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Mission Council Meets with Executive Board at Eagle Eyrie

Posted: 5/25/17 at 1:20pm.

Lynchburg, Va. – The Virginia Baptist Mission Council gathered together last month at Eagle Eyrie Baptist Conference Center for its annual meeting. Chair Stu Crow opened the meeting, saying “I’m hopeful this will be a great time of sharing, getting to know your fellow Virginia Baptists, and hearing about the great things happening across the BGAV.”

In an opening devotion, 1st Vice President George Fletcher reflected on the recent Easter holiday and the new things that God is doing among us. “We enter into this time together to talk, to share, to listen, and to dream in this new day,” he told Mission Council members.

Crow then reminded Mission Council members of how they support the overall purpose of the BGAV, touching on various ways members can provide input not just at that meeting but throughout the entire year.

Treasurer David Washburn commented, “Thank you for your continued faithfulness,” as he gave an upbeat financial report, focusing on the 2016 Cooperative Missions giving and the early report for 2017.

Executive Director John Upton asked Mission Council members, “What’s the why?” of the BGAV. He introduced a draft mission statement, which members were able to wrestle with later during their dialogue session with the Executive Board. Upton lifted up highlights from across the ministries of the BGAV, including the fact that in the last 12 months the BGAV has planted 14 new churches with 40 more in the pipeline. “As you can see,” he said, “we’re pretty heavy into church planting.”

Upton highlighted the work that field strategists are doing in partnership with mission council members in each region, pioneering new events and initiatives across Virginia that are contextualized for each part of the state. He concluded by focusing on the missions work Virginia Baptists do together, specifically sharing a powerful story from the work done in partnership with Ghana Baptists through More Than Nets.

Before lunch, Mission Council members nominated a slate of 15 nominees for the Executive Board, including renominating the current five Executive Board members who are eligible for another term.

During the afternoon sessions, Mission Council members had opportunities to dialogue with BGAV staff members as well as Executive Board members. One of the topics of discussion was about the role of mission council members as advocates for the BGAV. “What reason would you give to be a part of the BGAV?” Crow asked.

Some of the answers shared were:

  • “It’s an opportunity to be involved in hands-on missions. We can do more together than we can alone.”
  • “There’s so much passion and so many roads of ministry.”
  • “Most exciting movement going.”
  • “Opportunities are already set up and can be quickly implemented [such as] Disaster Relief, pastoral assistance, etc. with little red tape.”

The meeting concluded with music and prayer.

    BGAV Continues Its Historic Support of the Separation of Church and State

    Posted: 5/4/17 at 4:00pm.

    Henrico, Va. – Virginia Baptists, acting out of our long-standing heritage of believing in and defending separation of church and state, signed a letter last month alongside our Baptist brothers and sisters from across the nation urging Congress not to weaken or eliminate protections for churches and non-profits from endorsing or opposing political candidates.

    “I’m saddened by today’s executive order,” John Upton, BGAV executive director, said. “Virginia Baptists have taken a historic stand and we continue to be committed to the separation of church and state. We are grateful for the voice of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty as they continue to speak on this issue.”

    Click here to read the full text of the letter.

    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, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and West Virginia.

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      January – April 2017 Treasurer’s Report

      Treasurers Report IconBelow are the monthly Treasurer’s Reports:

      For more information, please contact David Washburn, BGAV Treasurer.

      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.

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        The Latest Parish Papers Are Posted

          Dr. Linda McKinnish Bridges named Presidential Candidate for BTSR

          By Lacy Kendrick, BTSR

          Dr. Linda Bridges, Associate Dean of the College, Wake Forest University.

          The BTSR presidential search committee has named the Reverend Doctor Linda McKinnish Bridges as the presidential candidate for Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond.

          Upon approval by a vote of the BTSR Board of Trustees on March 21, McKinnish Bridges will succeed president Dr. Ron Crawford, effective July 1, 2017. Crawford is retiring after a decade of service to BTSR. Crawford says he is “very excited” about McKinnish Bridges returning to BTSR to serve as the next president. “Dr. Bridges’ disposition, training and experience uniquely qualify her for this position,” says Crawford. “She is known and loved in the larger BTSR community, and will lead the school well in the coming years.”

          McKinnish Bridges was selected after a comprehensive nationwide search led by a BTSR committee consisting of trustees, faculty and staff, with assistance from AGB Search. McKinnish Bridges will serve as the third president of BTSR, and comes to the seminary at the culmination of BTSR’s 25th anniversary.

          Dr. Bert Browning, chair of the presidential search committee, says, “Rev. Dr. Linda McKinnish Bridges represents our heritage as one of the seminary’s original professors at its founding. She embodies our hope, as we look to her wise leadership for the challenging and promising days ahead. She joins us in the here and now to link our past and our future.”

          Dr. Tracy Hartman, BTSR faculty member and member of the search committee, adds, “As a renowned scholar and respected business woman, Dr. Bridges is the ideal person to lead us into the future. She knows and loves BTSR, and she understands the challenges facing the church and theological education. BTSR will thrive under her innovative and visionary leadership.”

