Hampton, VA – For the fourth year in a row, the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) welcomed an educational institution as a new partner at its annual meeting. McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University was voted in as a new partner. The BGAV also renewed a covenant with Woman’s Missionary Union of Virginia (WMUV)—a partnership they’ve shared since the late 1800s.
“We’re thrilled to officially partner with McAfee,” John Upton, executive director, said. “We already benefit from our relationship with them, as many of their graduates are serving in BGAV churches.”
Jeff Willetts, Dean of the McAfee School of Theology, said, “It’s good to be home.” Jeff, who grew up in Virginia and has served Virginia Baptist churches, expressed his gratitude for the agreement, saying, “I’m thankful for all the partners in this movement of people who are faithful and live into the openness and energy it takes to be Baptist.
“The covenant specifies the values of the school and of the BGAV with ways that they will work together. McAfee School of Theology and the BGAV will work together to promote the shared vision of “Kingdom Advance” through the development of leaders, support of churches, and ministry to the world.
WMUV has historically served as the missions educator in BGAV churches and developed key leaders for state and associational work, and in 1902 established the special offering for state missions—now a joint venture of the WMUV and BGAV which is known as the Alma Hunt Offering for Virginia Missions.
“WMUV has been a prophetic voice,” John Upton explained. “They have spoken truth to us and loved us enough to stay right in there with us. They have a heart and an eye for spotting those who are marginalized,” he commented. Valerie Carter, WMUV’s executive director, and Lynne Stockman, WMUV president, signed the covenant to further solidify the ongoing relationship between the two entities.
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, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and West Virginia.