Will become Director of Mission Advancement and Virginia Regional Coordinator
Travis Collins, Senior Pastor of Bon Air Baptist Church in Richmond, will join the staff of the Virginia Baptist Mission Board (VBMB) of the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) as Director of Mission Advancement and Virginia Regional Coordinator for Fresh Expressions US according to John Upton, BGAV Executive Director.
Upton is grateful that Collins is available to serve pastors and churches across Virginia. “Travis has a heart for helping churches identify new opportunities to be church in their local communities. He loves the local church and has felt a call to both encourage churches and be a resource to them. His arrival brings so many right things together for Virginia Baptists in offering quality services to our churches. The BGAV is uniquely equipping itself to be the resource that churches can turn to for hope, encouragement, mission, and quality training.”
Bon Air will hold a special commissioning service for Collins on Sunday, March 2. He begins his new role with Fresh Expressions US on Monday, March 17.
Chris Backert, National Director of Fresh Expressions US, calls Collins a gift to the movement. “Fresh Expressions is a tremendous hope to the whole Church both in new and established congregations. To add a seasoned pastor with a missions background who’s boldly led congregations into mission is a great gift to our efforts.”
In his new role, Collins will raise awareness about Fresh Expressions of church among new and established churches and associations through the development of regional strategic leadership teams in Virginia and beyond.
He will equip Virginia Baptist pastors and lay leaders through training and staff development opportunities and will develop additional written materials to advance the mission within these networks and other constituencies.
He will also help further develop the national strategy for Fresh Expressions US alongside Backert; Gannon Sims, Director of Communications; and a growing number of staff from a variety of denominational backgrounds.
Steve Hartman, Pastor of Third Presbyterian Church in Richmond and a member of the Board of Trustees for Fresh Expressions US, is excited about the wealth of experience Collins will bring into this new chapter of ministry. “The Travis Collins I know has a heart for those in the church and a love for those outside the church. I think Fresh Expressions US is getting just the right person for this time in its work.”
Bon Air Baptist Church is one church with four worship locations in Metropolitan Richmond. The church has fostered several Fresh Expressions of church including: The NorthStar Community, serving those seeking healing and recovery; and the International Community Church, a network of house churches meeting throughout Richmond and several other cities.
Collins began his ministry as the fourth pastor of Bon Air in 2002. He is a graduate of Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama and earned the Master of Divinity and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. His twenty-five plus years of ministry have included missionary service in Nigeria. He is the author of Directionally Challenged (2007) and Tough Calls (2008). Travis and his wife, Keri, have three adult children.
Fresh Expressions of church are new forms of church for our changing culture, established primarily for the benefit of those who are not yet part of any church. The Fresh Expressions National Gathering takes place March 28-29 in Alexandria, Virginia. Learn more at www.FreshExpressionsUS.org.