          A native of Henderson County, NC, McKinnish Bridges brings a wealth of experience as a theological educator and academic administrator. She earned her bachelor’s degree in religion and education at Meredith College, a master of divinity (MDiv) and PhD in New Testament Studies and Greek from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a master of business administration (MBA) from Wake Forest University School of Business. Ordained to the Gospel ministry in 1990 by the Northminster Baptist Church in Richmond, McKinnish Bridges has fulfilled her calling in both church and classroom.

          Dr. E. Bruce Heilman, former president of Meredith College and current chancellor of The University of Richmond, recalls, “Dr. Linda McKinnish Bridges, whom I know well, is a graduate of Meredith College where I served as president. She is distinguished in every respect. She has all the qualifications essential to fulfilling the challenging responsibilities of leading an institution of higher learning. Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond will continue to flourish under her strong leadership and reputation.”

          McKinnish Bridges, who served as the founding professor of Biblical Interpretation, Ancient Greek and New Testament Interpretation at BTSR from 1991 to 2001, looks forward to her return to the seminary. “I believe in the power of education to transform individuals, communities, and even nations. With thanksgiving for the faculty, administration, students, and trustees of BTSR who have created this vibrant community of learning for these 25 years, I am delighted to return to Richmond and help guide us into the next chapter,” says McKinnish Bridges.

          In addition to her experience as a founding faculty member, McKinnish Bridges brings student recruitment, business management and fundraising expertise to BTSR. She currently serves as Managing Director of The International University Alliance, Shorelight Education, a company seeking to help international students and US universities reach their international education goals in a highly competitive global environment.

          Dr. Basil Cleveland, Executive Vice President and co-founder of Shorelight Education, says, “It has been our distinct privilege to work with Dr. McKinnish Bridges for the last several years. My team in particular has benefitted from her thoughtful approach to developing and negotiating complex academic partnerships. She brought generosity, warmth, and curiosity to the negotiating table, which inspired trust. She brought humility and other-care to her coworkers, which inspired admiration. We are thrilled that she has chosen to pursue this leadership opportunity at Baptist Theological Seminary, and grateful for the time we spent together.”

          McKinnish Bridges also served in many roles of leadership at Wake Forest University from 2001-2014. As Associate Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences she led the University in student academic advising, diversity initiatives, and departmental leadership. As a faculty member and administrator in the School of Divinity, she worked to create joint degree programs with the WFU School of Medicine and the School of Law. With ability to speak Mandarin Chinese fluently, she helped develop and implement the first international enrollment strategy for Wake Forest University, focusing student recruitment primarily in China.

          Dr. Lynn Sutton, vice provost of Wake Forest University, says, “Linda McKinnish Bridges is a visionary leader in the field of higher education. She is the ideal person to advance the good work of the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond.”

          Rev. Dr. Linda McKinnish Bridges will transition to her new role in Spring 2017, and will officially begin as president of BTSR on July 1, 2017.

            Robert Parham (1953 – 2017)

              Annual Church Profile (ACP) Deadline Extended

              Posted: 3/1/17 at 1:30pm.

              Richmond, VA – Lifeway has announced the extended deadline of March 29th to complete the 2016 Annual Church Profile (ACP) and BGAV Supplemental Surveys. The surveys are typically due by the end of each calendar year, but with the transfer to the new Lifeway database the ACP reporting cycle has run behind schedule this year.

              Churches should complete their surveys by logging into the database (www.sbcworkspace.com) or mailing a copy to their local association.

              Questions may be directed to Melody Fowler (melody.fowler@bgav.org), Data Entry Coordinator-Information Services Team, (800)255-2428 X1207.

              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.

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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.

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                  Theological Library Service Available for Church Leaders, Teachers

                  Union Presbyterian Seminary’s William Smith Morton Library, in Richmond, launched a new service in 2016 designed to provide theological resources to individuals with leadership or teaching roles in religious organizations. 

                  Those who can provide evidence of such a role – whether ordained or non-ordained, paid or unpaid – are now eligible to apply for library privileges at a reduced rate of $50 a year, less than $5/month. 

                  This service is designed not only for pastors but also for Sunday School teachers, youth leaders, music directors, board and committee members, administrators and those who serve religious non-profits, whether Christian or of another faith. 

                  More information is available on the library’s Membership page at http://library.upsem.edu/about-the-library/richmond-campus/membership/.  The library’s front desk staff is also available to answer questions by phone at 804-278-4310.

                    December 2016 Treasurer’s Report

                    Treasurers Report IconDownload the Treasurer’s Report for December 2016.

                    For more information, please contact David Washburn, BGAV Treasurer.

                    Download the Treasurer’s Report (PDF)

                    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.

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                      2017-2018 BGAV College Scholarships & Ministerial Educational Funds Applications Now Available

                      Posted: 1/16/17 at 12:15pm.

                      Scholarship ProgramThrough Cooperative Missions offerings, the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) provides scholarships and ministerial education funds for eligible Virginia Baptist students who need aid in financing their education.

