BGAV Book of Reports 2023

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CALLED C e l e b rat ing 200 Years

TO BE 2023



BGAV ANNUAL MEETING AND 200TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION November 13-15, 2023 Bon Air Baptist Church Richmond, VA

200 1823



BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 1

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TABLE OF CONTENTS BGAV 2023 Book of Reports

Introductory Materials Registration and Voting Procedures...................................................................................................... 4 To Introduce Business...............................................................................................................................5 BGAV Officers and Committees............................................................................................................. 6 Virginia Baptist Executive Board Members...........................................................................................7 Virginia Baptist Mission Council Members.......................................................................................... 8 Recommendations and Reports................................................................................................................ 9 Treasurer’s Report.................................................................................................................................... 10 Recommendations and Reports from the Virginia Baptist Executive Board..................................11 Resolution of Appreciation for Glenn Akins........................................................................................ 13 Resolution of Appreciation for John Chandler.................................................................................... 14 Resolution of Appreciation for David Coggins .................................................................................. 15 Resolution of Appreciation for Laura McDaniel................................................................................. 16 Resolution of Appreciation for David Olive......................................................................................... 17 Proposed Amendment to BGAV Constitution/Bylaws....................................................................... 18 Election of Virginia Baptist Executive Board Nominees.................................................................... 19 Election of Virginia Baptist Executive Board Chair............................................................................. 19 2024 Proposed Cooperative Missions Budget Allocation and World Missions Causes.............. 20 Report of the 2023 Alma Hunt Offering for Virginia Missions.........................................................25 Official Reports of Boards and Committees..........................................................................................27 Committee on Boards and Committees Report................................................................................ 28 Nominations to the Committee on Boards and Committees......................................................... 33 Christian Life Committee Report......................................................................................................... 34 Program Committee Report................................................................................................................. 39 Religious Liberty Committee Report................................................................................................... 40 Resolutions Committee Report............................................................................................................. 41 Scholarships and Ministerial Education Funds Committee Report............................................... 42 Annual Report of the BGAV....................................................................................................................... 43 Annual Reports of Ministry Partners, Educational Institutions, and Shared Ministries..............57 Annual Reports of Ministry Partners.................................................................................................... 58 Annual Reports of Educational Institutions.........................................................................................73 Annual Reports of Shared Ministries....................................................................................................87 Constitution/Bylaws of the BGAV...........................................................................................................105

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REGISTRATION AND VOTING PROCEDURES At the 1971 annual meeting of the Baptist General Association of Virginia, registration and voting procedures for the annual meeting were established. I. Eligibility The eligibility of messengers is determined by the Constitution/Bylaws of the Baptist General Association of Virginia as follows: ARTICLE III. Section B: Composition The General Association shall be composed of the officers of the General Association and messengers elected by Baptist churches which follow the New Testament teaching of salvation by grace and believer’s baptism by immersion, and which cooperate with the General Association. Each church contributing financially at least $500 during the previous fiscal year, according to the treasurer’s report, to the Virginia portion of the Cooperative Missions Budget shall be entitled to two (2) messengers; to a total of three (3) messengers for $750; a total of four (4) messengers for $1000, and to one (1) more messenger for each additional $600; provided that no church shall be entitled to more than fifteen (15) messengers. If $500 is more than two percent (2%) of a church’s total annual receipts, such church is entitled to two (2) messengers, provided it contributes financially at least two percent (2%) of its total annual receipts to the Virginia portion of the Cooperative Missions Budget. The Cooperative Missions Budget as adopted by the General Association is the preferred way Virginia Baptists express their unity in mission and ministry. Cooperative Missions is Virginia Baptists’ long-standing commitment to the Cooperative Program. II. Registration • Messengers should be elected by cooperating Baptist churches. • A registration packet is mailed to each cooperating Baptist church and contains login credentials and registration forms required to complete messenger registration. • Cooperating Baptist churches may pre-register elected messengers for the Baptist General Association of Virginia’s annual meeting on-line or by mail or they can register on-site during the meeting. • Pre-registering messengers on-line requires login credentials. Churches may obtain this information within the registration packet or by contacting the Baptist General Association of Virginia. • Pre-registering messengers by mail as well as registering messengers on-site using the registration form requires an authorized signature. If an authorized signature is not present, the Baptist General Association of Virginia’s credentials committee will make a decision regarding the messenger status. III. Voting Registered messengers will be provided with a link and sign in information to allow them to access the voting process electronically. This will be the preferred method of voting for those in person and for those attending virtually. Messengers who do not have personal access to the internet will be given paper ballots at registration.

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TO INTRODUCE BUSINESS The following is provided as information to assist messengers with the “when and how to” of presenting amendments, motions, and resolutions. The information has been paraphrased from the Constitution/Bylaws of the Baptist General Association of Virginia, which are printed in full at the end of the Book of Reports. Article X states that amendments to the Constitution/Bylaws must be presented in writing during the morning session of the first day. Providing these qualifications are met, they will be voted upon during the business session of the second day. Article VIII, Section D of the BGAV Constitution/Bylaws states that motions which would change the policy of the General Association or recommend changes to the policy of any agency, institution or shared ministry connected with the General Association, shall be made in writing and presented on the first day of the annual meeting. Action on such motion shall occur on the second day of the annual meeting. A motion is defined as that business brought before the BGAV which relates to or affects the policies and/or operations of the BGAV. A policy is defined as those principles by which the BGAV is guided and managed. Article VII, General Provisions, Section I of the BGAV Constitution/Bylaws states that resolutions from messengers must be received in writing by the office of the Executive Director no later than October 15 and shall be referred to the Committee on Resolutions. Resolutions from the Executive Board or committees, and resolutions submitted for action by the Committee on Resolutions, must be published in the Book of Reports; or be published on the General Association website in advance of the annual meeting of the General Association; or be available to the messengers at registration. Adoption of any resolution shall require three-fourths (3/4) majority vote of the messengers present and voting. A resolution is defined as the expression of the opinion of registered messengers and in no way establishes the policies of the General Association. Only registered messengers, the Executive Board, and committees of the General Association are eligible to submit resolutions to the annual meeting of the General Association. Note: Matters introduced after the end of the first day of an annual meeting may not be considered at that annual meeting except by unanimous consent. Persons who desire assistance in putting in proper constitutional form matters of business to be presented to the General Association may contact any member of the Program Committee who will refer you to a resource person.

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200TH ANNUAL MEETING OFFICERS Baptist General Association of Virginia


President................................................................................................Herbert L. Ponder First Vice-President....................................................................... Rebecca J. McKinney Second Vice-President............................................................................Mark E. Hughes Executive Director..................................................................................Wayne D. Faison Treasurer.............................................................................................. David B. Washburn Clerk..........................................................................................................Nathan L. Taylor


Scott Curtis, Chair Beth Anderson Brenda Armistead Marco Capayachi Carolyn Demery Helen Foster Stephen Gray Dianne Jones-Freeman Sylvia Wade

Mark E. Hughes (by virtue of office) PARLIAMENTARIANS

Beth Fogg Virgil Hazelett Richard Martin TELLERS

Carolyn Johnson (chair) Kent Brown Rose Hinnant William Eric Jackson, Sr. Anna Kissne Nettie A. Stokes CREDENTIALS

Michele Spencer (chair) Glenda Jackson Mac Jordan Curt Kruschwitz Lynn Rogers Jacqueline Smith Phyllis Tyler

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VIRGINIA BAPTIST EXECUTIVE BOARD Baptist General Association of Virginia


Herbert L. Ponder (Minister) Church: Mount Tabor Baptist Church BGAV President

Ronald Eugene Gravatt (Layperson) Church: Buena Vista Baptist Church BGAV Immediate Past President

Rebecca J. McKinney (Layperson) Church: Chatham Heights Baptist Church BGAV First Vice President

Wayne D. Faison (Minister) Church: East End Baptist Church BGAV/ASCENT Executive Director

Mark E. Hughes (Minister) Church: West End Baptist Church BGAV Second Vice President

David B. Washburn (Minister) Church: Second Baptist Church BGAV/ASCENT Treasurer


David Eugene Benjamin (Minister) Church: Winfree Memorial Baptist Church 1st Term, term to expire 2023 Boyce Brannock (Layperson) Church: First Baptist Church of Waynesboro 1st Term, term to expire 2023 Wayne Jenkins (Minister) Church: First Baptist Church of Alexandria 1st Term, term to expire 2023

Oscar Bryan Taliaferro, Jr. (Layperson) Church: Beale Memorial Baptist Church 3rd Term, term to expire 2024 W. Michael Bradley (Minister) Church: Warrenton Baptist Church 1st Term, term to expire 2024 2025

Roberta Anderson (Minister) Church: Bethlehem Baptist Church 1st Term, term to expire 2025

Rachel Pierce (Minister) Church: First Baptist Church of Ashland 1st Term, term to expire 2023

Brooke Holloway Blake (Minister) Church: Memorial Baptist Church 2nd Term, term to expire 2025

Carlton Gunter (Minister) Church: Penuel Baptist Church 1st Term, term to expire 2023

Allen Jessee (Minister) Church: Highlands Fellowship Church 2nd Term, term to expire 2025


John Sawyer (Minister) Church: Bon Air Baptist Church James River Campus 1st Term, term to expire 2025

Shirley Cobb (Layperson) Church: Harrisonburg Baptist Church 3rd Term, term to expire 2024 Lora Gravatt (Minister) Church: Columbia Baptist Church 3rd Term, term to expire 2024

Stapelton W “Pete” Wills (Layperson) Church: Mechanicsville Baptist Church 2nd Term, term to expire 2025

Tamara McBride (Layperson) Church: East End Baptist Church 3rd Term, term to expire 2024 BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 7

VIRGINIA BAPTIST MISSION COUNCIL Baptist General Association of Virginia


Dianne Altizer, Southwest Phil Bailey, Central/Valley Danielle Bridgeforth, Northern Tim Brown, Southwest Michael Edwards, Capital Joy Eure, Northern Lee Foster, Southside Josh Franklin, Capital Bob Gordon, Northern Chad Harris, Southside Bill Hartsfield, Central/Valley Jeremy Ketron, Southwest Melanie Lassiter, Tidewater Greg McCormick, Central/Valley Mark Miller, Capital Ryan Mills, Southwest Rodney Morrison, Tidewater Darrell Naff, Southwest Leslie M. Park, Tidewater Rupert H. Rose, Jr., Capital Richard Sandberg, Northern Brenda Smith, Tidewater Marilyn D. Snoddy, Central/Valley Janett Southall, Southside Jack Thomas, Central/Valley McWayne Williams, Northern Keith Williams, Tidewater Steve L. Zimmerman, Southside 2024

Pam Chambers, Central/Valley Danny Wayne Collins, Southwest Patricia Pat Craft, Southwest Josh Crews, Southside Chris Davis, Northern Brenda L. Evans, Capital Laura French, Southside Mary Garrett, Southwest James George, Northern Margarete R. Gillette, Central/Valley Denise Harcum, Capital Brenda Hastings, Northern Ron Hatcher, Capital

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John Huelskoetter, Northern Tommy Larson, Tidewater Kelly Lindquist, Capital Lynn Marstin, Southside Randy McCollum, Tidewater John Robertson, Tidewater Jake Roudebush, Central/Valley Joshua Snead, Southwest Jerry Stanfield, Southside Stephen Taylor, Tidewater Wes Taylor, Tidewater Hector Velasquez, Northern Catherine White, Southside Kristin Adkins Whitesides, Central/Valley Brenda Sue Wilkinson, Central/Valley Tom Williams, Capital 2025

Andre Amaral, Capital Ben Boyd, Capital Leroy Bradshaw, Southside Kevin Branham, Capital Jim Bunce, Central/Valley Brian Burdett, Northern Connie Cruze, Southwest Steve Hagan, Northern Greg Harrell, Southwest Lynette Johnson, Southwest Sam Maxwell, Northern Alan Miller, Northern Anne Mitchell, Tidewater Molly Moore, Central/Valley Steve Nethery, Central/Valley Jeff Noble, Southwest Matt Parron, Tidewater Troy Pearson, Central/Valley Cindy Phillips, Southside Thomas Saunders, Central/Valley Tiffany Slaughter, Southside Allan Smith, Northern Greg Soultz, Capital Carter Tan, Capital Andy Wood, Southwest Patrick Wood, Tidewater


CALLED C e l e b rat ing 200 Years

TO BE 2023



• Recommendations and Reports from the Virginia Baptist Executive Board • Resolutions of Appreciation • Proposed Amendment to BGAV Constitution/Bylaws • Election of Virginia Baptist Executive Board Nominees • Election of Virginia Baptist Executive Board Chair • 2024 Proposed Cooperative Missions Budget Allocation • 2024 Proposed World Mission Causes • Report of the 2023 Alma Hunt Offering for Virginia Missions

BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 9


Distribution of Gifts Received as of September 30, 2023 COOPERATIVE MISSIONS BGAV Ministries Partnership Missions Averett University Baptist Extension Board Bluefield University Center for Baptist Heritage and Studies EverBless Foundation Fork Union Military Academy GraceInside Hargrave Military Academy HopeTree Family Services LifeSpire of Virginia Oak Hill Academy Virginia Baptist Historical Society WMU of Virginia

$3,277,073 $112,064 $65 $789 $25,607 $40,761 $458 $743 $25,818 $303 $22,088 $3,256 $9,972 $15,803 $172,206

WORLD MISSION CAUSES Southern Baptist Convention Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission - SBC Historical Library and Archives - SBC International Mission Board - SBC North American Mission Board - SBC Guidestone Financial Resources - SBC Gateway Seminary - SBC Midwestern Seminary - SBC New Orleans Seminary - SBC Southeastern Seminary - SBC Southern Seminary - SBC Southwestern Seminary - SBC Kingdom Advance New Mission Initiatives Baptist Joint Committee Baptist News Global Baptist World Alliance Leland Seminary Ministering to Ministers Foundation Missions Development & Relief Seminary Scholarship Fund Theological Education Ascent World Hunger

$650,636 $1,437 $318 $174,731 $64,158 $6,497 $2,406 $3,180 $3,024 $3,278 $3,930 $3,105 $174,241 $22,242 $13,007 $49,492 $46,857 $16,306 $87,219 $27,148 $49,197 $41,456 $37

OTHER SPECIAL OFFERINGS AND DESIGNATIONS Alma Hunt Offering for Virginia Missions Lottie Moon Missions Offering Annie Armstrong Missions Offering Other Designations Total Receipts as of September 30, 2023

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$8,759 $80 $25,418 $4,863 $600 $1,000


TOTAL $3,277,073 $124,234 $65 $789 $25,607 $40,761 $458 $9,501 $25,898 $303 $47,506 $8,119 $10,572 $15,803 $173,206

$2,051 $100 $5,860 $131,321

$653,222 $1,437 $318 $197,055 $67,538 $8,297 $2,406 $3,180 $3,024 $3,278 $3,930 $3,105 $176,829 $23,242 $14,007 $51,243 $46,857 $16,306 $87,219 $29,199 $49,297 $47,317 $131,358

$173,304 $1,292,395 $933,233 $1,683,234

$173,304 $1,292,395 $933,233 $1,683,234



$22,324 $3,379 $1,800

$2,588.00 $1,000 $1,000 $1,751

RECOMMENDATIONS AND REPORTS FROM THE VIRGINIA BAPTIST EXECUTIVE BOARD 1. Approved the 2023 Alma Hunt Allocations. 2. Received the full 2022 audit report from Keiter. 3. Approved the updated Hunger Funds Policies. 4. Approved 6 additional 2023 housing requests for staff. 5. Approved the 2024 housing allowances requests for ordained staff. 6. Approved a Resolution of Appreciation for Col. David L. Coggins. 7. Approved a Resolution of Appreciation for Dr. David W. Olive. 8. Approved a Resolution of Appreciation for Glenn Akins. 9. Approved a Resolution of Appreciation for John P. Chandler. 10. Approved a Resolution of Appreciation for Laura A. McDaniel. 11. Approved a study leave for Ken Kessler. 12. Approved the nomination of Tiffany Slaughter (M), Kenbridge Baptist Church, to serve on the Mission Council, term to expire 2025. 13. Recommend the following nominees to serve on the Executive Board, terms to expire 2026: David Benjamin (M), second term (Winfree Memorial Baptist Church); Carlton Gunter (M), second term (Penuel Baptist Church); Wayne Jenkins (M), second term (FBC Alexandria); Michael Moore (L), first term (Gracewood Community Church); and Rachel Pierce (M) second term (FBC Ashland). 14. Recommend the nomination of Brooke Blake, Memorial Baptist Church, to serve as chair of the Executive Board in 2024 and approved Carlton Gunter, Penuel Baptist Church to serve as vice chair of the Executive Board in 2024 and _________ to serve as secretary of the Executive Board in 2024. 15. Approved and elected Wayne Jenkins (M), First Baptist Church, Alexandria to fill the unexpired term of Becky McKinney, term to expire 2023. 16. Approved the salary scale for 2024. 17. Approved a Statement of Re-Affirmation on “Who We Are as Virginia Baptists”. 18. Updated the BGAV Personnel Manual. 19. Recommend the Committee on Scholarships and Ministerial Education Funds be reduced from 15 members to 9 members. 20. Approved the creation of a BGAV International Missions Offering. 21. Approved the naming of Dr. Chris Backert as the Associate Executive Director BGAV/Ascent. 22. Affirmed the roster of the Ascent Steering Council. 23. Approved the following V3 board members: Carter Tan, Gretchen Hall Abney, Joe Racek, and Jonathan Chan. 24. Approved the following Uptick board member: Lesley Francisco McClendon 25. Approved an amended 2023 Salary Scale. BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 11

26. Approved the $7,061,860 Cooperative Missions budget goal for 2024 and the overall BGAV budget goal for 2024. 27. Approved the Treasurer be authorized to distribute all funds received after January 10, 2024, in accordance with the 2024 budget.

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RESOLUTION OF APPRECIATION FOR GLENN AKINS Glenn Akins has announced his plan to retire from the Executive Office of the Baptist General Association of Virginia as Assistant Executive Director, Director of Center for Ministry Research and Innovation on December 31, 2023, after twenty years of service. Whereas, Glenn’s responsibilities currently include recruiting and orienting churches new to the BGAV (both in state and beyond), serving as field representative for out of state churches, supporting churches launching multisite campuses and online campuses, providing demographic information to churches, leading churches through strategic planning, assisting churches with mergers, relocations, and issues related to disbanding and closures. Whereas, he previously served the BGAV as Chief Information Officer in which capacity he conducted technology assessment studies, initiated the move to an integrated database, related as staff liaison to the North American Mission Board and Associational Directors of Missions. Whereas, prior to becoming CIO he served the BGAV as Congregational Transformation Consultant by leading workshops on church vitality issues including resourcing churches in decision making and planning processes related to relocations, mergers, facility planning, staffing, closure, and mission field analysis. Whereas, prior to coming to the BGAV, Glenn served the Illinois Baptist State Association as Interim Executive Director, Strategic Planning and Associational Services Group Manager, and Director, Research and Consulting Services and served the South Carolina Baptist Convention before that as Director of Research and Consulting Services, Director of Missions Development, and Regional Church Starting Strategist. Whereas, Glenn’s educational background includes the Doctor of Ministry from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary Wake Forest, NC, a Master of Divinity in Religious Education from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY, and a Bachelor of Arts from Missouri Baptist College, St. Louis, MO. Therefore, be it resolved that we, the elected members of the Virginia Baptist Executive Board meeting on October 5, 2023, offer our appreciation for the Life and work of Glenn Akins, and we vow to support Glenn and his wife Betsy with our prayers as they move into a new chapter of life and ministry. Be it further resolved, that we ask the messengers of the Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Association of Virginia meeting in Richmond on November 14, 2023, to offer our gratitude for the ministry of Glenn Akins.

