Posted: 11/15/16 at 10:15pm.
Roanoke, VA – During Tuesday’s business session at the 193rd Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV), Virginia Baptists recognized and honored five men. Through resolutions of appreciation, each was individually recognized before the gathered body of messengers.
Charles Chandler, founder and executive director of Ministering to Ministers (MTM), will retire December 31, 2016. This unique ministry advocates for ministers and their families who are experiencing personal or professional crises from forced termination. MTM’s flagship resource, their five-day wellness retreats, has given support to 1,300 ministers and spouses from 40 religious communions across the United States, Canada, and the Bahamas. This ministry has guided many Virginia church leaders in times of transition. More than 10,000 ministers and spouses have benefitted from other growth resources provided by MTM.
Daniel Carro retired from the BGAV as Kingdom Advance Ambassador at the end of 2015. Daniel, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and a citizen of the United States since 2012, has served as a living Christian bridge across cultures and throughout the Baptist family. As a pastor, he began his ministry in four churches in Argentina and then served as pastor of the Hispanic congregation at Columbia Baptist Church in Falls Church (2000–2004). As a seminary leader, Daniel served his alma mater, Seminaro International Teological Bautista in Buenos Aires, as director of public relations (1981–1991) and director of post-graduate studies (1995–2000) before joining the faculty of the John Leland Center for Theological Studies in Arlington as Professor of Divinity (2000 to the present). As a denominational leader, Daniel simultaneously led the Union of Baptists in Latin America as executive secretary (1995–2001) and the Baptist World Alliance’s regional secretary for Latin America (1995– 2001), along with his leadership in Virginia’s Latino ministries. From 2010–2015 Daniel served as First Vice-President of the Baptist World Alliance. He currently serves as a board member for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and Baptist Center for Ethics.
For more than a quarter-century, Richard “Dick” Bidwell offered selfless and skilled volunteer service as parliamentarian and in other roles in the Baptist General Association of Virginia. An active and faithful member of Bon Air Baptist Church in Richmond for a half century, Dick served there in a myriad of roles, including moderator, parliamentarian, and facilities manager. Additionally, he provided top-level leadership in Richmond Baptist Association, including as parliamentarian. Dick led an array of roles on the elected Board (1996-2002, 2003-2009). He chaired the Budget Committee (1976–1977) and served on multiple Constitution and Bylaws Committees. In his parliamentary duties, Dick has ruled on difficult issues with calm fairness, creating confidence in the decision-making process. He also served a term as a trustee for the Baptist Extension Board. Importantly, Dick generously donated his expertise as he drafted and reviewed major contracts and agreements for the Executive Office across many years.
Tom Ingram, BGAV Field Strategist, Capital Region and Worship and Church Music Specialist, announced his retirement effective December 31, 2016. Tom, born in Atlanta and educated in music at Wake Forest University, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies, has shaped the music and worship practices of the Virginia Baptist family. He has served extensively across the Commonwealth as leader of revival music, as clinician and judge for music festivals in Virginia and beyond, and as an adjunctive instructor in church music at Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond (2006–2007). After moving to Virginia following seminary, Tom led Bon Air Baptist Church, Richmond, as minister of music and youth (1974–1977), Averett College as assistant professor of Christian studies, music, and religion (1977–1983), Lee Street-College Park Baptist Church in Danville as part-time minister of music (1978–1983), Hatcher Memorial Baptist Church in Richmond as minister of music and administration (1983–1994), and music ministries on the staff of the Baptist General Association of Virginia (1994–2016).
Brent Walker has announced his plan to retire as the executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty in Washington, D.C. at the end of 2016. Brent, both an ordained Baptist minister and a member of the U.S. Supreme Court Bar, leads our nation’s anchor organization upholding the historic Baptist principle of religious liberty. With the separation of church and state a hard-won heart issue in Virginia Baptist history, the Baptist Joint Committee has championed religious liberty for 80 years and on behalf of fifteen groups across today’s Baptist family, including the Baptist General Association of Virginia. The Baptist Joint Committee has faithfully defended our free exercise of religion and protected against the establishment of religion by the government. Brent has provided leadership for the Baptist Joint Committee as associate general counsel (1989- 1993), general counsel (1993-1999), and executive director since 1999. With clarity and impact, he has spoken and written on key church-state issues in churches, religious gatherings, and the public media.
Additionally, certificates of appreciation were presented to Daphne Almarode and Jennifer Mullins for their service as collegiate ministers at James Madison University and Radford University, respectively.
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.