                      BGAV College Scholarships and Ministerial Education Funds can help students earn an undergraduate degree, pursue undergraduate or graduate education in preparation for vocational ministry, or access training and continuing education opportunities.

                      Visit BGAV.org/Scholarships to learn more.

                        BGAV President Stu Crow Appoints Standing Committee Chairpersons

                        BGAV President Stu Crow has made the following appointments for 2017:

                        Appointed BGAV Standing Committee Chairs

                        • Committee on Boards and Committees – Nancy Moore (Walnut Hills Baptist Church) Chair
                        • Committee on Scholarships & Ministerial Education Funds – Caroline Davidson (Lyndale Baptist Church) Chair
                        • Committee on Program – Rupert Rose (Monument Heights Baptist Church) Chair
                        • Committee on Christian Life – Wayne Collis (Gordonsville Baptist Church) Chair
                        • Committee on Memorial – Joey McNeill (Fort Trial Baptist Church) Chair
                        • Committee on Religious Liberty – Ellis West (River Road Church, Baptists) Chair
                        • Committee on Resolutions – Shelton Miles (First Baptist Church of Republican Grove) Chair
                        • Committee on Credentials – Carrie Kerwick (Effort Baptist Church), Chair
                        • Tellers Committee – Brian Kramer (Mathews Baptist Church), Chair

                        Special Committee

                        • Committee on Administer the Minister’s Unemployment Fund
                          • Jeff Bloomer (Cool Spring Baptist Church) Chair
                          • Marvin Gregory (Huguenot Road Baptist Church) appointed to serve a five year term, term to expire 2021

                        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.

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                          November 2016 Treasurer’s Report

                          Treasurers Report IconDownload the Treasurer’s Report for November 2016.

                          For more information, please contact David Washburn, BGAV Treasurer.

                          Download the Treasurer’s Report (PDF)

                          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.

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                            BGAV Concludes 2016 Annual Meeting

                            Posted: 11/16/16 at 2:00pm.

                            Messengers raise their ballots to vote during the Wednesday morning business session.

                            Messengers raise their ballots to vote during the Wednesday morning business session.

                            Roanoke, VA – The Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) concluded its meeting at Bonsack Baptist Church with its final business session and worship service Wednesday morning.

                            The 2017 budget was passed with a few dissensions and no discussion.

                            Later in the meeting, messengers elected new officers for 2016. Stuart Crow, a member of First Baptist Church, Waynesboro, was nominated and elected to serve next year as president.

                            George Fletcher, retired pastor of First Baptist Church, Winchester, was elected as 1st Vice President. Additionally, messengers elected Michael Cheuk as 2nd Vice President and Fred Anderson will serve as clerk for a 35th year.

                            The body also approved new Mission Council members. You may click here to view their names, photos, and bios.

                            Carl Johnson was approved as chair of the Executive Board. Becky McKinney, Kevin Meadows, Herbert Ponder, Adam Tyler, and Michael Jordan were all nominated to serve on the Executive Board. You may click here to learn more about them.

                            In additional business, the Religious Liberty Committee brought forward an amended resolution calling on Virginia Baptists to “speak out against anti-Muslim rhetoric and bigotry, learn about Islam, get to know their Muslim neighbors, meet and talk with them about their respective faiths and common concerns, such as religious liberty, and above all else show them the love of Jesus…” The resolution passed with a 78% majority, clearing the 75% threshold for resolutions to be approved.

                            Additionally, messengers approved a resolution expressing appreciation for Bonsack Baptist Church and all of those who helped plan and facilitate the meeting.

                            The proposed amendments to the Constitution/Bylaws passed without discussion.

                            After intermission, messengers and guests worshipped together. Three ministers from Bonsack, Chris Cadenhead, Barry Green, and Danny Quirin, presented their “Lucky” skit and had everyone laughing. Family and Friends, a bluegrass ensemble group, led the music. Gabe Lyons then came to the stage to talk about what it means to be a prophetic minority in culture.

                            Following Gabe’s talk, John Upton began a time of communion, saying “We will leave this place one family, but we will go to many different places of worship. It is important to remember who we are….God and his love will have the last word so that we can go in confidence.”

                            The 194th Annual Meeting of the BGAV will be held November 13-15, 2017 in the Hampton Roads area.

                            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, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and West Virginia.

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                              BGAV Approves 2017 Budget

                              Posted: 11/16/16 at 9:15am.

                              1st-Vice President Stuart Crow opens the Wednesday morning business session.

                              1st-Vice President Stuart Crow opens the Wednesday morning business session.

                              Roanoke, VA – During the Wednesday business session of the 193rd annual meeting, members of the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) voted to approve the 2017 budget of $10 million.

                              The 2017 budget reflects a $500,000 reduction compared to 2016. A number of attendees attended Tuesday’s Executive Board breakout session and offered questions and comments about the proposed budget.

                              You may click here to view the 2017 budget.

                              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, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and West Virginia.

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