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RESOLUTION OF APPRECIATION FOR JOHN P. CHANDLER John Chandler has announced his plan to retire as leader of Uptick on February 6, 2024. John has led Uptick since 2007. Uptick, which John founded, has invested in developing a generation of Jesus-shaped leaders in BGAV life and beyond. Whereas, prior to leading Uptick, John served as leader for the Courageous Churches team for the Baptist General Association of Virginia, where he served from 2002-2006. While leading this team, the BGAV significantly increased the annual number of churches planted, and reversed a seven-year trend of declining state baptisms. Whereas, from 1999-2002, John served as BGAV Director of Evangelism and Church Growth. This period saw a fivefold increase in engagement at its annual evangelism conference and 4,463 recorded student decisions for Christ at its Youth Evangelism Conference. Whereas, he served as Pastor of Effort Baptist Church in Palmyra, Virginia from 1987-1999. During his tenure, the church grew from 17 to nearly 500 in attendance and baptized over 350 people, most of whom were unchurched adults. He also served as Pastor of Twin County Baptist Church in Kendall Park, New Jersey; on a church planting team for the South Jersey-Pennsylvania Baptist Association; and as Minister of Youth at Friendly Avenue Baptist Church in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he was baptized and ordained. Whereas, John is author of six books: Courageous Church Leadership: Conversations with Effective Practitioners (2007, Chalice Press); Praying New Beginnings (Genesis-Deuteronomy); Praying the Kings: Mining the Old Testament for Daily Leadership Guidance; Praying Wisdom (Job–Song of Solomon); and Praying the Prophets (Isaiah–Malachi), and Uptick: Finding and Forming the Next Generation of Pioneering Leaders (Movement Leaders Collective Press, 2019). Whereas, John holds the Doctor of Ministry (Spirituality and Leadership), Fuller Theological Seminary, 1997; the Master of Theology (Preaching), Princeton Theological Seminary, 1987; the Master of Divinity (New Testament), Princeton Theological Seminary, 1986; and the Bachelor of Arts (Religion and Philosophy double major), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1983. Whereas, his certifications include Clinical Pastoral Education, Middlesex General University Hospital, New Brunswick, NJ; Young Leaders Program, Virginia Baptist Center for Creative Church Leadership; and Post-doctoral Certification, Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia Whereas, John and his wife, Mary, a retired nurse practitioner, reside in Chapel Hill, NC. They have two adult sons, Preston (wife Maria), and Roland (wife Julia) and two granddaughters, Nora and Emily. Therefore, Be It Resolved, that we, the elected members of the Virginia Baptist Executive Board meeting on October 5, 2023, thank John Chandler for his service to Virginia Baptists and pledge to support John and Mary, along with their family as John transitions into retirement, and Be It Further Resolved, that we ask the messengers of the Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Association of Virginia on November 14, 2023, in Richmond, Virginia to prayerfully thank God for the lifetime of service of John Chandler.

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RESOLUTION OF APPRECIATION FOR DAVID L. COGGINS Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.), is retiring as the 11th President of Fork Union Military Academy, a ministry partner of the Baptist General Association of Virginia. The Academy will celebrate Colonel Coggins’ tenure in connection with Fork Union Military Academy’s 125th Anniversary, which will be held on October 13-15, 2023. Whereas, Colonel Coggins gave faithful leadership to the Academy, particularly through the COVID pandemic and provided exemplary vision and leadership throughout his tenure as President. Whereas, Colonel Coggins became President of the Academy after retiring from the United States Marine Corps, where he served as a senior leader for over 30 years, having been active in Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, and Iraqi Freedom, as well as participating in the NATO Training Mission in Iraq. Whereas, his command assignments have included platoon commander in the 2nd Marine Division, Company Commander in the 1st and 3rd Marine Division, and Battalion Commander in the 3rd Marine Division, and as the Commanding Officer and Professor of Naval Science of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps at Virginia Military Institute. Whereas, while attending the University of Tennessee, where he earned a B.S. in Education, David was an NCAA Division 1 swimmer, and went on to earn a Master’s in Military Studies at the Marine Corps University. Whereas, his personal awards include, among many, the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Tennessee Governor’s Outstanding Tennessean Award. Therefore, Be It Resolved, that we, the elected members of the Virginia Baptist Executive Board meeting on September 7, 2023 thank Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.), for his service at Fork Union Military Academy, and we pledge prayerful support for David and Kelli as they transition into a new chapter in their lives in Florida where they will be closer to and able to spend more time with family. Be It Further Resolved, that we ask the messengers of the Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Association of Virginia meeting on November 14, 2023 in Richmond, Virginia to prayerfully thank God for the lifetime of service of David L. Coggins.

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RESOLUTION OF APPRECIATION FOR LAURA SHANNON McDANIEL Laura Shannon McDaniel is retiring as Uptick Catalyst Director effective December 21, 2023. Uptick is a ministry of the Baptist General Association of Virginia designed to raise a generation of Jesus-shaped leaders. Whereas, Laura began her service with Uptick in April of 2013, and became Uptick Catalyst Director in 2018, during which time significant growth in scope and funding occurred as a result of her leadership. Her accomplishments as Uptick Catalyst Director include the writing of a grant resulting in a $1.5 million grant from Lilly Endowment that allowed the creation of Uptick Catalyst which equips pastors to flourish as they build bridges in their communities. Whereas, Laura launched the UPTICK GLOBAL:BWA WOMEN cohort in 2022 with 14 women, 2 from each continental union from around the world and then partnered with Asia Baptist Women Union to launch UPTICK GLOBAL: ABWU Women in 2024. Whereas, Laura served WMU OF Virginia in key leadership roles beginning in 2005 as Assistant Executive Director, as Interim Executive Director-Treasurer from 2007 to 2008, and as Executive Director-Treasurer from 2008 to 2013. Whereas, prior to her service with WMU of Virginia she served as legal counsel for Ulico Casualty Company, Ulico Insurance Group, Zenith Administrators, Inc., Washington, D.C. from 2000 to 2005 during which time she negotiated multi-million dollar transactions, conducted risk benefit analysis of complex legislative issues, and provided oversight and corporate governance for three multi-million subsidiaries. Whereas, she received the Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree from George Mason University School of Law in 1987 and has been a member of the Virginia State Bar since 1987 and prior to attending law school, she received the Bachelor of Arts from James Madison University in 1983. Whereas, her volunteer service includes the Baptist World Alliance: METR Ministry Commission (2011 to 2014), the John Leland Center for Theological Studies Board of Trustees (2006 to 2013), charter member of Uptick Board (2004 to 2013), Greater Lynchburg Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors (2001 to 2004), and Rivermont Avenue Baptist Church Minister of Administration and Deacon (2000 to 2007). Whereas, Laura has been married to Henry McDaniel since 2002, and they have a son, Patrick Clark, who works for the Austrian Baptist Union with Projekt:Gemeinde in Vienna, Austria since 2016. Therefore, Be It Resolved, that we, the elected members of the Virginia Baptist Executive Board meeting on October 5, 2023, thank Laura Shannon McDaniel for her service to Virginia Baptists and pledge to support Laura and Henry, along with their son Patrick, as Laura transitions into retirement, and Be It Further Resolved, that we ask the messengers of the Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Association of Virginia on November 14, 2023, in Richmond, Virginia to prayerfully thank God for the lifetime of service of Laura Shannon McDaniel.

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RESOLUTION OF APPRECIATION FOR DR. DAVID W. OLIVE Dr. David W. Olive will retire June 30, 2024 as the ninth President of Bluefield University. The following resolution is presented in his honor. Whereas, David has served as President of Bluefield University since July 2007; and Whereas, under Dr. Olive’s leadership the institution experienced several monumental achievements including the development of online degree programs; and the introduction of a Re-BSN program; and the launching of seven total master’s degree programs; and Whereas, he has overseen the construction of new residential facilities; an apartment complex; the expansion of the Science Center; and the renovation of Shott Hall and Harman Chapel; and Whereas, he guided the college to move to a university model and name; and led the successful completion of a $25 million centennial campaign; and Whereas, he has faithfully remained true to advance the school’s mission of being a Christ-centered learning community that develops servant leaders to transform the world; Therefore Be It Resolved, that we, the members of the Baptist General Association of Virginia Executive Board meeting in Richmond on October 5, 2023, express our appreciation to Dr. David W. Olive for his visionary leadership at Bluefield University. We pledge our prayerful support for him and Kathryn in the next chapter of their lives, and Be It Further Resolved, that we ask the messengers at the Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Association of Virginia on November 14, 2023 in Richmond, Virginia to express on behalf of all Virginia Baptists our gratitude to God and our deepest appreciation for the contributions of Dr. David W. Olive.

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The Committee on Scholarships and Ministerial Education Funds shall consist of fifteen (15) nine (9) members, at least seven (7) four (4) of whom shall be laypersons and at least seven (7) four (4) of whom shall be ministers. Upon nomination from the Committee on Boards and Committees, five (5) three (3) members shall be elected annually at the General Association meeting for three (3) year terms.

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NOMINATIONS TO THE VIRGINIA BAPTIST EXECUTIVE BOARD The Virginia Baptist Executive Board nominates the following persons to serve on the Virginia Baptist Executive Board TERMS TO EXPIRE NOVEMBER 2026

David Benjamin (Minister) to serve a second term David has a Ph.D. in New Testament, served as a missionary in Asia, has taught at several seminaries, and has coached high school cross country and track for 20 years. Currently, David serves as pastor of Winfree Memorial Baptist Church in Midlothian. He is married to Jana, who also has a seminary degree. They have two children, Claire and Evan. Carlton Gunter (Minister) to serve a second term Carlton has been pastor of Penuel Baptist Church in Staunton River Baptist Association since May 2001. He is a graduate of Averett University and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He currently serves on the Pastor/Church Relations Committee of the Staunton River Baptist Association. Wayne Jenkins (Minister) to serve a second term Wayne and Carolyn married in 1969. They have two adult children. A native of Macon, Georgia, Wayne is a graduate of Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia, and of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. After seminary, he served on staff of McLean Baptist Church in McLean, Virginia (Associate), Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas (Youth), and First Baptist Church of East Point, Georgia (Associate). In 1978, he began work at the Baptist Sunday School Board (now LifeWay) in Nashville, Tennessee, as a Discipleship Consultant and continued there until 1994 when he was called to the First Baptist Church of Alexandria, Virginia (FBCA) as Minister of Education, Administration, and Young Married Adults. From 2003 until 2012, Wayne pastored South Run Baptist Church in Springfield, Virginia. In 2017, he re-joined the pastoral staff of FBCA and retired from there in January 2023. Prayer, Relationships, Discipleship, and Missions are my primary pastoral passions. Michael Moore (Layperson) to serve a first term Michael has been a member of Gracewood Community Church in Lebanon since it was planted in by Community Heights Baptist Church in 2007. He served as deacon chairman and on the leadership board at Community Heights, and serves as a director, small group leader, middle school youth teacher at Gracewood. He is a graduate of UVa (BA ‘82) and William and Mary ( JD ‘86) and is currently a Circuit Court Judge in the 29th Judicial Circuit which includes Russell, Dickenson, Buchanan and Tazewell Counties. He and his wife, Julie, have two adult children. Michael has been blessed to have international mission opportunities in Costa Rica, Honduras, Haiti, Tanzania and Kenya. Rachel Pierce (Minister) to serve a second term Lover of flip flops, singer, songwriter and worship leader from Wytheville, VA, Rachel earned a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Radford University and a Master of Arts in Theology, from Fuller Theological Seminary. Rachel is passionate about discipling leaders and inspiring artists to live into their fullest calling. You will find her sharing her gifts and talents with churches, at conferences, special events and anywhere she can sing or whistle a tune. Her passions for music were inspired by her parents and the simple life of having been raised in southwest Virginia. She serves as Faith Liaison & Engagement Coordinator at VCU Massey’s Comprehensive Cancer Center and co-leads the work of Facts & Faith Fridays. She is a member of the Uptick Artists Collective and shares her home in Hanover Virginia, with her husband Joe, daughter and three boys. ELECTION OF VIRGINIA BAPTIST EXECUTIVE BOARD CHAIR

Brooke Blake (Minister), Associate Pastor of Youth and Mission at Memorial Baptist Church, currently serving on the Executive Board, term to expire 2025. BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 19

Note: See pages 22–23 for overall proposed 2024 budget.











Chart Title




BGAV PARTNERS IN VIRGINIA Averett University Baptist Extension Board Bluefield University, Center for Baptist Heritage and Studies Fork Union Military Academy GraceInside Hargrave Military Academy HopeTree Family Services LifeSpire of Virginia Oak Hill Academy EverBless Foundation Virginia Baptist Historical Society Woman’s Missionary Union of Virginia

20 | BGAV 2023 Book of Reports






$7,061,860 $7,254,774 $3,630,753



BGAV MINISTRY RESOURCES Designated Gifts Camp & Conference Center Registration Revenue Program Revenue Other Income




$2,542,298 $1,131,142 $206,486


Chart Title






• Kairos/Collegiate Ministry

• V3/Church Planting

• Pastor Networking & Leadership Development

• Fresh Expressions/ Innovative Discipleship

• Pastor/Staff Transition and Assistance for Churches & Ministers

• Multisites





RESOURCING SENDING • Disaster Response • Partnership Missions • Impact Mission Camps

• BGAV Annual Meeting • Emergency Assistance for Ministers • Church Staff Benefit Support • Retiree Benefits BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 21

2024 PROPOSED COOPERATIVE MISSIONS/ BGAV BUDGET ALLOCATION (Funds received over the budget goal will be distributed according to the contributing churches’ allocations.)

2023 Budget

2024 Proposed Budget











BGAV PARTNERS IN VIRGINIA Averett University Baptist Extension Board Bluefield University Center for Baptist Heritage and Studies EverBless Foundation Fork Union Military Academy GraceInside Hargrave Military Academy HopeTree Family Services LifeSpire of Virginia Oak Hill Academy Virginia Baptist Historical Society Woman's Missionary Union of Virginia Total BGAV Partners in Virginia

100 1 36,000 67,500 100 100 40,000 100 30,000 100 14,500 26,000 285,000 499,500

100 1 31,000 58,000 100 100 34,500 100 25,500 100 12,500 22,500 245,000 429,500










VIRGINIA MISSIONS AND MINISTRIES Developing Congregational Field Staff Kairos: Young Adult/Collegiate Ministry Pastor Networking & Leadership Development Pastor/Staff Transition & Assistance for Churches & Ministers Uptick Coaching Network Eagle Eyrie Conference Center and Piankatank Camp Planting V3/Church Planting; Evangelism; Discipleship Fresh Expressions/Innovative Discipleship Missio Alliance Multisite Church Planting Research and Consulting Services Sending Partnership Missions/National and International Disaster Response Impact VA Virginia Missions Resourcing Executive Director's & Treasurer's Offices Marketing Office BGAV Meetings, Conference & Promotion Emergency Assistance for Ministers Church Staff Benefit Support Education and Fellowship Administration Information Technology Building and Grounds Total Virginia Missions and Ministries

22 | BGAV 2023 Book of Reports

Note: See pages 20–21 for overall 2024 budget graphic.

How to Choose Your Church’s Mission Giving COOPERATIVE MISSIONS




100% to BGAV


72% to BGAV 28% to Ascent ministries



72% to BGAV 28% to partner ministries and initiatives across the globe

72% to BGAV 28% to Southern Baptist Convention ministries



Customized giving between BGAV, Ascent, Partners, and/or SBC decided by your church (must file letter with Treasurer’s Office)



100% to BGAV

72% to BGAV and 28% to Ascent Distributed according to the Ascent Ministry

BGAV (VA Cooperative Missions)

100.00% 100.00%

BGAV Ascent

72.00% 28.00% 100.00%



72% to BGAV and 28% to Partner Ministries Distributed according to BGAV Partner Ministries budget

72% to BGAV and 28% to SBC Ministries Distributed according to the Southern Baptist Convention budget

Kingdom Advance New Mission Initiatives Renew Virginia Missions Development & Relief Leland Seminary Baptist World Alliance Ministerial Educational Fund Baptist Joint Committee Ministering to Ministers Foundation Baptist News Global

International Mission Board North American Mission Board SBC Seminaries (Gateway, Midwestern, New Orleans, Southeastern, Southern, Southwestern) SBC Operating Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission Historical Library and Archives

28.00% 20.00% 14.00% 11.00% 10.00% 6.00% 5.00% 4.00% 2.00%

50.41% 22.79% 21.92% 2.99% 1.65% 0.24% 100.00%



1. That the 2024 Virginia Baptist Cooperative Missions Budget Allocation totaling $7,061,860 be adopted. 2. That the Treasurer be authorized to distribute all funds received after January 10, 2024, in accordance with the 2024 budget. BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 23


This means that 100% of your church’s contributions go to support BGAV missions and ministries. Your giving helps our missions, ministries, and partners across Virginia to advance the Kingdom. You may also consider supporting other ministries in addition to BGAV that align with the mission and values of your congregation. To allocate a portion of your giving to one of these groups, choose one of the following giving options: BGAV + ASCENT MINISTRIES

This means that 72% of your giving goes to support BGAV’s Cooperative Missions and 28% goes to support initiatives of the Ascent Movement around rural churches, evangelism and discipleship, leadership development, and mission engagement. BGAV + PARTNER MINISTRIES

This means that 72% of your giving goes to support BGAV’s Cooperative Missions and 28% goes to support national and international ministry partners and initiatives: • Kingdom Advance New Mission Initiatives • Renew Virginia • Mission Development & Relief • Leland Seminary • Baptist World Alliance

• Ministerial Education Fund • Baptist Joint Committee • Ministering to Ministers Foundation • Baptist News Global


This means that 72% of your giving goes to support BGAV’s Cooperative Missions and 28% goes to support initiatives and ministries of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). Of course, your church may want to support more than one of these ministry groups! If that is the case, choose the giving option below: CUSTOM GIVING

