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BGAV Church Goes Solar this Spring

Posted: 4/10/19 at 9:20am. Article by Jonathan Davis.

For years, Trent Taliaferro had dreamed of a creative way to give back to his church. Sometimes giving comes in financial forms, but sometimes stewardship takes on more creative dimensions.

Trent had been privately contemplating a unique idea for some time, until one Sunday last year when his pastor preached a sermon on how churches can go green as a way of embracing creation care.

Sometimes giving comes in financial forms, but sometimes stewardship takes on more creative dimensions.

Immediately following the service, Trent came forward and told his pastor of a vision he had to help the church, Beale Memorial Baptist in Tappahannock, to adopt solar energy.

Pastor Jonathan Davis was immediately excited about the idea. “It’s always exciting when somebody moves into action as a result of worship,” he states. “When Trent approached me with his idea, I was immediately eager to share his idea with our church’s leadership and determine the best way to move forward.”

The plan Taliaferro presented to the church included the donation and installation of solar panels installed on the church’s picnic pavilion and tied into the church’s electric grid. Of course, it helps that Taliaferro owns a solar installation company.

“I wanted to donate and install the panels early in spring so as the days get longer the church can receive the maximum benefit from the panels in their current fiscal year,” he explained.

When asked why he decided to give such a generous and creative gift, Taliaferro cited his mother, Mary Taliaferro, as his inspiration.

“Not only was my mother always a generous person; she was a creative person and always an early adopter of technology, even as she advanced in age.” Taliaferro believes “This gift is an excellent way to honor mom’s memory and legacy, and I pray it’s a blessing to the church for many decades to come.”

The solar system Taliaferro installed at Beale Memorial is expected to last 30 years or more with minimal upkeep. Pastor Davis says the church is already realizing financial savings from the solar system. “The solar system will help us significantly offset our current power usage, and I hope this is just the first of many ways our congregation can become not only better stewards of God’s creation, but of the money people generously give to support the ministries of our church.”

When asked what’s next on the list for Beale going green, Pastor Davis states that the church is already replacing all bulbs with newer LED lights, strongly considering switching to programmable thermostats for climate control, and implementing a full energy audit later in the year.

This solar project places Beale Memorial ahead of many institutions in the region in terms of adopting the use of solar energy. They may indeed be the only church in the region to have adopted solar energy as part of a total energy plan. “I think my mother would like that a lot,” said Taliaferro.

This story was written by Jonathan Davis, Pastor of Beale Memorial Baptist Church in Tappahannock, VA. 

Do you have a story to share about something your church is doing? We’d love to publish it on our blog. To submit a brief article, email it with a photo to Jennifer Law at jennifer.law@bgav.org.