By Nathan White
Richmond, Va. – Tuesday, January 13, 2015 – The Executive Board of the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) held its first meeting today at the Virginia Baptist Resource Center. Created as part of the new Constitution/Bylaws voted in by messengers at the Annual Meeting in Hampton last November, the 21 member board is charged with leading the 191 year old organization.
BGAV President Ann Brown welcomed members and led them in activities to get to know each other. During one exercise she asked board members to write down and share their hopes and dreams for both the Executive Board and the BGAV.
Answers centered on the themes of desiring to be good stewards of the responsibilities put to them, supporting the staff as much as possible, and building a good foundation for future boards.
After the welcoming exercises, 1st Vice President Nancy Stanton McDaniel offered a meaningful devotion, issuing the challenge “May we make a difference for our Lord in all that we do.”
Executive Director John Upton then began walking board members through the daunting process of orientation. “Today will be like drinking out of a fire hydrant,” he said. “My intent is to make you as informed as you possibly can.”
Treasurer David Washburn introduced the budget and budget-making process to board members. “Congratulations – you are the budget committee,” Washburn told them.
Previously a separate Budget Committee was charged with formulating the budget. Under the new structure the Executive Board is charged with that responsibility, allowing for more strategic planning.
After lunch, Brown walked the members through the governance process leading up to this point and what was expected of them. She pointed out that this board has several strategic advantages not available within the previous governance model, including that they are a workable size and can represent and focus on the entire BGAV.
In considering how to govern and operate, Brown cautioned “We don’t want to rush into anything. We have a unique opportunity…we want to do it right.”
The group then handled several small items of business, including electing Carl Johnson as Vice-Chair and Herbert Ponder as Secretary.
Throughout the meeting, friends of Virginia Baptists offered their prayers on Facebook for this body as they gathered for the first time:
The next meeting of the Executive Board is March 10.
The 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, the District of Columbia, and the states of California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and West Virginia.