This means your giving designations are customized by your church between BGAV, Ascent Ministries, Partner Ministries, and/or SBC Ministries. Your church must file a letter of explanation with the Treasurer’s Office to create a Custom Giving designation

24 | BGAV 2023 Book of Reports


TOTAL GOAL: $800,000

1. Church Planting........................................................................................................................$120,000 2. Deaf Ministry................................................................................................................................. $2,500 3. Community Mission Opportunities.......................................................................................$20,000 4. Youth Mission Focus..................................................................................................................$20,000 5. Disaster Response Ministry......................................................................................................$25,000 6. International Ministries.............................................................................................................$70,000 7. Virginia Baptist Historical Society............................................................................................ $7,500 8. Prison Ministry in Virginia......................................................................................................... $5,000 9. BGAV Chaplaincy Endorsement and Training....................................................................$15,000 10. Piankatank Camp Scholarships.................................................................................................. $5,000 11. HopeTree Development Disabilities Ministries...................................................................$10,000 BGAV Allocations............................................................................................................................$300,000 WMUV Allocations.........................................................................................................................$500,000 TOTAL ALLOCATIONS.......................................................................................... $800,000

BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 25

26 | BGAV 2023 Book of Reports


CALLED C e l e b rat ing 200 Years

TO BE 2023


OFFICIAL REPORTS OF BOARDS AND COMMITTEES FROM THE BGAV • Committee on Boards and Committees • Nominations to the Committee on Boards and Committees • Christian Life Committee • Program Committee • Religious Liberty Committee • Resolutions Committee • Scholarships and Ministerial Education Funds Committee

BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 27


The Committee on Boards & Committees is excited to present the following nominees to serve on various committees and boards throughout the BGAV and our partner institutions. We are extremely thankful to all those who have agreed to serve, and we pray that God will bless Virginia Baptists and the Kingdom through the sharing of the gifts and talents of these nominees. We also want to say thank you to everyone who submitted names to the committee for consideration for the various opportunities to serve. We greatly appreciate your concern for these ministries and your prayerful consideration of the best people to serve our God and our Association. We could not have completed our task without the amazing support of our BGAV leadership and staff, and we are grateful for the opportunity to work in partnership with them not only in identifying this proposed slate of leaders but in fulfilling the Great Commission. Perhaps most of all, we give thanks to God for the conversations and story-sharing that is inevitably a part of networking throughout our state to identify a diverse and balanced slate of nominees such as this. Such dialogue is a reminder of the beauty that is the body of Christ. The Committee on Boards & Committees presents this slate of nominees to the gathered assembly of the Baptist General Association of Virginia and moves the acceptance of these nominations. In Christ, Mark Mofield, Committee Chair Doug Gibson John Grieser Mary Harris Matthew Winters Jay Lawson Larry Perkins Pam Turner Gwynn Tyler Ron Gravatt (Past President) Herbert Ponder (By Virtue of Office – President) Wayne Faison (By Virtue of Office – Executive Director)

28 | BGAV 2023 Book of Reports


Committee on Christian Life Terms to expire November 2026 Roger Austin (M) Bridgewater Church Bridgewater Keith Robinson (M) Mount Tabor Church Richmond Christian Esleck (L) Second Baptist Church Richmond

Harrisonburg 22801

Henrico 23231 Richmond 23233

Committee on Memorial Terms to expire November 2026 Cathy Baugh (L) Harrisonburg Church Harrisonburg

Harrisonburg 22801

Scott Curtis (M) Heritage Church Farmville

Farmville 23901

Kathryn Sowers (L) Vinton Church Vinton 24179 Vinton Committee on Program Terms to expire November 2026 Mary Gilley (L) Melrose Church Roanoke

Roanoke 24019

Sylvia Hobgood (L) Gayton Church Henrico

Glen Allen 23059

Thomas (Tom) Rosemeier (L) Linden Heights Church Staunton

Greenville 24440

Committee on Religious Liberty Terms to expire November 2026 Jacob Drake (M) Central Church Church Road

Church Road 23833

J. Adam Tyler (M) Farmville Church Farmville

Keysville 23947

Nettie Stokes (L) Mount Tabor Church Richmond

Henrico 23231

BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 29

Committee on Resolutions Terms to expire November 2026 Harold Massie (L) Madison Heights Church Madison Heights

Madison Heights

Dayne McNabb (L) Emmaus Baptist Church Providence Forge

Quinton 23141

Horace Wade (M) Rising Liberty Church Richmond

Midlothian 23112

Scholarships & Ministerial Education Funds Terms to expire November 2026 Kris Clifford (M) Columbia Church Falls Church

Annandale 22003

Diane Grant (M) Midland Church Vinton

Vinton 24179

Melanie Lassiter (M) Freedom Life Church Hampton

Yorktown 23692

Mark Olson (M) Haymarket Church Haymarket

Haymarket 20169

Jerry Sinkfield (L) Collinswood Agape Church Portsmouth

Portsmouth 23707


GraceInside Term to expire 2026 Eldridge Smith, Jr. (M) Mount Tabor Church Richmond

Henrico 23223

Ministers’ Relief Fund Sandra Critchfield (L) Zoar Church Locust Grove

Locust Grove 22508


Fork Union Military Academy None needed this year.

30 | BGAV 2023 Book of Reports

Hargrave Military Academy None needed this year.

Oak Hill Academy Term to expire 2029 Tom Harvey (M) Buena Vista Church Buena Vista (to serve a first and second term) Averett University Term to expire 2028 John V. Upton, Jr. (M) Bon Air Church Richmond

Salem 24153

Glen Allen 23059

Bluefield College Term to expire 2027 Cynthia (Cindy) Russell Carter (L) Warrenton Church Warrenton

Warrenton 20186

John Leland Center for Theological Studies None needed this year. Baptist Extension Board Term to expire 2028 Audrey Holmes (L) Samaria Church Providence Forge

Providence Forge 23140

Brian Hughes (M) Passion Community Church Powhatan

Powhatan 23139

Allan Smith (M) Mechanicsville Church Charlottesville 22903 Gordonsville (to serve a second term) Center for Baptist Heritage and Studies Term to expire 2027 James Ryland (L) Upper King & Queen Church Newtown (to serve a second term)

Indian Neck 23148

BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 31

HopeTree Family Services Term to expire 2024 R. Wayne Brockwell (L) Lawrenceville Church Lawrenceville

Midlothian 23112

HopeTree Family Services Term to expire 2025 Reginald Warren (M) Grace Hills Church Appomattox

Red House 23963

HopeTree Family Services Term to expire 2026 Patrick Wood (M) Smithfield Church Smithfield

Smithfield 23430

EverBless Foundation Term to expire 2027 Joy C. Burroughs (L) Oakland Church Disputanta

Disputanta 23842

Janet C. Garrett (L) Gayton Church Richmond (to serve a second term)

Glen Allen 23059

Ben Jamison (M) Effort Church Palmyra 22963 Palmyra Benjamin “Ben” D. Sillmon, III (L) Winfree Memorial Church Midlothian

Midlothian 23113

LifeSpire of Virginia Term to expire 2027 Tiffany Franks (L) First Baptist Church Danville (to serve a second term) Baptist News Global None needed this year. Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty None needed this year. Baptist World Alliance None needed this year. 32 | BGAV 2023 Book of Reports

Danville 24541

NOMINATIONS TO THE COMMITTEE ON BOARDS AND COMMITTEES Nominations from the BGAV President and 2 Vice-Presidents Terms to expire 2026 Rev. Caleb Bittler (M) New Bethesda Church Mechanicsville

Mechanicsville 23116

Rose Hinnant (L) Bethlehem Church Richmond

Richmond 23223

Greg Randall (M) Clarksville Church Clarksville

Clarksville 23927

BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 33


In 1823 a group of Baptist churches in Virginia determined that, rather than simply existing individually, it would be mutually beneficial to cooperate “to propagate the Gospel and advance the Redeemer’s kingdom throughout the State.” It was a time of uncertainty, because of economic hardships and political upheaval. The idea of voluntary cooperation for the sake of the gospel enabled the movement of the gospel message both westward at home and across the Atlantic. Baptists in Virginia identified as Virginians, to be sure, but as God’s people first. 200 years later, within the life of Baptists there is uncertainty regarding voluntary cooperation, as well as general uncertainty in communities stricken by violence and challenges to both the education and healthcare systems. Economic disparities between those with means and those without seem to be widening. This makes the call to associate together for the sake of the gospel as important as ever. In the words of the great hymn of faith and mission, “We Are Called to Be God’s People,” we affirm the following assessments and urge action on the part of individuals and churches within the Baptist General Association of Virginia to continue cooperating together for the sake of God’s kingdom as God’s people, God’s prophets and God’s servants. BEING GOD’S PEOPLE

Being God’s people is not an accident or a condition that occurs through happenstance. Rather, scripture speaks of it as a calling: “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9) In scripture, to be called is always to be called to something. To be called as God’s people means that Christians are called to a distinctive lifestyle that has been laid down by Jesus. The author of Hebrews memorably describes Jesus as the “pioneer” of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus went before us and, like a pioneer through uncharted territory, blazed a trail for subsequent travelers to follow. Jesus inaugurated this lifestyle, and to be called as God’s people means to walk in the way that Jesus modeled for us (1 Peter 2:21). To be called as God’s people means that we are called to at least eight distinctive ways of living: •• •• •• •• •• •• •• ••

We submit to the lordship of Christ and are reluctant to identify ourselves with anyone besides Jesus. We form a unique, counter-cultural community called the church. We live as one people, and we resist our tendencies toward disunity. We resemble Jesus in His self-emptying love of neighbor and enemy. We are obedient to the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. We remain confident in God’s provision. We live and speak as God’s prophets. We serve God and serve others.

As God’s people: 1. We submit to the lordship of Christ, and are reluctant to identify ourselves with anyone besides Jesus. Humans have an innate need to belong. Belonging to something larger than ourselves gives us a sense of safety, identity and connection. From the earliest days of humanity, people grouped themselves into tribes and societies. As human civilization grew more complex, so too did our forms of belonging–we can now belong to countries, philosophical movements, schools of thought, educational institutions, political parties, religious groups, fraternal societies, neighborhoods, clubs, professional organizations, and more. 34 | BGAV 2023 Book of Reports

Belonging is not bad. God created us as relational creatures, so finding connection with other humans can be deeply good. The problem comes when the call of these other identities eclipses our call as the people of God. Being called as God’s people means renouncing all other masters. The first Christians did not withdraw from society—they remained members of many of the same groups as before their conversion—but they believed that Jesus had relativized all the other claims in their lives. Their Christ-only identity was expressed in the original Christian confession of faith: “Jesus is Lord” (Romans 10:9, 1 Corinthians 12:3, Philippians 2:11). The Roman emperor was not the lord. The old gods of paganism were not the lords. Christians were no longer masters of their own lives. Only Jesus held that title. Today, when many believers increasingly find their identity in the groups to which they belong, we declare the importance of clinging to Jesus as our only master (Matthew 6:24). When we were called to be God’s people, we were called to follow Jesus alone. We do not want to be known as Democrat Christians or Republican Christians, conservative Christians or liberal Christians. Nor do we want to be known primarily as Baptist Christians. We are Christians who seek to walk in the ways of Jesus. 2. We form a unique, counter-cultural community called the church. To be called as God’s people is also to be called into the church. The church is the people of God united across time and space in a unique, counter-cultural community which is inaugurating the reign of God. As mentioned above, the early Christians did not withdraw from society. By some outward appearances, they continued their old lives as they always had. Yet, there was something deeply unique about the way God’s people inhabited the world. The people of God cannot learn this unique way of living in ordinary society. The church is the place where the people of God can experience this lifestyle. In the church, we find a Christian community that operates on different principles. The church is the place where God’s Kingdom is proclaimed and the rule of God is announced; consequently, in the church the people of God can slowly but surely learn new and better ways of living. The church is the place where we first learn to live out our calling as God’s people, grow into unity as God’s people, and grow into maturity as God’s people (Ephesians 4:1-6) 3. We live as one people, and we resist our tendencies toward disunity To be called as God’s people is to recognize our essential unity. God does not have many peoples—around the throne of God is gathered one people, diverse in their nationality, ethnicity, and culture, but singing the same common song of salvation (Revelation 7:9-10). Spiritually, God’s people are one. This unity exists, but God’s people have always struggled to demonstrate it practically. The New Testament letters are filled with admonitions, advice, and encouragement for making spiritual unity a visible reality. 2 Corinthians says that unity of mind is a worthy goal (2 Corinthians 13:11). Galatians tells us that all divisions that seem to exist between us have been subsumed by our unity in Christ (Galatians 3:28). 1 Corinthians encourages us to use our various skills and gifts to bring about unity (1 Corinthians 12:1-14). Like the churches of the New Testament, we must constantly work to make our unity demonstrably real. We must prioritize our calling to remain one people and recognize that unity is essential, not optional. Being united does not mean that we will all think or act the same (1 Corinthians 12:1-14). Existing as the church will demand that we are gracious in our disagreements, just as Paul could be gracious in his disagreements with his fellow believers (Philippians 3:15). Our essential unity has clear and direct implications for God’s people, particularly when we are in situations of conflict or in positions of leadership. In such moments, it is particularly important that we conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ, so that whatever happens, we will stand firm together in one Spirit and strive together as one for the faith of the gospel (Philippians 1:27).

BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 35

4. We resemble Jesus in His self-emptying love of neighbor and enemy. When Jesus entered Jerusalem to be arrested and crucified, He warned His disciples that “unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” ( John 12:23-24). By His example on the cross, He makes that warning clear: that to be of service to the Kingdom requires that we lay down our lives. This is the counter-intuitive logic underwriting the gospel. Seeking the preservation and longevity of a denomination for its own sake will guarantee its eventual demise; not because we are unable to create thriving organizations, but because organizations which understand their thriving apart from the example of Jesus can only be used by God against their will. But if we renounce ourselves and our security—if we take up our cross, the symbol of our own death—we, as a community of churches, will be granted the ability to make some eternal contribution to God’s redemptive purposes in the world. To be God’s people will require us to leverage our resources and gifts, not for our own benefit, but for the benefit of those who cannot or may not reciprocate our effort. As an association of churches, we must seek and love our enemies as Jesus taught us. We must “have the same mindset as Christ Jesus, who, being in very nature God, did not rather consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made Himself nothing” (Philippians 2:5-7a). As God’s people—this historic association of likeminded congregations—we must avoid any models of thinking and acting that attempt to secure some future for ourselves that does not conform to Jesus’ death and resurrection. And we must guard ourselves from the fear and resentment that can appear when our following of Jesus’ example does not produce the outcomes we hope for. 5. We are obedient to the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. Throughout scripture, the people of God are those who choose to be obedient to His command. In the New Testament, specifically, Jesus reminds us that to love Him is to obey Him. Gratefully, He does not ask us to do something He has not been willing to do Himself. So in the Great Commission—which establishes the church— we receive not just orders to be followed, but a summary of Jesus’ example that we must embrace and imitate. The church gathers around the mission of God and is constituted by no other thing. Inasmuch as the life and ministry of Jesus reveals this mission to the world, we are invited, as God’s people—drawn together through Spirit—to continue His work until He comes again. Any other purpose will draw our identity as His people into question. Without a commitment to our commissioning as His disciples, associations like ours will confuse secondary tasks with our main calling. We will work ourselves dry shepherding Christians—by attracting them to different churches, establishing comfortable places for them to belong, fighting cultural battles against others who threaten their influence, struggling to preserve them from slowly eroding into the world. But our fulfillment of Christ’s commission will require us to renew a singular commitment focused on those who do not yet know Jesus—which is the priority which brought us together initially. But without recommitting ourselves to reaching the world as it now is—and not to some other, historical, theoretical world that may have existed at some other time and place— we stand in danger of loving our reason for being more than the world for which Christ died. 6. We remain confident in God’s provision. As God’s people, we must acknowledge that our lives are not ours to ensure—our organizations are not ours to preserve—and our success is not finally ours to accomplish. In the mystery of God’s dealings with us—our faithfulness will not always amount to our success. Nor, in His mercy, will our faithlessness and disobedience always amount to our abandonment or our ineffectiveness. There are many reasons to fear for the future of our associations and churches. Evidence for the collapse of Christendom in the United States is easy to find. The divisive political climate in our country has threatened our cooperation as a community of believers. Changes across generations are unsettling to many and exacerbate our insecurities about what may no longer “work” in the days ahead. But this fear, in reality, is often our anxiety over God’s potential unwillingness to achieve the goals we establish for ourselves, given our own expectations for His provision. Ultimately, trusting in God means that we choose to seek and find Him where He leads, even if that takes us through seasons of obscurity and suffering. To remain His 36 | BGAV 2023 Book of Reports

people will require us to dedicate ourselves to Him, with or without the meeting of these expectations—seeking out, not practical security with less and less need for His sustaining work among us, but greater and greater dependence on Him alone. 7. We live and speak as God’s prophets. Since biblical times, God has called prophets to speak the divine message to challenging circumstances. Throughout the Old Testament, times of crisis called for a prophetic message. When the crisis was disobedience, the prophetic word was one of rebuke or judgment. When the crisis was discouragement, the prophetic word was one of hope and healing. When the crisis was complacency, the prophetic call was to renewal and recommitment. In the 21st century, the need for the prophetic word is as great as it was in the 8th century B.C. Similar issues of disobedience, discouragement and complacency still abound, both among and outside the people of God. In this context, the people of God are also called to take on a prophetic role in the world. The prophetic role of God’s people involves speaking the truth, especially in times of confusion or division. But “whose truth” do we speak? When there are so many competing conceptions of truth, the potential for even greater division is possible. God’s people must anchor our prophetic message in scripture. While this does not guarantee agreement—for God’s people sometimes disagree on the interpretation of scripture—it does center the prophetic word on a common foundation and discourages the mere expression of opinion in the name of God. The people of God are not called to grant divine authority to personal opinions or agendas, but to declare God’s truth and allow the Holy Spirit to apply that truth in the hearts of those who hear. Along with speaking the truth, the prophetic role of God’s people requires living a faithful witness. Consistent living among the people of God is essential for both individuals and groups. Old Testament prophets like Jeremiah or Ezekiel were called by God to literally live out some of what they proclaimed (see Jeremiah 7:1-15 and Ezekiel 5:1-4). Israel, and later the church, was called to live out the reality of the message they proclaimed in their daily lives. As the church shares the prophetic message of God to issues society faces today, it behooves the people of God to live out consistently the message we are proclaiming. The prophetic word in the Bible also encourages the discouraged. Isaiah 40 begins with the proclamation of comfort to those who are discouraged. When Jesus announced the nature of His prophetic mission, he quoted from Isaiah 61:1-2 in the synagogue at Nazareth. “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (See Luke 4:16-21) In proclaiming this message, Jesus anchored His ministry on the prophetic calling to encourage and restore those who were beaten down and discouraged. As God’s people, we are called to take on the prophetic role of encourager to a world that is reeling from the consequences of disobedience. Among the Old Testament prophets, one frequent message was the way disobedience to God’s law and broken fellowship with the Lord demonstrated itself in acts of violence, uncharitable behavior, dishonesty and blatant disregard for the divine standard. The prophetic call to repentance had social and behavioral implications, from Amos to Zephaniah to John the Baptist and Jesus. When asked about the greatest commandment, Jesus said, “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Jesus said that loving God and loving one’s neighbor does not just summarize God’s law, but the prophetic word as well. When God’s people take our role as God’s prophets seriously, we speak Godly justice to a world in which the momentum often seems to swing in the opposite direction. While even God’s people may not always agree on the strict definitions of what is just, what is right, or on specific interpretations of God’s truth, if there is a consensus that we ought to anchor what we do in Scripture and live lives consistent with that message, the prophetic voice of God’s people can offer hope and direction to a discouraged world. 8. We serve God and serve others. Jesus said that “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28) In these words, as well as the example He set throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 37

