Posted 12/2/2020 at 3:30pm.
RICHMOND, VA. The 2020 Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) was held entirely online on Monday and Tuesday, November 9-10. Nearly 1,100 registrants participated in events ranging from the Pastor’s Conference Monday afternoon to 10 breakout sessions on Tuesday.
A highlight of the meeting was Monday evening’s worship celebration, a two-hour video event centered on the theme, “Deep Roots, Green Shoots,” and focused on Isaiah 43:19: “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” The worship celebration was preceded by a 15-minute prelude of music and worship videos submitted by BGAV churches, and it concluded with a postlude with videos from more churches.
Executive Director John Upton led the worship celebration alongside BGAV President Adam Tyler, as they highlighted the ongoing ministries of BGAV and its churches over the past year of challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic response. “Many of us made some changes over the past year that we’ve realized we probably should have made anyway—with or without the pandemic,” Upton commented. “We’ve been summoned to a new way of life—a new way of doing things.”
N.T. Wright, a world-renowned New Testament scholar, gave the keynote address from his study in Oxford, England, where he currently serves as professor. Honing in on the Isaiah 43 passage, Wright shared insights about the new things God is doing amidst the challenges and uncertainties of the Church’s response to the pandemic.
Tuesday’s 10 breakout sessions covered timely topics focused on current issues in the Church—from race relations to children and youth ministry to self-care for ministers. A virtual Mission Run 5K offered participants to run or walk individually and raise support for the 2020 Missions Offering, from which the proceeds will go to assist BGAV and ministry partners in purchasing building materials to repair and rebuild homes for families in need because of COVID-19.
A first-ever Virtual Ministry Fair offered an opportunity for BGAV’s ministry partners and regular exhibitors to sponsor the event and gain exposure for their ministries and services.
Videos of the worship celebration and all breakout sessions are available throughout December 2020 at meeting.bgav.org.
Since BGAV’s Constitution and Bylaws have no provision for online voting, no official business was conducted; instead, all matters were deferred to the next annual meeting in 2021. This past June, when the BGAV Executive Board decided to hold an online-only meeting for 2020, they also voted to keep all current officers and committee members in place. All agreed to serve an additional year.
Officers include Adam Tyler, President, Ronald Gravatt, 1st Vice President, Carol Johnston, 2nd Vice President, and Herbert Ponder, Clerk. Becky McKinney will continue to serve as chair of the Executive Board. Also in June, the Executive Board voted to continue the 2020 budget into next year.
The next BGAV Annual Meeting is scheduled for November 15-17, 2021 in Hampton, Virginia.