as Virginia Baptist chaplains who will be a part of this process.”

In addition to other requirements, chaplains must have an ecclesiastical endorsement from a faith-based group. Through this new partnership, the BGAV will be able to endorse chaplains as Virginia Baptists. The partnership also will also allow the required continuing education opportunities to be hosted in Virginia.

“This partnership fulfills a dream Virginia Baptists have had for many years,” John Upton, BGAV executive director, said. “Virginia is home to many chaplains. There are military, hospital, corporate, university, and many other chaplains that are in need of endorsement to do their work. This partnership provides a direct way to support ministries that touch people at critical moments in their lives. I am very grateful to Todd Combee for being our Virginia Baptist endorser and to New Bethesda Baptist Church for encouraging him to lead this ministry. Our good friends at the BGCT have been very gracious in inviting the BGAV to join them in an exceptionally well done ministry to chaplains. Over 900 chaplains are currently endorsed in this ministry. Already there are many who have expressed interest in receiving this endorsement. As a Virginia Baptist family we have much to celebrate!”

More specific information about BGAV chaplaincy endorsement and training will be communicated in the coming weeks.

The Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) is a cooperative missions and ministry organization that consists of over 1,400 autonomous churches in the Commonwealth of Virginia, as well as churches from Seoul, South Korea, Toronto, Ontario, the District of Columbia, and the states of California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and West Virginia.