demonstrated that servanthood is at the heart of our identity as God’s people. In a world where so many are disheartened, where people are lonely or displaced, where there is fear, food insecurity, lack of consistent quality in medical care and an alarming crisis in mental health, God’s people must demonstrate Christlikeness as we serve others in His name. If Jesus defined His role in terms of service, we can do no differently as His followers. Service is an action word, something that is done. For over 200 years Baptists in Virginia have been serving God by serving their communities, the Commonwealth, and all creation. From 16 member churches at inception to congregations well beyond the geographic confines of the Commonwealth, the Kingdom of God has made great advances through the service of Virginia Baptists. We think of names like Lott Carey, Alma Hunt, Lottie Moon, William Hatcher, Andrew Broaddus as well as Daniel Witt and Jeremiah Bell Jeter, the “Bedford Plowboys,” when we think of God’s servants among Virginia Baptists. These and many others have modeled for churches in the Baptist General Association of Virginia what it means to be called as God’s servants. God’s servant loves the Lord with all the heart, soul, mind and strength while also loving the neighbor as oneself (Mark 12:29-31). God’s servant personally serves others, as Jesus did in washing His disciples’ feet ( John 13:1-14). God’s servant sacrifices self for others ( John 15:13). God’s servant does not grow weary in doing good (Galatians 6:9). God’s servant shines the light of God’s grace before others so that God is glorified (Matthew 5:14-16). God’s servant “does justice, loves mercy, and walks humbly with God” (Micah 6:8). We associate together because we share a common call to be God’s people. That calling draws us together in fellowship, in servanthood and in our prophetic role interpreting and proclaiming God’s truth. We therefore call upon individuals and churches that comprise the Baptist General Association of Virginia to take seriously the call to be God’s people, to bind together as God’s prophets and exemplars of Christ’s servanthood, to find tangible ways of encouraging those in the communities to which we are called and honoring the prophetic call to justice, righteousness, compassion and faithfulness. In a rapidly changing world, some things remain the same. God’s Word is still true; God’s love remains the same; the presence of God continues to guide and empower us; the voice of God still directs us, and the world still needs Jesus. We have been and will be the light of the world so long as we walk humbly with God. Respectfully Submitted, Alan Ray, chair Reed Bernick Andrew Garnett Chris Jordan Pamela Mentz Kevin Moen Anita Roy Lee Royce Hutt Williams Ex-officio: Herbert Ponder, President, BGAV Wayne Faison, Executive Director, BGAV

38 | BGAV 2023 Book of Reports


The Program Committee is responsible for preparing the order of business for the annual meeting of the Baptist General Association of Virginia and assuring that worship is emphasized during the meeting. We are grateful to the Bon Air Baptist Church for hosting our annual meeting this year. We are blessed to be welcomed so warmly. Our theme for this year is “Called to be God’s People .” Our main speakers are Brooke Holloway Blake, Fred Anderson, Robert Smith, and Wayne Faison. We are also blessed to have different groups from our BGAV churches from all over the State. This year we will be celebrating our 200th Anniversary of working together for God’s Kingdom. As part of that celebration we will be having an additional worship service on Wednesday night at 6:30 pm that will be livestreamed. This service will conclude the 200th Anniversary Celebration and launch us into the next 200 years. We encourage each church to watch this livestreamed service together. We would also like to thank the 200th Anniversary committee for all they have done to help us prepare for this celebration. It is our prayer that your time here will be renewing, challenging, inspiring and will help us to continue our calling to serve God’s Kingdom. The Program Committee makes the following Motion: 1. that the program, as printed, be adopted as the agenda for the 2023 meeting of the Baptist General Association of Virginia 2. that the times on the program are indicated merely as a guide 3. that in order to expedite discussion, debate on all matters will be limited to three minutes per speaker, and that speakers, pro and con, be alternated 4. that future sites and dates for the Annual Meeting be affirmed as: • 2024: November 11-13, 2024 at First Baptist Church, Alexandria • 2025: November 10-12, 2025 in the Southwestern region of Virginia • 2026: A possible summer meeting in the Tidewater Area Respectfully submitted, Scott Curtis, Chair Brenda Armistead, Vice Chair Beth Anderson Marco Capayachi Carolyn Demery Helen Foster Stephen Gray Dianne Jones-Freeman Sylvia Wade

BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 39


The Religious Liberty Committee met on April 13, 2023 at the BGAV Resource Center in Richmond and continued work on its two key objectives: (1) to speak to our constituency in the BGAV and educate them regarding the meaning and importance of religious liberty, and (2) also to bear witness and advocate for religious liberty to state and local governments and the wider world. The committee also participated in Religious Liberty Day on January 16, 2023 at the Capitol in Richmond. A delegation of five Virginia Baptists contacted 40 members of the General Assembly or their legislative aides, sharing a packet of information on religious liberty. There were no bills that required the attention of the committee this past session of the legislature. An educational video was created through Yellow Hat Films and posted on the Religious Liberty Committee Facebook page, centered on the historical experience of Elder John Weatherford in 1773 and the infringements upon religious liberty under establishment in Virginia during the colonial and early national periods. This undated 3 minute video (available on YouTube, Vimeo, and via the link above) is suitable for worship and other church settings, as well as for sharing via social media. It is our hope over time to produce a library of similar video resources for congregational use. The committee maintains a Facebook page “BGAV Friends of Religious Liberty” which includes articles, weblinks, and other resources about current religious liberty issues and the general climate of religious persecution in the world today. This page is the contact point for Virginia Baptists who wish to stay informed about pending legislation and participate by contacting their legislators during the General Assembly session. We invite every Virginia Baptist to find and follow this page. The committee continues to develop a curriculum in conjunction with the Virginia Baptist Historical Society to update and augment their existing Virginia Baptists Heritage Tours: “FREEDOM TRAILS, SITES ASSOCIATED WITH THE BAPTISTS AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY” in conjunction with the 200th anniversary of the BGAV in 2023. Committee members have already nominated additional locations and persons to be considered for inclusion in the tour and trail. The committee also is sharing information about its work at a booth in the Ministry Fair at the BGAV meeting @ Bon Air Baptist Church, Richmond November 13-15, 2023. Also at the BGAV the committee is presenting a breakout session which will feature Drama Professor Charles Reese from Bluefield University presenting excerpts of two notable speeches by Dr. J. L. M. Curry (1873) and Dr. George McDaniel (1926) on the subject of religious liberty and church/ state separation. The speech excerpts will be followed by a panel consisting of Amanda Tyler (Baptist Joint Committee), Nathan Taylor (VA Baptist Historical Society), and Dr. Robert Cochran (Baptist History Professor at Leland Seminary), who will discuss the historical significance and contemporary relevance of the speeches presented. Join us at our booth and our breakout session and find out how you can continue the BGAV’s consistent witness for religious liberty. Finally, the Committee plans to participate again in 2024 at the Capitol in Richmond for Baptist Day on January 16, 2024 to visit legislators highlighting Virginia Baptist perspectives on Religious Liberty. Respectfully submitted, Ms. Belinda Barnett Rev. Brad Boberg Rev. Bryan Brock Dr. William (Bill) Bryan Mr. Jason Dugas Ms. Kathryn W. Johnson Dr. Bud Livers Rev. W. Shelton Miles III (Chair) 40 | BGAV 2023 Book of Reports



With praise and thanksgiving to God through our Lord Jesus Christ, in whose name we have gathered, and to whose glory we consecrate our work together, We, the messengers to the 200th meeting of the Baptist General Association of Virginia, meeting in Richmond, Virginia, November 13-15, 2023, do hereby make it known that: We express our gratitude to Bon Air Baptist Church for their gracious hospitality, and we thank all the church members and volunteers for the work they have done to facilitate this annual meeting. We give thanks to the Program Committee and the 200th Anniversary Planning Committee, and we commend the program participants for their positive and inspiring contributions. We are grateful to the staff of the BGAV for their continuous committed service to Virginia Baptists, our churches, ministers, and lay people. We especially appreciate our Executive Director, Wayne D. Faison, and give thanks to God for his wise and visionary leadership. We commend the service and contributions of our First Vice President, Becky McKinney; Second Vice President, Mark Hughes; Clerk, Nathan Taylor; Assistant Clerk, Barbara Bareford; and Parliamentarians, Beth Fogg, Carl Johnson, and Virgil Hazelett. We appreciate the dedicated leadership of our President, Herbert Ponder, and his faithful service to Virginia Baptists. Finally, we resolve to continue working together, as the Baptist General Association of Virginia, to share the gospel message and to advance the Redeemer’s Kingdom. Respectfully Submitted, Darrell Foster, Chair Jeff Kinder Pamela Moyer Phil Peacock Greg Versen Patrick Wood

BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 41


The Scholarships and Ministerial Education Funds Committee oversees financial awards “to further the educational development of (a) persons who are preparing for the Baptist ministry and (b) emerging leaders of all ages.“ (Constitution, Article VII, Section D, The Committee on Scholarships and Ministerial Education Funds.) Eligible Virginia Baptist students may receive assistance through: • BGAV Academy Scholarships financing education at one of the BGAV-partnering academies; • BGAV College Scholarships providing aid for undergraduate education; • BGAV Ministerial Education Funds which support undergraduate or graduate education in preparation for vocational ministry; or, • BGAV Nontraditional Ministry Education Scholarships that allow individuals to capitalize on opportunities to secure training and continuing education for work in the local church. • BGAV Internship Grants made available to churches who want to provide internship opportunities in ministry settings When it was created, the purpose of the BGAV Scholarships and Ministerial Education Funds was to “invest” in the lives of students who make up the ministries and Disciples of our cooperating Virginia Baptist Churches. Our aim, then and now, is to show that the Baptist General Association stands in partnership with individuals who are called to further their education and in particular, the preparation of ministers leading our congregations. Despite the recent pandemic years, the Scholarship Committee has continued to answer the requests of many who sense a calling to “Higher Education.” This year, BGAV Churches have been able to assist 103 individuals who are a part of 58 different churches in our Association. Thank you for your gifts, partnerships and prayers that have enabled so many to further their training and education. I would like to express my gratitude to all the members of this committee for the work they have done. AWARD College Ministerial Nontraditional Church Internships Unique Totals

MONIES RECIPIENTS CHURCHES INSTITUTIONS $45,000 45 40 27 $52,500 11 11 9 $12,760 38 17 1 $9,000 9 9 N/A $119,260 103 58 37

Respectfully submitted, Lindsay Ray, Chair Bill Davis Mary Davis Harriet Dawson Sue Donaldson Judy Edgell Steve Gibson Joe Glass Mike Hatfield

42 | BGAV 2023 Book of Reports

David Haun George Jones Holly Hill McConnell Tyler Pillips Laura Ripley Katie Toler Virginia Erin Waddell


CALLED C e l e b rat ing 200 Years

TO BE 2023



BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 43



Since our voluntary association originated in 1823, the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) has been “Called to Be…”. According to our original constitution, our forebears felt called to be propagators of the gospel and advancers of the Redeemer’s Kingdom. Here we are as Virginia Baptists, 200 years later, continuing to minister with this same passionate call running warm through our spiritual veins. Our calling is the same. The “Call to Be…” a propagator of the gospel means to be a spreader of the gospel. The “Call to Be…” an advancer of the Redeemer’s Kingdom means to be an increaser of the Redeemer’s Kingdom. Both callings – spreaders and increasers – denote the idea of moving forward and pressing ahead with purpose. As you read through the pages of this annual report, I hope you will be encouraged by how Virginia Baptists are moving forward and pressing ahead toward our next 100 years with purpose. When I begin contemplating what might take place over the next century, several things quickly come to my mind. First, God is still going to be God. Second, Christ is still going to be Savior. Third, the Holy Spirit is still going to be Comforter. And Virginia Baptists are still going to be purposefully sending, developing, planting, and resourcing our way forward. Sending is how we mobilize ourselves purposefully across the globe. Developing is how we strengthen ourselves purposefully for the mission. Planting is how we invest ourselves purposefully in the causes of the Kingdom. Resourcing is how we share ourselves purposefully with the next generation of Virginia Baptists. God is doing some amazing things with who we are being “Called to Be…” for such a time as this. The Apostle Paul reminded the church in Corinth in 1 Corinthians 1:2 (NASB), “To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours.” It sounds like the Apostle Paul is making a clarion call to the spreaders and increasers of his time and era. Virginia Baptists, it is my prayer that in our current time and era we would never shy away from being who we are “Called to Be…”. Why? Because simply put, this is who we’ve always been “Called to Be…”!

44 | BGAV 2023 Book of Reports


• Received over $800,000 in designated giving toward a variety of projects and support of our ongoing work in Virginia, the US, and around the world. • Created a new offering for churches desiring to send funds for international and national missions endeavors through a trusted partner and to support BGAV’s ongoing missional efforts. • Implemented a new registration platform, tracking software, and database systems that will work more efficiently together and allow us more functionality. • Applied for a significant grant which would allow our staff to develop a process which will assist churches to reconsider their purpose and vision through the lens of community engagement. • Implemented a Child Sexual Abuse Prevention training module that will be used for all BGAV volunteers working with children. Crisis Care Chaplains are taking the lead as trainers in this partnership with the Families Forward and Darkness 2 Light organizations.


• Distributed over $40,000 for world hunger causes to international partners. These funds have assisted hundreds of families worldwide who need regular and emergency assistance. • Partnered with the Baptist World Alliance and Baptist Unions in Ethiopia, Kenya, Nicaragua, and Haiti to support long-term community development with support of approximately $55,000. • Continued our partnership with Food for the Hungry focused on long-term community development in Nicaragua. Added four churches (total of 12) which have invested in long-term Church to Community sponsorships. Three vision teams have traveled to Nicaragua. Set a goal of at least 100 churches engaging over the next year with a vision of supporting the entire country. • Added a new partner to the work of refugees. After several dialogues and an in-person meetings we are excited to partner with All4Aid, which has a focus in Greece and Cyprus. Our partnerships in both Lebanon and Austria remain strong as well. Two teams have visited. • Much of the response to the war in Ukraine has been with refugees or internally displaced persons (IDPs) now living outside the country. BGAV has raised nearly $600,000 toward this effort. Funds are being distributed through our European Baptist Federation partners. A team visited this work in the spring and reported how our partners are making a difference. • Supported indigenous church planters and leaders across Europe and Africa. We currently support five church planters in Europe through our partnerships. One of these church planters is a Ukrainian, who is planting a church among displaced persons in Poland. • New West Africa Church Planting Movement has begun with leaders from 13 countries coming together in July and agreeing to plant 2,000 churches together by the end of 2029. Provided funds to start businesses that will support the church planting efforts in a self-sustaining model. • Planned and implemented, with WMUV, a webinar series “Going Deeper” which provided toolkits for both focus:refugees Participants in the new West Africa Church and focus:poverty. Additionally, a Mission Learning Network Planting Movement met in July 2023. has been developed that included a 5-month process which culminated in a Mission Immersion. • Created and distributed materials to churches for observation of World Refugee Day, which is recognized on June 20, and for World Poverty Day, which is recognized on October 17. BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 45


• Distributed over $130,000 in Virginia Hunger funds to more than 30 BGAV congregations, 5 district associations, and 24 Virginia-based hunger organizations since September 2022. • Renewed partnership on the Eastern Shore through Cape Charles Baptist Church with an Impact! Mission Camp project and a re-engagement of a steering committee.


• Impact! Mission Camp held 4 weeks of camp during the summer months and engaged 275 youth and 100 local volunteers. Provided resources to churches to help them improve their mission engagement year round. Raised over $650 from the Change Matters Offering.


• Honored to be named a 2023 Unsung Hero by the United Way of Southwest Virginia for its part in rebuilding after two storms in Buchanan County over the past 18 months. • Took a strong lead in the formation and development of a new network for disaster response across North America. New network gives us the ability to better respond when tragedy strikes. • Purchased new feeding unit which will give disaster response better flexibility to respond to smaller-scale disasters. • Through the generosity of individual and church donors, we were able to support Ma Ke Alo O (a BGAV-affiliated congregation) in their long-term response to wildfires in Maui. • Continued to support an ongoing recovery response in Florida after Hurricane Ian in 2022. • Training for chaplaincy, feeding, and other disciplines has taken place with multiple BGAV congregations and other partner organizations and ministries.


• Hosted JR Briggs for a Kairos network workshop on asking good questions in January 2023 • Collegiate Mission Teams served in Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Massachusetts, Delaware, New York, Kentucky, Florida, Ohio, Nicaragua • Called Cadance Tyler as Kairos Minister at Longwood/Hampden-Sydney • Called Emma Hammond as Associate Kairos Minister at Mary Washington University • Called Talon Brandon as Associate Kairos Minister at Virginia Tech • Called Haley Gillespie as Associate Kairos Minister at James Madison University • Completed 10th Kairos Leadership Initiative (KLI) program year (Oct 2022-May 2023); 10 young adults in cohort began September 2022 • Shared Student Evangelism Micro-Grants with funds from the North American Mission Board for evangelism efforts across over 20 campuses and BGAV congregations • Hosted statewide Kairos Collegiate/Young Adult Fall Gathering at Eagle Eyrie, with guest speaker Lisa RodriguezWatson, Executive Director of Missio Alliance • Relaunched Kairos Missions Initiative (KMI) in partnership with Food for the Hungry in Wana-Quilali, Nicaragua. An exploratory team visited Wana in June of 2023. The first formal KMI group will travel in June 2024. • Kairos Ministry Participants: 1497

46 | BGAV 2023 Book of Reports


• Served as ministry/leadership coaches for pastors and leaders. Provided leadership resources and training for pastors and church leaders. Developed a positive working relationship with churches and pastors/staff. Developed networks of support and learning for pastors/churches. • Assisted churches in the pastor search process. • Resourced churches in the areas of: Church Administration and Finance; Congregational Care; Discipleship and Spiritual Formation; Evangelism and Missions; Pastoral Leadership Development • AXIS: Kathy Kruschwitz served as a Minister in Residence, coach, and friend leading AXIS for 5 years. Our team sadly mourns Kathy’s untimely death in April 2023. • Launched new initiative called “Co-Vocational Church Ministry and Co-Vocational Pastors” which fosters a change in church culture that embraces a co-vocational paradigm where everyone is “called,” everyone is “staff,” and everyone is “co-vocational.” • AXIS Academy is currently under redevelopment. Redevelopment of the AXIS Academy will include professional development through a new platform. • AXIS Network developed relational learning communities consisting of women serving as senior pastors and one consisting of children’s ministers from across the state. • Pastor Search Teams trained/assisted: 104 • Church Weekday Education Conference: 140 • Church Finance Seminars: 95 • Church Administration and Finance: 335 contacts • Congregational Care: 7 churches assisted • Evangelism and Missions: 113 church connections • Pastoral Leadership Development: 20 Next Level Leaders; additional 19 began pre-work


• Uptick Core: 16th cohort included 12 diverse leaders (5 men and 7 women). Recruited another full cohort of 12 (6 men and 6 women) for next year. • Uptick Catalyst: completed six cohorts focused on developing intercultural intelligence in specific regions (Northern Virginia, greater Richmond, and Tidewater). Having received a $1,000,000 grant from the Lilly Foundation and a further $500,000 sustainability grant, cohorts will continue to be funded for the next several years. • Uptick Entrepreneur: completed its 6th cohort and while still recruiting, has currently recruited 5 young entrepreneurs for the cohort of 2023-24. • Uptick Global Baptist Women: completed the first cohort in partnership with the Baptist World Alliance Women. This exciting model has generated significant donor enthusiasm, as it is providing access to leadership training to many who otherwise have no access to such equipping. Laura McDaniel and Sonya Habimana have traveled to Jakarta this September to work with a large group of Asia Baptist Women. 300 women from 20 Asian countries will gather for a conference that will launch multiple cohorts with 20 identified key leaders. • Uptick Alum: moved toward a strategic investment to engage with alumni of previous Uptick cohorts. Mobilizing the 500+ prior Uptickers through Uptick Alum events, online huddles, and Sonya Habimana (right) presents other vehicles will catalyze significant momentum. A Gala event during a gathering of Asia Baptist marked the official launch of the Alum Network and celebrated the retirement of John Chandler and Laura McDaniel. Developed a Women in Jakarta in September 2023. digital platform for the Alum Network using software called Kartra. BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 47

This allows us to run our website, e-learning, interactions, etc. from a single easy to manage platform. • Wider Growth and Partnerships: finding ways to partner with other BGAV ministries to raise awareness of them among Uptick Alum and to find ways to work together to build a Kingdom movement together. The Baptist World Alliance has invited us to partner with them to help develop training for the emerging generation of young Baptist leaders globally. ASSISTANT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

• 14 Churches - Demographic data: ministry needs and pastor search • 1 Church - Assisted in revising their governance model • 1 Church - Provided assistance to considering relocation • 1 Church - Provided community profile • 19 Churches - Recruitment to BGAV • 9 Churches - Launched new campuses (physical or digital) • 2 Churches – Provided orientation to BGAV • 1 Church - Provided grant to launch new multisite campus in NOVA • 3 Churches – held discussions with leaders in 3 states about joining BGAV


• 45 - people trained and prepared in 5 virtual classes • 52 - pastors, staff, church leaders, and BGAV staff coached through Empower Network • 480 - hours spent in coaching individuals and teams • 160 - hours of mentor coaching for people working on coaching certification • Fifteen people earned the Empower Coaching Leadership Certificate for 2023. Four of those are new in 2023. • Continued coaching partnership agreements with Uptick, Uptick Catalyst, and Kairos to provide coaching for participants • Partnered with DC Baptist Convention for coach training • Held monthly coaching conversations for coaches in the network • Offered opportunities for coaches to earn hours for the International Coach Federation (ICF) through coaching cohorts • Served as facilitator and host for World Business and Executive Coach Summit, an international nonprofit that supports excellence in coaching • Completed new class on Coach Approach to Church Transitions • Continued working on two new classes: Coach Approach to Transformational Bible Study and Coach Approach to Finding Your Niche in Ministry • Provided resources for churches in interim transitions and maintained connection to interim ministers and those interested in interim ministry • Created new videos to support coaching and interim ministry. • Developed another version of Empower Coaching Book Club; eight joined for learning and development through reading in 2023 • Working on creating an Advisory Group to help dream and fulfill the mission of Empower Coaching • Renewed Professional Coaching Credential through ICF

48 | BGAV 2023 Book of Reports


• Welcomed Jessie Cruickshank and Emii Phillips-Kim to our staff, as well as four new board members – Joe Racek, Gretchen Abney, Carter Tan, and Jonathan Chan. • Continued to do webinars as well as immersions to give people a taste of the various offerings we have at V3. • Went through a Story Branding process so that we can find better ways to invite involvement. • Webinar Statistics: - 92 - Alert to Abuse - 67 - The Authority and Vulnerability Paradox - 103 - What if Jesus Were Serious About the Church? - 175 - Coming to Terms with Power - 180 - Church Without Walls: Is Mission Over? - 130 - Church Without Walls: Is Leadership Necessary? - 96 - Church Without Walls: Does Discipleship Work? - 119 - Church Without Walls: Is Community Realistic? • V3 Immersions: - 388 Pageviews, 8 Tickets - Structuring for Movement - 399 Pageviews, 7 Tickets - Jesus and Economic Justice - 427 Pageviews, 5 Tickets - Emotionally Healthy JR Woodward, V3 coordinator, leads a Community discussion with church planters. - 284 Pageviews, 15 Tickets - Developing a Discipleship Pathway - 259 Pageviews, 12 Tickets – Communities on Mission • Key Media - Facebook – 2,235 Followers, 359 Likes, 18 comments, 15 shares, 1.3k link clicks, 141k total impressions - Twitter – 12,753 Followers, 215 Likes, 48 retweets 568 link clicks - Instagram – 402 Followers, 242 likes, 2 comments, 6,785 total impressions - Claritysoft – 5,857 Subscribers • V3 Website Statistics: Total Visits – 29,085; Direct – 11,932; Google – 13,531; Facebook – 972; Twitter – 563; Referral – 566 • V3 Community of Facebook: Currently 450 Members • V3 Movement App: 1,847 (229) Downloads; 11,327 (743) App Launches; 73,209 (7,093) App Impressions • Cohort Participation: 12 Engaging Cohort; 79 Africa Cohorts; 3 Japan Cohorts; 14 South East Asia Cohort; 7 Establishing Cohort; 3 MarketPlace Cohort; 3 Re-missioning Cohort; 121 Total • Grounded Missional Movement Assessment: provided an assessment to help planters grow in their grounded spirituality, missional theology, and movement ecclesiology • Key Gatherings: Refresh – 15 people; Praxis Gathering – 120 people • V3/100 Movement Publishing: The Scandal of Leadership: Unmasking the Powers of Domination in the Church was released at the end of April and is doing well as the first book in the partnership between 100 Movements Publishing and V3. We have had 10 book events, 7 podcasts, and the book was submitted by 100 Movements Publishing to Christianity Today for the CT Book of the Year Award in two categories: Church/Pastoral Leadership as well as Theology (academic). The publisher is also submitting the book for a Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction. • Kineo Center: 74 men and women through the Pain & Possibilities retreat. Had their first Mutual Marriage Retreat. Finished their second full Cohort Cycle and Cohort Retreat. • Remissioning Collectives: Centering discipleship Learning, Creative Destruction Leader, coaching and consulting. • Churches in the Pipeline: - Journey / Joe Racek / Blacksburg, VA - The Mill Church / Alex Kranjec / Havertown, PA BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 49

- Church on High St / Nick & Krista Feyma / San Luis Obispo, CA - Dorea Church / Kee Hyon Higgins / Monterey, CA - Paul Stolwyk / Greensboro, NC - The Church at Network / Darren Harroff / Houston, TX - Neighborhood Church DC / Daniel Clark / Washington, DC - A church in San Francisco, CA *due to sensitive information, this church’s name cannot be published. - Story Church / Matthew Fretwell / Virginia Beach, VA - Common Grounds / Andrew Lemon / Philadelphia, PA - Jesus Following Network / Matthew Berry / Big Lake, MN - Center Church / Mitchell Lynn / Denver, CO - Common Grounds / Andrew Lemon / Philadelphia, PA - Missio Dei Chicago / Brandon Blessman / Chicago, IL - Front Porch Baltimore / Megan Gilmore / Baltimore, MD • V3 Partners: - Bonding Partners: Reliant Mission; 100 Movements Collective; Northern Seminary; Missio Seminary; Fuller Theological Seminary; Fuller Church Planting Initiative; Kineo Center; Kairos University ; Forge America; Seminary Now; One Child; Kineo Center; Parish Collective; Missio Alliance; Cyclical Publishing - Bridging Partners: Asbury Seminary; Azusa Pacific University; Center Quest; Church of God (Northwest Region); The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology; The Table Network; Tampa Underground; New Churches; Pittsburg Theological Seminary • Financial Framework: Developing a framework for financial sustainability that includes: Core Services, Grants, Initiative Funding, New GA Churches, Partners, and Sponsorships. FRESH EXPRESSIONS US

Event Attendees/Reach:

• Vision Days - Boston, MA – 100 - Oklahoma City, OK - 30 - Atlanta, GA – 30 - Harrisburg, PA – 50 - Decatur, IL – 75 - Tampa, FL – 35 - Tri-Cities, TN/VA – 40 - Atlanta, GA - 30 • Cohorts - Virtual Pioneer Cohort – 14 - Virtual Pioneer Cohort - 10 • Online Summits - Your Breakthrough Year - 25 - Leadership Tune-Up – 25 - Rural Renewal Summit - 100 • Resilient Church Academy - Fall Sessions – 125 - Spring Session - 15 • Dinner Church Encounters - Indianapolis, IN – 25 50 | BGAV 2023 Book of Reports

Tim Thompson presents during the Rural Renewal Summit in April 2023.

- Minneapolis, MN – 25 - Chehalis, WA – 60 - Cape Coral, FL – 20 - Kalispell, MT – 50 - Chicago, IL - 40 • Dinner Church Pre-Launch/Post-Launch Cohorts - Seattle - 10 - Columbus, OH – 70 - Seattle - 5 • Expresiones Divinas - Atlanta, GA – 25 - Online Seminar - 30 • New Initiatives & Special Projects - Dinner Church School of Leadership (Grad. Certificate) – 17 Students - Adaptive Church Leadership Cohort (Mississippi) – 5 Churches - Church @ Work Immersion (Disney) – 10 Participant - Adaptive Church Leadership Cohort (Great Plains) – 10 Churches • Misc. Training - Local Church Workshops – 1 - Church Coaching – 10 - Church Consulting Relationships – 2 - Skiers & Snowboards for Christ National Conference - Wisconsin UMC Circuit – 30 - Center for Re-missioning Fall Workshops - 30 C.A.M.P. (CREATIVELY ADVANCING MINISTRY PREP)

• African-American Church Networks - Weekly Zoom Noon Day Prayer Gathering - 6-15 attendees - Proclamation from A Multicultural Perspective – 30+ people attended - African American Fellowship: Monthly Meetings - Avg Attendance 10-15 - AAFVA Annual Reception – 50+ in attendance - Communicated with pastors seeking resources for ministry and partnering - National Black Church Life Pastors’ Gathering – monthly via Attendees listen during the Proclamation Zoom from a Multicultural Perspective event. • Asian Church Networks - Cultivated Strategic New Work Project in Asia - Busan, South Korea - 29 participants - Raised Next Generation Missional Leaders - Song Jong, South Korea - 4-day intensive - Timothy Training for next generation - Orlando, USA - 2-day intensive - Prototype Missional Church Start - single and young family - Suburban Seoul area - Intercessory Prayer - raising up networks of individual/congregational prayer warriors - Church Planter Assessment - engaged in a personal behavioral interview process - Mentoring/Coaching - provided trained and qualified coach for every new church pastor - Relationship/Resource Development - offered contextualize training, networking opportunities, connecting sending churches, strategic partnerships, coaching and mentoring and financial support BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 51

- Training – provided ongoing training resources for missional church planters and leaders for multiplying churches to church planting team reflecting both biblical truth and responsible practical principles and can be adapted to different culture, social-economic, and language groups • Latino/Latino American Church Networks - 15 students finished the Integral Church Growth class - 15 students currently enrolled in the Integral Church Growth II class - Ongoing mentoring of Sembradores of the Remington, Front Royal, Marshall, Charlottesville, and Harrisonburg Semillas - Partnered with John Leland Center for Theological Studies to develop a graduate program in Spanish for Latino leaders - 17 Baptist leaders participating in the Acts class - Met with leaders at Oakland Baptist Church to provide Semillas de Mostaza training - Met with pastors and leaders supervising the Harrisonburg Semilla - Joined Clarendon Baptist Hispanic Church in installing Sembrador Edwin Cordova - Participated in the Spiritual Retreat for Families organized by the Groveton Baptist Church and the Misión Bautista Hispana de Rivermont at Eagle Eyrie Conference Center - Organized Pastors and Sembradores’ Retreat at CrossRoads Camp & Conference Center MISSIO ALLIANCE

• Church and Organizational Partnerships: Made for Pax; North Park Theological Seminary; Portland Theological Seminary; NavPress; InterVarsity Press; Northeastern Seminary; Cultivating Communities Initiative; Seminary Now; Movement Leaders Collective; Common Ground Christian Church; Christ City Church • Online Resourcing: - Web Traffic | 331K page views, 127K users, 160K sessions - Tech: 59% used mobile, 39% desktop, 2% tablet - 80% were new visitors demonstrating a remarkable growth in reach • Friends Network: 41 paying members • Writing Team: added some Leading Voices and Writing Team members. Several Writing Fellows have become part of the regular Writing Team. • Writing Collective: 24 overall —> 13 women, 11 men; 11 POC (46% Persons of Color) • Writing Fellows Cohort - Contributors: 32 including 21 brand-new in • Overall, 51 writers contributed 92 original or co-authored articles. Over 100K words were published on our site in the last year. • Expanded our weekly article offering to two pieces each week • First long-form series, “Disruption in the Life of the Church” • Day-long pre-conference Writing Workshop, entitled “Why Write?” • 92 articles published; One such example is “Salt & Light.” Data that supports why we remain excited about these opportunities are reflected in these analytics: - “Meeting God In Our Darkest Places” 704 Views, 254 Facebook Clicks, 60 Shares - “The Flipside of Longing”: 413 Views, 135 Facebook Clicks, 46 Instagram Shares - “God Is At Work…”: 1,177 Views, 313 Facebook Clicks, 86 Instagram Shares • Online Events: 3 Webinar events reaching 311 leaders • 1 Learning Community reaching 21 leaders • June Book Club: The Scandal of Leadership by JR Woodward

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• Awakenings Gathering in April in the north suburbs of Chicago. The theme of the conference was Disruption in the Life of the Church. 48 Total Speakers. 15 Plenary / Keynote Guests; 5 Plenary Sessions; 23 Women: 25 Men; 28 Persons of Color: 20 White; 26 Workshops; 24 Total Sponsors; 383 Conference Attendees • Podcasts – 11 total; 127 episodes released • Publishing - 21 books in the Missio line with IVP, three that were released this year, including one Reader’s Choice Award Winner for 2022; New book series partnership established with NavPress entitled Kingdom Conversations • Communications - Newsletter | 15.9k contacts, 10.7K subscribers; Twitter | 14K followers, Average 20k impressions Missio Alliance hosted the Awakenings a month; Facebook | 6,670 followers, 6,275 page likes; Gathering in Chicago in April 2023. Instagram | 2,115 followers Page/profile visits is up 74.8% (2,521) • Organizational Development - building a team to expand its reach and impact that is composed of a diverse staff from North America and abroad, as we pursue curating courageous conversations around the most challenging issues facing the Church RESOURCING BAPTIST CHAPLAINCY RELATIONS

• Founding Director and Endorser of Baptist Chaplaincy Relations, Dr. Bobby Smith, died in 2022 after a very brief battle with cancer. • Todd Combee was named Director and Endorser, Baptist Chaplaincy Relations in 2023. • Endorsed 22 new chaplains; 1,156 – Total Chaplain Endorsements (2002-2023), with over 600 in active chaplain roles. • Averaged 25 Zoom meetings/week – pastoral care and support with individual chaplains. • Celebrated 20 years of chaplain ministry in Dallas, TX with over 250 in attendance. • 75+ attend our spring chaplain training event in Richmond, VA.


• Summer Theme 2023: “Kickin’ it Old School.” Focused on John 3:16, and we took it back to the basics of our faith, teaching campers what we believe as Christians, and why we believe it. • 15% increase in our summer camp registrations, and 30% increase in our camp revenue. • Campers every week made decisions to follow Christ, and we changed our weekly schedule this year so that we had a full day to spend with them after our weekly commitment service. • Added another week of campers next summer. • Gave over $20,000 in scholarships this summer to campers in need. • Retreat groups continue to come back. Added a week of summer camp for one of our larger groups. • Planned Annual Fall Festival. Excited to be able to host people from our local community that includes activities, games, pumpkin painting, bounce houses, live music, and more! • Began construction on a new house for our Summer Camp Director and Retreats Director. • Other construction plans/needs include: expansion of our wireless internet to new buildings, new doors in our dining hall, new floors for dining hall, and a standby generator for wellhouse. BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 53


• Hosted 607 men for the Concilio De Dios Alfa & Omega Retreat in September 2022. • Hosted 590 guests of all ages for the Salvation Army Potomac Division Family Retreat in September 2022. • Hosted 380 college students for the Every Nation Campus Fall Retreat in September 2022. • Hosted 327 students from Virginia Tech for the Cru Campus Ministry Fall Retreat in October 2022. • Hosted 143 participants of all ages for the Special Needs Retreat in October 2022. Attendees dance during • Hosted 168 college students for the Kairos Fall Gathering in October 2022. the Special Needs Retreat • Hosted 335 ladies for the WMUV Women’s Get Away in November 2022. in October 2022. • Hosted 260 teenagers for the CBF Virginia Youth Retreat in November 2022. • Hosted 275 students from Liberty University for their Marching Band Christmas Banquet in December 2022. • Hosted both the Virginia Baptist Women’s Chorale Retreat and the Virginia Baptist Male Chorale Retreat in January 2023. • Hosted 166 high school students for the Virginia Lutheran Synod Winter Celebration in January 2023. • Hosted 407 teenagers for the Salvation Army Potomac Division Youth Councils in March 2023, with 84 students making first-time decisions for Christ! • Hosted 353 teenagers for the Mountain Top Experience (MTE) Youth Retreat in March 2023, with 63 students making first-time decisions for Christ! • Hosted 143 people of all ages for the Revival Harvest Churches Family Retreat in April 2023. • Hosted 150 adults for the Habitat for Humanity Virginia Affiliate Training Conference in April 2023. • Hosted 177 mothers and daughters for the GA Mom & Me Weekend in April 2023. • Hosted 174 teenagers and adults for the Virginia Church of God of Prophecy Youth Retreat and Leadership Retreat in April 2023. • Hosted the 60th Anniversary of the Virginia Baptist Conference of the Deaf in May 2023, with 89 people in attendance. • Hosted 222 people of all ages for Liberty University’s Graduation Weekend in May 2023. • Hosted 1,026 ladies for the Concilio De Dios Pentecostal Alfa & Omega Women’s Retreat in May 2023. • Hosted 380 people of all ages for the Mid-Atlantic Chinese Christian Conference in May 2023. • Hosted 169 adults and teenagers for the Sovereign Grace Churches Mid-South Region Parent/Youth Retreat in June 2023. • Hosted 277 third-sixth graders for PASSPORT Kids Camp in June 2023. • Hosted 1,235 third-sixth graders during three CentriKid Camps in June-July 2023, with 114 children making decisions for Christ! • Hosted 112 youth and children for Music & Worship Arts Camp in July 2023. • Hosted 311 participants for MC2 in July 2023, packaged 14,256 meals for the Source of Light orphanage in Haiti, and saw 14 students make first-time decisions for Christ! • Hosted 250 teenagers for the Destination Church Youth Camp in July 2023, with 35 students accepting Christ and seeking baptism. • Hosted 750 teenagers for the Concilio De Dios Alfa & Omega Youth Retreat in August 2023. • Hosted 173 youth for the Redemption Ministries Teen Camp in August 2023, with 21 students making first-time decisions for Christ and being baptized in our swimming pool!

54 | BGAV 2023 Book of Reports

• Hosted 200 people of all ages from Grace Evangelical Free Church with 7 more people being baptized in our pool! • Received donations to install new wood railings and apply a new stamped concrete overlay at the outdoor worship area. • Received donations to purchase 500 new banquet chairs for the Dining Hall. • Received donations to install three new flood lights on the recreation field. • Received donations to purchase 6 new LCD projectors for our classrooms. • Received donations to construct a new Bazooka Ball Arena on our recreation field. • Received donations to purchase and install a new mesh cover for our swimming pool. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

• Deployed new desktops and laptops for BGAV staff. Replaced 15 laptops and 2 desktops. Reloaded the old desktops and laptops and re-deployed them at our camps, our BCM centers, and at BGAV churches in need. • Worked together with Support Ministries and Marketing to implement Blackbaud Luminate Online that allows us to combine all our online giving, eCommerce, and eMarketing efforts. • Implemented Omatic Cloud, a cloud-based software solution that allows us to import information into our Raiser’s Edge constituent database. • Updated Raiser’s Edge constituent database with current church and leadership information for each of our 1,400 churches and 20,000+ church leaders. This data is provided by churches through the ACP (Annual Church Profile) survey. • Replaced old PBX phone system with a new VOIP (Voice over IP) phone system. • Upgraded aging A/V (audio-visual) system in the chapel.


• Accessed new methods for getting demographic and marketing materials to churches through ArcGIS training and securing non-profit status with ESRI for databasing and software savings • Rural Broadband Initiative – kicked off a multi-year effort to assist churches with access to broadband with a focus on rural churches • Ascent prayer initiative “Join the Movement” campaign • Ascent branding guide • Ascent Marketing Collaborative – worked with marketing professionals around the country to develop materials for Ascent “I was excited to learn about what other churches are doing and to hear about some of • Vanco partnership/promotion – online giving platform for the trends that are taking place in that world. I churches think we’ve walked away with a lot of ideas and • Digital Church Proficiency workshops – 4 workshops around things we’re excited about.” the state for churches to assess and improve their digital ministry efforts; will continue in 2024 – Jessica Stanley, • Luminate training and transition – working with the Business Digital Church Proficiency Workshop attendee Office and the IT team to improve our database reliability and utilize new tools for communication using the Luminate platform • Webex Events onboarding and training – prepared for a hybrid structure of future events such as Annual Meeting • Annual Meeting implementation (livestream and in-person events, including change of venue) • 200th Anniversary commemoration implementation (livestream, in person, and ancillary items and publications) BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 55

• Routine/ongoing: website maintenance, Advance Notice, BGAV Express, Ascent/BGAV promotions and exec. office support as needed, Alma Hunt offering promotional support • Video projects to support Uptick, DR, Alma Hunt Offering/WMUV, and Annual Meeting footage

56 | BGAV 2023 Book of Reports


CALLED C e l e b rat ing 200 Years

TO BE 2023



• Baptist Extension Board • Center for Baptist Heritage and Studies • EverBless Foundation • GraceInside: Virginia’s Prison Chaplain Service • HopeTree Family Services • LifeSpire of Virginia • Virginia Baptist Historical Society • Woman’s Missionary Union of Virginia


• Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty • Baptist News Global • Baptist World Alliance • Gardner-Webb University • McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University • Ministering to Ministers • Northern Seminary


• Averett University • Bluefield University • Fork Union Military Academy • Hargrave Military Academy • Leland Seminary • Oak Hill Academy

BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 57


Baptist Extension B o a r d I N C O R P O R A T E D

e s t. 1 9 4 0

The Baptist Extension Board was organized in 1940 during the church building boom that followed World War II. In the subsequent 83 years, its loan fund has grown to more than $20 million through interest on loan repayments and allocations from Virginia’s Cooperative Missions contributions. By lending money at attractive interest rates, the Baptist Extension Board assists churches, mission congregations, and district associations that are not able to secure full commercial financing. Loans are usually issued over a maturing date of 12 to 15 years. The interest rate is currently 5.10% for a first mortgage loan and 5.85% for a second mortgage loan and is reviewed by the Board at regularly scheduled meetings. The 15-member board is comprised of both clergy and lay leaders who volunteer their time to serve. During the first eight months of the 2023 fiscal year, there were three loans approved totaling $1,200,000.00. These funds were requested for new construction projects, land purchases and renovations to existing church facilities. As of August 31, 2023, the Baptist Extension Board, Inc. services 44 loans with a combined balance of $9,358,085. Loans granted by the Baptist Extension Board are a Virginia Baptist investment in outreach. Several Virginia Baptist church starts in the last 83 years have significantly impacted their communities because of the financial assistance received from the Baptist Extension Board, Inc. Visit our website at to obtain information about the loan application process or call our office at 1-800-ALL-BGAV.


*John Saunders, President *William Beals, Vice President *Robert Lee, Recording Secretary *David B. Washburn, Treasurer *Wayne D. Faison, Executive Director Terms to expire in 2023 ~William Beals (2nd Term) ~Allan Smith (1st Term) **Mike Robinson (2nd Term) Terms to expire in 2024 *Robert E. Lee IV (1st Term) Bill Emory(1st Term) Todd Bradbury (1st Term) Terms to expire 2026 **Angelee Godbold (1st Term) ~Tim Burnett (1st Term) *John Saunders (2nd Term) Terms to expire 2027 P. Duaine Fitzgerald (1st Term) Charles W. Tilley (2nd Term) **Darl Wilburn (1st Term) 58 | BGAV 2023 Book of Reports

*Member of the Executive Committee by virtue of office ** Member of the Executive Committee by virtue of election ~ Alternate Executive Committee Member by virtue of election


The Center for Baptist Heritage & Studies is the joint partnership of three entities: the BGAV, the University of Richmond and the Virginia Baptist Historical Society. From its inception, the Center was envisioned as an educational vehicle to enhance understanding of Baptist principles and to engender opportunities for research and exploration of the Baptist tradition - especially utilizing the material record of Virginia Baptists, maintained by VBHS. The ministry performed by the Center offers creative and challenging resources to assist individuals and congregations in cultivating deeper awareness of the Baptist heritage, including the legacy of freedom that shapes our spiritual identity. The Center provides materials and experiences that encourage a more meaningful grasp of Baptist heritage and through which current issues can be explored. Since its founding, the mission of the Center has been fourfold: 1. To champion Baptist distinctives and Baptist heritage, 2. To provide educational opportunities related to Baptist distinctives, history and heritage, 3. To make available Baptist records and historical materials, and 4. To serve as a research center for undergraduates, scholars, and local church historians. The mission continues, across Virginia and beyond. The Center’s re-envisioned Heritage Fellows program continues in its second year as such, with an emphasis on aligning each Fellow’s research experience with their academic and professional goals. The program provides a Baptist history and heritage immersion over one academic year, as Fellows pursue supervised research using the VBHS collections on topics of their choice. The experience strengthens future Baptist leaders by deepening their engagement and critical reflection on the principles, polity and historical currents that give shape to the tradition. As young scholars contributing to the field, Fellows earn a stipend for their work, currently set at $4,000 per academic year. In 2022-2023, Grace Woolwine (VT), completed an extensive overview of the history of youth/student ministry and education at Richmond’s Second Baptist Church, her home congregation. We are pleased to share that Catherine Storke of William and Mary is serving as this year’s Heritage Fellow (2023-2024). Her project is still in development. The Center continues to calibrate its activities and resources to ensure that it is fulfilling its mission for future generations, including its commitment to increasing access to the material collections of the VBHS. As the primary sources of Virginia Baptist history, these irreplaceable collections form the foundation for all educational work of the Center. Ultimately, as the mission of the Center entails “making available Baptist records and historical materials,” and “serving as a research center for undergraduates, scholars, and church historians,” the fulfillment of that mission requires providing the elements necessary to make it a reality. In 2023, the VBHS took delivery of its much-awaited archives scanner to assist in the work of preservation and increased access. With major equipment in place, the Center will come alongside (in light of pillars 3 & 4 of its mission) to underwrite the suite of software systems that is being adopted to make preservation and web access to the historical materials possible. We look forward, for instance, to the Center’s Heritage Fellows, who are usually non-residential, being able to have greater access to original materials from wherever they may be during their year of service, which will revolutionize the experience. Researchers overall will be able to make more extensive use of the materials toward greater understanding of Baptist distinctives, history and heritage (pillar 2), as it will be more possible to make immediate links to primary sources held by VBHS through digital exhibits or related means. Thus, the leadership boards of both the Center and VBHS continue advocating for strong financial support of these ongoing advancements in collections management and technical services. The generous support of Virginia Baptists for the Center is not only appreciated but crucial for fulfilling this special mission, as we shore up the information infrastructure that undergirds it. The work is more urgent than ever, and we as Virginia Baptists have a responsibility to share from our deep heritage and the material sources underpinning it. The Center continues educating and collaborating with our partners, such as introducing the history of Baptists and other dissenters in colonial Virginia for the Baptist Joint Committee’s Fellows program held in Williamsburg in recent years and will be building upon such collaborations in new ways in 2024. In addition, our longstanding host community, BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 59

the University of Richmond, continues to call upon the Center with a renewed level of interest in understanding its Baptist origins, which brings new generations of students and the wider community into deeper engagement with the historic role of the Baptist tradition. One of the most significant moments for 2023 was a panel discussion organized by the Center, entitled, “A Conversation on Christian Nationalism,” which took place in advance of the annual meeting of the Virginia Baptist Historical Society on May 9. Held at Second Baptist Church, Richmond, the panel consisted of Adam Bond (Baylor University, Assoc. Professor of Religion and African American Studies and former Center board member), Amanda Tyler (Exec. Director, BJC), and Bill J. Leonard (Founding Dean and Professor of Divinity Emeritus, Wake Forest University School of Divinity), and was well attended. Finally, in conversation with the anniversary committee, the Center took on the major project of producing a series of short history videos to help commemorate the 200th anniversary of the BGAV. This investment is also intended as a way for the Center to offer educational-formational resources for churches seeking to explore Baptist heritage and the Virginia Baptist story, beyond the 200th anniversary year. Of course, it’s impossible to capture 200 years of history in a few short videos, but the narratives are designed to serve as an introduction to broader published studies that will be paired with them for future release. The Center continues to support staff visits to local churches, preaching/teaching frequently on “Our Bold Baptist Heritage of Dissent” and related topics. Please contact the Center if your church would like to schedule a preaching or teaching experience on Baptist history and identity. We are grateful to “BGAV Baptists” for making it all possible, as we share this heritage of soul freedom with current and future generations. BOARD OF TRUSTEES

BGAV Richard Martin (2026) James Ryland (2023) Amanda Lott (2024) Richard Clore (Vice-Chair) (2025) University of Richmond Ellis West (Chair) (2026) Vacancy (2024) Edward Pruden (2024) Craig Kocher, University Chaplain (UMC) (standing) VBHS (Current officers of the VBHS) Joseph Lewis (2023) Dennis Sacrey (2023) Vivian Clingenpeel (2023) Herbert Browning (2023) Executive Director Nathan Taylor (standing)

60 | BGAV 2023 Book of Reports


Virginia Baptist Foundation formally changed its name to EverBless Foundation in 2022 as it launched its centennial celebration at the BGAV’s annual meeting. EverBless represents 100 years of generosity from believers who desired to move the mission of the church forward. EverBless assists with estate planning for individuals, money management for churches and nonprofits to multiply ministries; donor-advised funds to maximize individual contributions; Bible-study curriculums to promote generosity and spiritual well-being; and scholarships to encourage higher education. EVER BLESSING

During 2022, additions to EverBless’ assets under management were $13.6 million. In turn, EverBless distributed over $9.2 million to more than 300 organizations, including churches, mission groups, schools and other nonprofits. Robust distributions also were made to the Baptist General Association of Virginia, HopeTree Family Services, the Virginia Baptist Historical Society, LifeSpire and the Woman’s Missionary Union of Virginia. ESTATE PLANNING

Ensuring an individual’s giving legacy has remained EverBless’ highest calling since its inception. Last year, EverBless continued to assist individuals in initiating estate plans that included wills, charitable remainder trusts, charitable gift annuities, endowed scholarships and donor-advised funds. Following donor wishes, EverBless also distributed charitable gifts and invested endowed funds for individuals who passed away during the year. MONEY MANAGEMENT

Assets under management at EverBless totaled $194 million, as of year-end 2022. Working with Vanguard, one of the world’s leading investment advisors, EverBless manages funds for more than 300 churches and nonprofits, freeing them to focus on their core missions. Many churches and nonprofits hold multiple accounts at EverBless, such as funds dedicated to building, missions, cemetery maintenance, endowment, children’s ministry, scholarships and other special funds. Using a low-cost investment approach and proven financial tools, EverBless strives to grow these funds on behalf of its clients. SCHOLARSHIPS

This past May, EverBless awarded $312,000 in scholarships to 118 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and seminary students. As the scholarship program continues to grow, EverBless acknowledges the visionaries whose planned gifts— including trusts, bequests and outright gifts—support the next generation’s educational goals and ministry callings. BIBLE-STUDY CURRICULUMS

EverBless places high value on teaching the Biblical basis for giving. To meet the demand for creative stewardship resources, EverBless offers two Bible studies, Miraculous Generosity and Unstoppable. Both studies are free and available via EverBless’ website, where the materials can be streamed, downloaded or requested on CD or USB. Hundreds of individuals and numerous churches have participated in the studies, and many responded by creating wills and other planned giving tools. As 2022 came to a close, EverBless was poised for continued growth, stewardship and outreach to further move our mission forward. “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” —Proverbs 11:14 BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Leigh Anne Baggs, Manakin-Sabot John G. Beck, North Chesterfield Ann F. Brown, Gretna Jo Lynne S. DeMary, Midlothian David J. Fairchild, Midlothian

Janet C. Garrett, Glen Allen (Board Secretary) Britton L. Glisson, Doswell Libby M. Grammer, Martinsville Leah S. Hopper, Richmond Charles G. Key, Henrico Steven R. Lohr, Milford

Lawrence L. Peacock, Jr., Annandale Robert L. Smythers, Blacksburg William E. Watson, Farmville Robert A. Whitehead, Quinton James L. Wilkerson, Crewe (Board Chair) BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 61


GraceInside wants to say a huge “Thank You” to the Baptist General Association of Virginia for helping to found us and for faithfully supporting us for over a century. GraceInside began in 1920. Our very first state prison Chaplain (and our first Executive Director) was a Presbyterian minister that took a train each day from Goochland County to the old Virginia State Penitentiary in Richmond to share Jesus’ love with the “least of these” behind bars and to provide one-onone pastoral care. Virginia Baptists were out front as the leader among the seven denominations that joined together to form GraceInside (then known as the Interdenominational Religious Work Foundation, and later known as Chaplain Service of the Churches of Virginia). In fact, our ministry was chartered and held its very first Board Meeting in the office of the BGAV Executive Director at the old Virginia Baptist Building in downtown Richmond. Over time, our ministry has grown to serve over 24,000 incarcerated men and women. GraceInside currently employs 33 Chaplains that minister in all 42 of the Commonwealth’s state correctional facilities. An “upside” of our ministry is that ALL of the Chaplains in our state prisons are committed Christian ministers, but a “downside” is that they are NOT state employees (and thus receive NO benefits like medical insurance or state pensions). Virginia’s State Constitution prohibits the use of any general taxpayer funds for “religious” purposes, which is why we were formed and continue to be funded and supported by denominations, churches and caring individuals. We have only a few Full-Time Chaplains in the state prisons, but we pray that in the near future all of our Part-Time Chaplains will be promoted to Full-Time status. Our Chaplains in these “mission fields in our own backyards” strive to serve and minister to the prisoners as if each of them were the Lord Himself (Matthew 25:36c). We are humbled and honored to continue serving as the “state prison chaplaincy arm” of the BGAV (and of our other sponsoring denominations). Our Chaplains serve as your representatives and as your co-laborers in Christ Jesus in the state prison system. In this report, we want to share the story of Chaplain Vera Rhyne. The Rev. Dr. Vera A. Rhyne was born in Quantico, VA and raised in Jacksonville, NC. She is a 1974 cum laude graduate of Shaw University in Raleigh, NC, having earned a B.A. in World History. In 2003, she earned her Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree from the Virginia Union School of Theology in Richmond, VA. Chaplain Rhyne also received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity (D.D.) degree from Virginia Triumphant College & Seminary in 2013. Rev Rhyne was licensed to the preaching ministry in April 1974 and then became a fully ordained minister in 1982. She has pastored churches in California (Sacramento), Alabama (Fort McClellan), and in Virginia. She served as the Interim Pastor (and first female Pastor) of Broad Rock Baptist Church in Richmond, VA for over two years (1998-2000). She served as the Pastor of First Antioch Baptist Church in Powhatan, VA from 2011 to 2017 (and was the first female Pastor to serve a church in Powhatan County). Rev. Rhyne also served as a religious volunteer at the San Quentin Men’s Prison and at the Wetumpka Women’s Prison, both in California.

62 | BGAV 2023 Book of Reports

Rev. Rhyne was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Women’s Army Corps in 1972. She went on to serve as a Logistics Officer in the U.S. Army from 1975 to 1983. From 1983 to 1995 Rev. Rhyne served in the U.S. Army Reserves, retiring as a Major. In June of 2010, Rev. Rhyne retired from the Defense Logistics Agency (Defense General Supply Center – Richmond, VA) – with over 33 years of military/federal service! She was honored with the “Key to the City” of Anniston, AL in 1993. Rev. Vera Rhyne has served as a Virginia state prison Chaplain with GraceInside (formerly Chaplain Service) for nearly 19 years – with a few temporary “breaks” due to overseas deployments, etc. Rev. Rhyne began by serving as the Chaplain for James River Correctional Center and James River Work Center (both now closed) in March 2004. While at James River, Chaplain Rhyne initiated a program (in coordination with Goodwill Industries of Central VA) that provided suits to inmates upon their release to the Richmond area. Chaplain Rhyne currently serves State Farm Correctional Complex (in Powhatan) and the DOC’s Secure Care Unit (SCU) at VCU Medical Center. Again, we offer our profound thanks to the BGAV for your partnership and committed support! EXECUTIVE STAFF (BAPTISTS)

Rev. J. Randy Myers, Executive Director Rev. Lois Carter, Outreach & Community Relations Mgr. Rev. Bernie Morris, Religious Advisor/DOC Liaison Mr. Steve Law, Finance Manager Mr. Lee Hargrave, Office Mgr./Exec. Asst. CHAPLAINS (BAPTISTS)

Chaplain Tommy Armstrong, Dillwyn Corr. Center Chaplain Janice Broadie, Central Va, Corr. Unit Chaplain Ashton Brock, Caroline Corr. Unit Chaplain Clifton Cauthorne, Red Onion State Prison Chaplain Calvin Corbitt, Indian Creek Corr. Center Chaplain Linda Fox, Va. Corr. Ctr. for Women/Work Ctr. Chaplain Doug Huff, Green Rock CC/Patrick Henry CU Chaplain Darrell Hunley, Pocahontas State CC/Cold Springs CU Chaplain Patrick Jones, Sussex I State Prison Chaplain Stephen Layne, Buckingham CC/Rustburg CU Chaplain Randy McDaniel, River North Corr. Center Chaplain William Moore, Sussex II State Prison Chaplain Jerusha Moses, Fluvanna Corr. Ctr. for Women Chaplain Randy Reagan, Wallens Ridge SP/Wise CU Chaplain Vera Rhyne, State Farm Complex/SCC@VCU Chaplain Lynn Robinson, Deerfield Corr. Ctr./Work Ctrs. Chaplain Henry Tysor – Greensville CC (S3) BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Mrs. Patricia Carrowiano, Chair, Baptist Mr. James T. Bailey, Counsel, Episcopalian Mrs. Emily Bailey, Baptist, BGAV* Mr. James V. Beale, Baptist Rev. Deacon Christine Garcia, Episcopalian Rev. Marilyn Heckstall, Methodist Rev. Dr. Wm. Eric Jackson, Baptist Rev. Dr. Carla Lightfoot, Baptist Mrs. Marilyn McCarty, Baptist, BGAV* Mr. Lindell Tinsley, Baptist

* Indicates BGAV Representatives appointed by the Board on Boards & Committees

BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 63



Through God’s love, we foster hope, by empowering families, youths, and adults to lead fulfilling lives CORE VALUES

• Ministry • People • Excellence • Stewardship • Accountability STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES

• Growth • Fiscal Performance • Clinical Excellence • Culture • Quality Facilities • External Relations PROGRAMS

HopeTree serves more than 1,000 individuals and family members through five programs and 10 distinct service lines across the state of Virginia. • Developmental Disabilities Ministry Adult Group Homes - Adult Group Homes - Sponsored Residential - Community Coaching • Foster Care - Parent Support • HopeTree Academy • Therapeutic Group Homes • Clinical Services - Family Centered Treatment - Equine Assisted Psychotherapy - Outpatient Counseling HIGHLIGHTS FROM 2022-2023

HopeTree started the new fiscal year off with an exciting new partnership and the re-opening of Titmus Cottage. Vacant for more than 10 years, Titmus Cottage reopened to serve as a temporary home for Roanoke City, Roanoke County, and Franklin County DSS teams that could not find placement for children in their care. DSS’ across the state often find themselves unable to find an appropriate foster care or group home placement for children in their care. As a result, they often have to stay in a hotel or in their local offices with the children until an appropriate placement can be found. 64 | BGAV 2023 Book of Reports

Through the generosity and volunteer efforts from Elevation Church, Molina Healthcare, The Titmus Foundation, and many more partners, approximately $80,000 was raised to replace the roof, windows, install new carpet, renovate the bathrooms and kitchen, and fully furnish the home. We have continued to invest heavily in our technology security and infrastructure. Our Electronic Health Record (EHR), myEvolv, went live this past year. We also went live with a new Human Resource Information System (HRIS) platform that created many efficiencies and better processes for our team members, including the ability for our team members to receive their pay daily, or anytime after they have worked their shifts, if desired. We also continued to invest in our culture and in the growth of our leaders by evolving HopeTree’s leadership development platform, “HopeLeads,” by adding a hybrid platform from Giant Worldwide called, “Altitude.” Altitude is a 51-course virtual platform that is combined with weekly sessions with HopeTree leadership coaches. The new format has received outstanding reviews from our leaders and is already having a tremendous impact on our culture. HopeTree also held several events throughout the year for the first time. “HopeShines,” is a special evening set aside to honor our outstanding team members and partners. Pam McGraw, one of our Foster Care Leaders in our Richmond region was awarded the very first, “Carla Clemans Warner, Leader of the Year Award.” The Salem campus also hosted “HopeFest,” an event to bring the community to our campus to thank many for their support and introduce the organization to others. Over 300 people attended the event and enjoyed homemade chili, cornbread, bounce houses, caricature artists, live music and much, much more. This past summer, we held our very first “HopeSings,” event by welcoming “Small Town Strings,” to our Salem campus. HopeTree also entered into a partnership with Stateson Homes, Synder & Associates, and Civic by Design to help us envision the integration of our Salem campus. More than 100 members of our community were invited to a weeklong charette, where we received and tested ideas as to what HopeTree could develop on our campus. The Board of Trustees and agency leadership have been discussing options for the 60-acre campus for many years. The reason for the discussion to integrate and develop our campus is because HopeTree has changed a lot over the years. First of all, we once had more than 400 children living on our Salem Campus 40+ years ago. Recent regulations and licensing standards limits us to serving 16 youth on campus at any one time. Second, Medicaid has mandated that we integrate our campus in order to allow our three adult homes to remain where they have been for many, many years. And finally, most of HopeTree’s services are in the community and no longer on our Salem campus. Campus style settings are not as popular as they once were. Integrating those we serve in the community, especially in the communities they live in, is more advantageous for everyone and produce better outcomes for those we serve. Part of this redesign will include new buildings, major renovations, and investments in some new programs for HopeTree to ensure we are positioned for success in the future. Nothing has been finalized at this time, but agency leadership and the design team hope to submit a proposal to the City of Salem before the end of the year. If approved, ground breaking could occur in 2024. HopeTree is testing the feasibility of a capital campaign that will allow us to raise needed funds for the project. Finally, HopeTree has hired a new Chaplain & Activities Coordinator for the organization. We have continued our partnership with Elevation Church, who continues to host their Wednesday evening Youth Worship on our Salem campus. Many of our youth attend the Wednesday evening groups and have requested for our Chaplain to take them to church on Sunday mornings. Our Chaplain also helps to lead our Monday morning prayer for all staff and sends devotional emails to our team members. We want to thank the BGAV and all of our church partners for your prayers, your encouragement, partnership, and financial support. Please continue to pray for us as we strive to fulfill our mission and core values so we can be a positive impact to the families and communities we serve. -

BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 65


Term Expires December 2023 Stephanie Cook - BGAV Ann Green Sydney Gustafson Morgan Meador John Mizell Pat Shaffner Term Expires December 2024 Wayne Brockwell – BGAV Bill DeWorken Dr. Kathy Matthews Mia Pumo Trinette Randolph Term Expires December 2025 Rev. Bert Browning - BGAV Rev. George Fletcher Derek Hicks Richard Martin Carla Shepherd Rev. Reggie Warren Term Expires December 2026 Ron Clark Mike Elmore Melissa Jackson Patrick Wood

66 | BGAV 2023 Book of Reports


LifeSpire of Virginia (formerly Virginia Baptist Homes) serves more than 1,400 senior adults aged 62 to 100+ in five continuing care retirement communities in Virginia: Culpeper, Newport News, Richmond, Daleville and Lynchburg. We also provide services to seniors who prefer to stay at home and age in place in the Richmond area through a new program called Lakewood at Home. LifeSpire’s mission is to empower individuals with choices in purposeful living. An expansion of our mission in 2021 included the creation of a joint venture with Pinnacle Living (which operates five life plan communities in Virginia} to provide home health and other organizational support services. The newly formed organization, Senior Living Partners of Virginia, LLC (SLP}, will allow both organizations to formally collaborate and expand our mission-focused growth to serve those who currently do not reside inside the walls of a retirement community. SLP has also finalized the purchase of Williamsburg Landing Home Health and has acquired its existing assets, including state and federal home health licenses and certifications. The home health company will operate as Affirmation Home Health. Affirmation provides skilled home health and home care services to Richmond-area residents (including residents of Lakewood} currently. Our hope is Affirmation will expand to other regions of Virginia in the future. In June 2023, Fitch Ratings - an award-winning provider of credit ratings, commentary, and research – re-affirmed a ‘BBB’ rating to LifeSpire. The rating outlook is stable. This rating continues to allow LifeSpire better access to capital markets, reinvest in community assets and keep the organization viable for the years to come. The rating will allow LifeSpire to borrow or refinance at lower interest rates in the future, representing significant savings to residents. It also shows that we are committed to exceptional fiscal stewardship. In its report, Fitch noted ‘LifeSpire is characterized by strong revenue defensibility, as a multi­market diversified Life Plan Community (LPC} and mid-range operating risk, with a consistent history of solid operations and history of successfully managed capital investments.” As part of our social accountability efforts, LifeSpire has partnered with Cristo Rey Richmond High School. Cristo Ray is a Catholic learning community that educates young people of limited economic means to become men and women of faith, purpose and service. The partnership includes a corporate work study program where LifeSpire will employ students from the school. Since Cristo Rey is Richmond-based, Lakewood will serve as the community to engage in the program. Students will intern in communications, marketing, facilities management and talent management. Supervisory team members will be guided by Cristo Rey. This partnership presents many wonderful opportunities. Students come from a wide range of cultural and socioeconomic background and bring diversity and culture changes to Lakewood; the program fits in well with our objectives to support the greater community, specifically supporting urban schools and inner-city/at-risk populations; partnering with Cristo Rey will provide an introduction of the senior living sector to a younger audience and help build a work force for the future. These young adults have a unique opportunity to learn about vibrant, thriving senior living options in such a great setting. Through a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, integrated with a relevant work study experience, students graduate ready to succeed in college and in life. Cristo Rey is a part of the largest network of high schools in the country that exclusively serves youth with limited economic means. Cristo Rey focuses on preparing students for college, while exposing the students to corporate experience. The Virginia Baptist Homes (VBH) Foundation continues to provide traditional benevolence for residents and strengthen programs for our team members, such as our employee education fund and employee crisis fund. The Foundation remains integral to fulfilling the mission and staying strong in our faith-based roots of ministry and service. In 2022, we provided $1,224,388 in benevolent assistance to 48 residents who outlived their financial resources. We look to the future with promise and hope that Virginia’s senior adults will have the best choices for active and joyful living.

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Officers of the Corporation Jonathan R. Cook, President/CEO Tracey Jennings, Chief Operations Officer Christopher M. Markwith, Senior Vice President/CFO/Treasurer J. Peter Robinson, Chief Marketing Officer/Assistant Secretary J. Matthew Scott, Secretary Christine Moran, Assistant Treasurer Officers of the Board Rev. Dan Carlton, Chair Rev. Nelson Harris, Vice Chair Trustees James. A Bales Sharon Brooks Rev. Dan Carlton Dr. Valerie Carter Smith * R. Scott Cave Dr. Tiffany M. Franks * Rev. C. Nelson Harris * John Jung Sara L. Marchello Arne Owens Pam Parsons Jim Poats John Poma J. Matthew Scott Gary Thomson Susan Rucker Jim Vaught * * BGAV representative

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Now in its 147th year, VBHS continues to serve the BGAV family and the public as the dedicated custodian of Virginia Baptist history. This work includes management and stewardship of the extensive archives, library, art and artifacts entrusted to the Society, as well as responding to regular requests for assistance from churches and other researchers. On May 9, 2023, we were delighted to hold once again the Annual Dinner and Meeting of the Society, the first beyond the pandemic. In remembrance and gratitude for their role 200 years ago in hosting the first meeting of the Baptist General Association of Virginia, the meeting was held at Richmond’s Second Baptist Church (at its present location) and was very well attended. Founding Dean and Professor of Divinity Emeritus at the School of Divinity, Wake Forest University, Bill J. Leonard, offered the keynote lecture, “A Baptist Future: Classic Traditions, New Paths?”, which reflected on widespread contemporary challenges for congregational vitality and the future of the Baptist witness. Numerous archival collections continue to be received by VBHS. Congregations regularly experience major anniversaries and often take stock of their existing records, turning to VBHS for assistance, as do congregations at the end of their life cycle. We also continue to receive the personal/family papers of figures in Baptist life with Virginia connections. While incoming materials continue to stretch staff, space and financial resources, they also underscore the ongoing demand for the unique ministry of the Virginia Baptist Historical Society. The work of the Historical Society to assist Virginia Baptist churches with records preservation is ongoing. While statistics for 2023 are still accruing, as of 2022 the Society’s church records repository now includes more than 4,538 church record books from 513 different churches (some still being processed). These records, as well as the Society’s archives and library, are constantly consulted by researchers. In 2022, the staff responded to 316 different researchers (210 VBHS; 106 University Archives); this figure does not reflect how many times each individual accessed the materials, as assisted by staff. The collections continue to grow, as 2,149 items were added to the various files in 2022, while 29 regular acquisitions were added to the Baptist collections alone. Several collections have been received thus far in 2023, including materials related to the Belote family, Tom Miller, John Upton, the Blue Ridge Baptist Association, L.D. Johnson, Richard Stephenson, and others. VBHS was called upon to provide an image of Baptist leader John Leland (1754-1841) for Jon Meacham’s book on Lincoln, And There Was Light. Interior collections space continues to evolve, as renovations of large portions of Boatwright Memorial Library necessitate adjustments elsewhere and some VBHS materials remain boxed in interim locations. The Society faces the major challenge of where and how best to store over 300 years of Virginia Baptist history. Environmental challenges such as excessive humidity and other risks are always with us, especially during hurricane season. These infrastructure issues are expensive to address and critical to protecting the historic record. VBHS continues to play a vital role in helping the University of Richmond to explore and understand its origins and history as a Baptist institution, especially regarding the complexities of race and the early Baptist pursuit of religious liberty and an educated clergy. VBHS and its various collections serve as critical resources in this work. University classes consulting the VBHS collections for academic research continue to be highlights of the year. VBHS actively seeks to strengthen its financial capacity for saving and sharing the collections so that they will be available for present and future generations. Current methods of digital preservation and protecting centuries-old materials with the best archival environments require significant financial and long-term commitments to ensure that our history is available for the future. We were excited in the summer of 2023 to finally take delivery of our new, advanced overhead scanner for capturing large and fragile materials electronically. We now turn to implementing the software systems and addressing the need for additional personnel to assist with this work. VBHS is grateful for the ongoing support of Virginia Baptists as we tell our story together. We invite all churches to be sure that their memberships are up to date, which strengthens our capacity to carry out this work on behalf of Virginia Baptists. Major gifts are sought, as well, to help us make these critical initiatives a reality. Executive Director Nathan Taylor participated in a Baptist historians’ conference at Mercer University on Baptist women preaching throughout history, which also provided the opportunity to encourage ongoing research engagement with the VBHS collections. He continues to relish frequent visits to Virginia Baptist churches for preaching and presentations on BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 69

Baptist heritage, particularly in light of the many notable church and organizational anniversaries that have been observed this year, with more to come in the year ahead - including the 250th anniversary of Culpeper and other churches, as well as the 150th anniversary of WMUV. We have delighted in preparing for years for the thoughtful commemoration of this 200th anniversary of the General Association. In consulting, writing, and producing reflective content in concert with the Center for Baptist Heritage & Studies and others, we hope that the Virginia Baptist story truly speaks through each of the elements that will be shared among us, deepening and enriching our own sense of rootedness in this free and faithful tradition, as we look to the future, together. Please join with us as new friends and members who share a passion for this work! For more and/or to update your membership, please visit us at


Mrs. Jacqueline Brooks Mrs. Helen Wood Dr. Robert McKinley Rev. Dan Carlton Mrs. Ann Carter Dr. Valerie Carter Smith Rev. Alan Miller Mrs. Vivian Clingenpeel, 2nd Vice President Mrs. Beth Fogg Rev. John Miller Dr. Joseph T. Lewis, President Mr. Robert S. Ryland Dr. Herbert O. Browning, 3rd Vice President Mr. Dennis Sacrey, 1st Vice President Rev. Rob Brown Dr. Herbert Ponder Rev. Nancy Stanton McDaniel Rev. Ellen Gwathmey Dr. Adam Tyler Dr. Tim Madison Ex officio Dr. Nathan L. Taylor, VBHS, Executive Director Dr. Wayne Faison, BGAV, Executive Director

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Woman’s Missionary Union of Virginia (WMU of Virginia) continues to support the local churches of the Baptist General Association of Virginia and other partners. Our commitment to inspiring and equipping the church to be on mission has not wavered from our very beginnings in 1884! Most certainly, given denominal shifts in the shadow of an ever-evolving world landscape, our methods have changed, but our commitment to missions remains. This year’s ministry impact celebrates the faithfulness of God that ensures that the mission of God through the life of the church still lives. The State Missions Offering bearing the name of the late missions champion, Alma Hunt continues to allow us to do our work. Our offering allocations include among many ministries the offering of ministry grants to churches as each local church fulfills her community mission of meeting needs and sharing Christ. This offering allows our beloved CrossRoads Camp and Conference Center in Lowesville, Virginia to provide sacred space for children and adults alike to experience God. Resources to promote the AHO can be found at As requested by many mission leaders in the local church, this year we made available videos at this site to help tell the story about what God is doing because of our cooperative efforts together for the witness of Christ. This summer, we celebrated 15 years of ministry at the Standing Rock Reservation. In these years, we have deployed over 1500 volunteers to serve in one of the communities on the reservation during the WMU week. Many have served multiple years. Given our limited staff capacity and the nature of ongoing projects in missions, we move forward in this work with a new model of ministry that will emerge according to God’s will for God’s people at Standing Rock. WMU of Virginia will become a channel of connection where we envision a steady stream of volunteers all year long serving in short-term missions at Standing Rock. WMU of Virginia continues to educate and involve children and students through its age-level missions organizations and through camping opportunities for leadership development. Adult audiences continue to be attracted to WMU of Virginia opportunities in varying points of connection to include involvement with HOPE initiatives such as our ministries related to Anti-Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence Prevention and Family Peace, and Mental Health. Our International Partnership Ministries include the Mulley Children’s Family (MCF) Medical Mission and our new work in Cajamarca, Peru with Villa Milagro. The Kenya Medical Mission continues to engage primarily medical doctors of many specialties. In March of 2024, we will celebrate 3-years of ministry with MCF which is our designated commitment time for international partnerships. This summer, we launched a new partnership in Peru as led by our President of WMU of Virginia, Lucianne Warren of Red House, Virginia. High in the Andes mountains, volunteers served in local schools with the children and provided long-term food commodities to many needy families as recommended by the local Baptist church. The need for good water and the installation of community wells is a key part of this ministry initiative. Water filters provided by National WMU’s Pure Water Pure Love project were distributed to families and schools. Our most dedicated Board of Trustees as listed above are a diverse group of dedicated Christ followers who are involved in every aspect of the work of the WMU of Virginia. The Personnel, Missions, Governance, and Finance Committees maintain oversight of operations with utmost integrity for honoring God and the women who dared to birth this organization even when against all odds. It was this year, that given the Southern Baptist Convention’s Statement of Faith which included lack of support for women in pastoral leadership and National WMU’s support of their stance, that WMU of Virginia’s executive director/treasurer, Dr. Valerie Carter Smith, published an Open Letter supported by the Board of Directors of the WMU of Virginia in support of women in whatever way in which God calls. In this letter, the Dignity of Women Statement crafted in 2004 by the WMU of Virginia was cited. The letter concluded with WMU of Virginia’s commitment in her continuing work in supporting the mission offerings and the missionaries too. We move forward to do the work of WMU in a changing world listening and being obedient to move of God for such a time as this.

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Lucianne Warren, President Lauren Pillow, Vice-President/Secretary Aaron Doyle Casey Baker Heidi Craft Kenny Daniel Mary Gilley Gwen Green Anette Greenwood Claudia Hatfield Anna Kissne Emma Sorrells Winnie Wang Rebecca Wheeler Executive Director/Treasurer: Valerie Carter Smith

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Since 1859, Averett University has grown and developed into a dynamic institution that serves students of all ages, offering more than 40 undergraduate majors, minors and special programs (on-campus and online), along with 12 master’s programs that help drive the regional economy and quality of life. Averett enrolls a diverse student body and boasts an alumni network that spans the globe. Some of our distinctive offerings include degree programs in Equestrian Studies, Aeronautics, Nursing, Applied Data Analytics, Hospitality Management & Tourism and Teacher Education. Our mission is to prepare students to serve and lead as catalysts for positive change. WHO WE ARE

At Averett University, we know that relationships fuel futures, which explains our unmistakable family atmosphere. On campus or online, Averett students feel a sense of true belonging. Through relentless support and unwavering dedication, we equip our students with skills for a lifetime of success. Knowing that personal growth and community well-being go hand-in-hand, we serve others with confidence and distinction, and with a more than 160-year legacy, our influence is far-reaching in the world around us. This is All Averett. GREETINGS FROM AVERETT UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT DR. TIFFANY MCKILLIP FRANKS

I am happy to report that in today’s Averett University, we are realizing the benefits of being under the guidance of a highly committed and consistently enthusiastic senior leadership team, all of whom are seasoned experts in their respective areas. This coterie of higher education professionals is leading the way into the challenges and promises of tomorrows, working with the rest of the Averett Family to realize our strategic aspirations, all of which are targeted toward the success of our students. Some of the most exciting outcomes currently involve increased enrollment; expanded academic and athletic programs; many new gifts and initiatives in the development area; a vision and plan for major campus enhancements; competing in the prestigious ODAC; partnerships to help generate additional revenue streams; campus-wide innovations; and a fervently engaged faculty who are working to continue bringing programs and experiences that benefit our students. SPIRITUAL LIFE

During this past year, Averett has collaborated with West Main Baptist Church to search for a new chaplain for the University and Minister to Youth at West Main. We now have found the person we believe will be a wonderful pastor to the University and to West Main Baptist Church using their gifts and strengths to provide spiritual connections throughout the campus community. Spiritual Life established relationships with nearby churches and actively supported and hosted University events such as “Blessings of the Minds.” Additionally, Spiritual Life organized weekly student fellowship opportunities on Sundays, which included Bible study and interfaith worship. Spiritual Life actively provides interfaith learning spaces and a prayer and meditation room accessible to all students. ENROLLMENT

The University has opened its 164th academic year with 1,357 students which is 40 more students this fall than the prior year, representing a 3% increase in total student enrollment and an 18% increase in total new enrollments year over year. We welcomed the third largest incoming traditional class on record with a 9% increase over the prior year and the largest incoming class since 2018; and in Averett Online, we welcomed the largest number of new enrollees, resulting in a 40% increase over the prior year. With strong growth projections for the remainder of the 2023-2024 year, we are blessed to continue spreading our reach. Our international student population has risen to 102 students from over 31 countries. Averett’s nationally recognized Aeronautics program welcomed its largest entering class with more than 60 new students, raising the total enrollment in the program to over 135. NEW ACADEMIC PROGRAMS AND OTHER ACADEMIC PROGRAM ACHIEVEMENTS

Averett University has launched new Averett Online programs — Entrepreneurship, Computer Information Systems (with a Cyber focus), Psychology and Hospitality Management and Tourism — which will be offered in-person, online BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 73

and with a certificate option. The City of Danville has invested $250,000 to support our Hospitality Leadership Training Program, designed for owners, operators, managers and other leaders in hospitality. The University is creating market-responsive badges and certificates in Community Engaged Learning and Leadership, and Drone Aviation, which will help our students be more competitive as they move into the workforce and will provide training that will benefit employers in our area. Our Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program celebrated its first two cohorts achieving a 100% pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Additionally, our Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) class of 2023 had a 100% NCLEX pass rate, and we celebrated our Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) class of 2023 achieving a 100% MSN FNP Certification Exam pass rate, as well. Our School of Nursing continues to see strong enrollment numbers, with 95 ABSN students, 46 BSN students and 10 MSN students. AU AVIATION SERVICES

Averett serves as the fixed-base operator (FBO) at the Danville Regional Airport, with customer service that has been exemplary and highly praised by the aviation community, and with financial performance that has significantly exceeded original projections. Averett’s AU Aviation Services team continues to maximize growth in our Aeronautics academic program — which is projected to almost double in enrollment within the next four years — and this FBO serves as a fully integrated, handson learning lab for our students. STRATEGIC AND INNOVATIVE PARTNERSHIPS

Partnerships help Averett provide powerful learning experiences for students and prepares them to enter the workforce, while helping serve needs of partnering organizations and businesses. Averett is creating more pathways from learning to earning – where the talents and interests are intersecting with solid returns on investments for students and their families. Innovative partnerships comprise a wonderful work/learn laboratory through our Center for Community Engagement and Career Competitiveness and are even helping us reduce our carbon footprint and be more environmentally responsible. Averett is investing in the workforce of our surrounding region by offering no tuition-out-of-pocket in an array of courses, certifications as well as degree programs for major regional partnering employers who offer competitive tuition benefit programs in support of their workforce. By partnering with industry to take care of the greatest assets of employers, Averett hopes to aid in talent recruitment and retention by providing affordable pathways for education leading to career advancement. Another pathway for critical hands-on learning and workforce development is underway in partnership with Danville Community College (DCC). A unique partnership is being established for reverse transfer in order to offer certificates to Averett students in select majors. This allows students to be fully enrolled at Averett while completing courses at DCC toward a certification in a skill area. This encourages exploration in fields of interest while the students earn credit toward their degree. Averett offers dual-enrollment programs with local high schools; guaranteed admissions with Virginia community colleges; and employee scholarship programs with businesses, health care facilities and community partners. Our programs in Aeronautics, Criminal Justice, Nursing, and Teacher Education benefit from major partnerships statewide. FUNDRAISING ACHIEVEMENTS

Generous benefactors are helping Averett make meaningful investments in our future, primarily through our Averett Ascending Campaign. Our fundraising priorities focus on affordability, market responsiveness and campus enhancements designed to give Averett more competitive advantages. Gracious benefactors made it possible for Averett to end the fiscal year with a 7% increase in cumulative giving over the prior year. Strategic alumni and friends’ engagement initiatives continue to increase annual and campaign support by expanding Averett’s donor base. Alumni Relations and Career Services are preparing to launch an Alumni Mentorship Program this fall, and we continue to reimagine stewardship opportunities and events. AVERETT EXPANDS ATHLETIC PROGRAM OFFERINGS; SPORTS RISE TO NEW HEIGHTS

Averett had a successful first year in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) and launched Indoor Track and 74 | BGAV 2023 Book of Reports

Field. In January we announced we will add Men’s Volleyball, thanks to generous startup funding provided by a gracious friend. Last fall, our Women’s Volleyball team was ODAC runner up, and we hosted the championship on campus. Our Men’s Wrestling team earned a three-way share of the ODAC Championship and sent three wrestlers to the NCAA Division III National Championship. One of our Women’s Lacrosse players set the all-time NCAA Division III scoring record, and our Men’s Golf team returned to the NCAA Division III National Championship, where one of our freshmen was named the Phil Mickelson Outstanding Freshman. This same student-athlete secured the ODAC Rookie of the Year honors. This year Athletics had the best academic spring semester ever recorded since 2013, with 12 teams over a 3.0 GPA, an NCAA overall GPA of 2.88, a total of 181 student-athletes over a 3.0 GPA and 110 student-athletes who earned ODAC All-Academic Team honors. CONCLUSION

Growing enrollment, new partnerships, expanding academic pathways, blossoming athletic programs and continued internal and community focused collaboration. Averett University is always an extraordinarily dynamic place, and these days are certainly no exceptions. We are grateful for the collaborative, collegial nature of the people who dedicate their lives to Averett and, of course, the students themselves. The work we do is so rewarding, destined as it is to change lives for the better and forever that the goal itself is an inspiration we draw on daily. The successes of Averett — our students — provide the perfect ROI.


2023 Rev. Dr. Daniel Carlton* Mr. Bradley Cohen Mr. Michael E. Keck Ms. Emma Maddux Kozlowski Dr. Mary M.G. Riddle Mr. Christopher E. West Dr. Annie P. Wimbish Mr. Todd M. Yeatts 2024 Ms. Jan G. F. Barnett Mr. Grayson Eaton, Young Alumni Trustee Mr. Brandon Potter Mrs. Deborah W. Upton* 2025 Mr. Mark Gignac Mr. John Herndon

2026 Mr. Jessie Barksdale Mrs. Ellen Beville Ms. Kirk Bidgood Rev. Dr. Richard Brown* Dr. Sarah Collie Mr. Gary W. Collins Ms. Linda Green Ms. Toni Rice Mr. Hampton Wilkins 2027 Dr. Lenora Billings-Harris Ms. Brenda Bowman Ms. Starlette Johnson Mr. Hayward Majors Ms. Kris Willard Dr. Calvin Snowden, Trustee Emeritus

* BGAV appointed

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Bluefield University is a place where students can “Go Further.” As a Christ-centered learning community, we are developing servant leaders to transform the world. This begins in the classroom, both on-campus and online, where students enrolled in one of our seven graduate, or forty undergraduate degree programs develop both technical and soft skills enabling them to connect upon graduation. Together with our sister institutions the Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) and the Appalachian College of Pharmacy, we form the Harvey W. Peters Research Foundation family of schools creating a pipeline directly to professional degrees with opportunities along the way for other healthcare degrees. Coupled with a dynamic student experience, students are finding ways to build and serve in communities wherever they are located. APPRECIATION FOR BLUEFIELD UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT DR. DAVID W. OLIVE

At the beginning of the 2023-2024 academic year, President Olive announced through a video message that this would be his final year as president of the institution. He will conclude a 17-year tenure at the helm of the University on June 30 and begin a gradual transition to full retirement with continued service to others in mind for the near future. “On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to thank Dr. Olive for his years of leadership to the university,” said Chairman Mr. C. Todd Asbury, President/CEO of New Peoples Bank. “His visionary leadership has taken the school to another level and has prepared it for its second century of Christian higher education. The ‘lighthouse on the hill’ shines brighter and goes further than ever before. David has faithfully remained true to advance the school’s mission of being a Christcentered learning community that develops servant leaders to transform the world. He is a role model of servant leadership, and he has made a difference in the lives of many people during his tenure. We are grateful and we pray that God richly blesses him and his family as they commence this new chapter of their lives. During his years of leadership, Bluefield University experienced several monumental achievements the likes of which had not been seen since the era of former president Charles Harman in the 1960s. Notable developments include overseeing the development of online degree programs; entering into the foray of health sciences with the introduction of an RNBSN program; the launch of master’s degree programs that now total seven; the addition of two new residential housing complexes; the addition of a third floor to the Science Center; the move to a university model and name; guiding the institution through its centennial celebration with the successful completion of a $25 million centennial campaign; managing unexpected crises; the collaborative development of master’s degree programs with the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM); and then later the formation of the formal relationship with VCOM and Appalachian College of Pharmacy (ACP) through the Harvey W. Peters Research Foundation. “President Olive’s greatest legacy during his time at Bluefield University will not just be the buildings or programs he helped to bring to fruition,” said Mr. Joshua Cline ‘09, Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Marketing. “Rather it will be that he cared deeply for the people and campus he served. It was not unusual for him to stop his busy day to meet with a student or parent, pick up litter while headed to a meeting, provide manual labor on a campus service project, or be the first to meet a need for a community or professional organization. His ever-present kindness, can-do spirit, and charisma to see others develop into their full potential have impacted an immeasurable number of individuals during his time as president.” A NEW STRATEGIC PLAN

During the 2022-2023 academic year, University officials and constituencies set about the task of crafting a new strategic plan for the institution. Following the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, joining the Harvey W. Peters Research Foundation alongside the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine and Appalachian College of Pharmacy, and a quickly changing industry of higher education University leaders found it necessary to refocus the goals and objectives guiding the institution. Through multiple conversations and surveys, a final plan was crafted with four priorities. Priority one features goals built around financial sustainability at the institution. Beginning with the establishment of a modern and comprehensive enrollment and student success plan, the University will seek to develop target markets and niches for enrollment as the availability of college-going students declines nationwide. This will be enhanced with a fully integrated marketing strategy. Finally, an internal review of all academic, athletic, and fundraising programs will take 76 | BGAV 2023 Book of Reports

place to ensure the viability of offerings and to reward productivity, efficiency, and innovation leading to sustainability. This will carry over to hiring and retention practices of faculty and staff to ensure engagement at all levels of the institution. The University’s second and most robust priority homes in on the academic review and education process of programs. This includes investigating new academic programs, enhancing existing programs with partnerships, implementing partner programs with graduate degrees to offer students two degrees within a shorter time period, and establishing processes for ongoing academic program review. An effect of the decision to partner more closely with sister institutions of VCOM and ACP is an intentional focus on the health sciences. Many of these new degree programs and partnerships will seek to expand the offerings of the institution and cement its reputation as the university to attend for a career in the health sciences. University administrators will also seek to enhance the student experience as they attain their education with student-centered teaching approaches, assistance in discerning their vocation and calling, and that all areas of campus life foster faith integration. Priority three builds upon the goals of the second priority ensuring that the University is a “global” campus with its offerings both online and at sites established across the Southeastern United States and Central Appalachia. Creating viable programs with various modalities, academicians at the institution will enhance opportunities to meet students where they are with educators equipped to do so. The University’s final priority seeks to invite institutions and industries that align with the mission of Bluefield University to reach and meet the needs of the communities served. This begins an expansion of the collaboration on programs available through the partnership with VCOM and ACP. However, from there it grows to other identified partners, such as the Appalachian School of Law, Indian River State College, and other institutions where students can continue their studies on their educational journeys. The strategic plan will receive its final revisions and approval during the Fall 2023 meeting of the Bluefield University Board of Trustees. RETOOLING GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS TO FOCUS ON VOCATION AND CAREER CALLINGS

Leading up to the creation of the strategic plan, academic committees began working to reshape the University’s general education requirements. Ongoing conversations around vocation and career planning have taken place in academic settings across campus for a number of years. The institution was twice the recipient of the Council of Independent Colleges’ (CIC) Network for Vocation in Higher Education (NetVUE) grant program providing funding for special projects in this vein of work. The second grant enabled students to embark on a two-day retreat to discuss their callings in life. Utilizing Gallup’s CliftonStrengths assessment, facilitators assisted students in identifying and developing personal strengths rather than focusing on what others do better. New general education requirements approved by the Board of Trustees in its Spring 2023 meeting began a more intentional focus on vocation and calling. This new plan allows most students, depending on their academic program and licensure plan, to split their learning journey into forty credit hour segments of general studies, courses in the major, and elective courses with a total of 120 hours of study. General studies courses will be tailored to the University’s various colleges and divisions. Here a student will encounter a more holistic and winsome approach to understanding college life, future career pathways, and community involvement. Elective courses allow students to expand their studies into supporting topics, pick up additional minors in areas of interest, and facilitate an easier transfer of credits earned elsewhere. Bluefield University was awarded a third NetVUE grant from the Council of Independent Colleges’ Vocation Across the Academy initiative for the 2023-2024 academic year. This award will allow the institution to explore how a strengthsbased advising model can enable undergraduate students to explore how faith, vocation, and calling can make meaning that contributes to healthy service to the community in the diverse world in which we live. Advisors and mentors will utilize the CliftonStrengths assessment as the foundational tool for planning. This tool alongside other efforts will help students have a better self-understanding of their abilities within their chosen career path. IMPACTING THE WORLD OUTSIDE CENTRAL APPALACHIA

Bluefield University’s newest academic program opened in the 2023-2024 academic year far from Virginia on the VCOM campus in Auburn, Alabama. The Master of Health Science in Anesthesia (MHSA) program is a collaboration with sister institution VCOM. Students graduating from this program can begin working as anesthesiologist assistants. These BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 77

professionals’ practice involves patient assessment, planning, administering, and evaluating anesthesia care for patients under the medical direction of a physician anesthesiologist. Through a unique learning strategy and curriculum, students are provided a wide base of anesthesia educational experiences incorporating cutting-edge technology, web-based learning, clinical rotations, and an immersive human patient simulation. Indian River State College (IRSC) located in Fort Pierce, Florida in the Treasure Coast region of Florida is a former public junior college. The college serves the four-county area of St. Lucie County, Martin County, Indian River County, and Okeechobee County. In 2007 the institution became a four-year public college after lobbying the Florida legislature for the ability to offer baccalaureate degrees. However, the institution was restricted from offering graduate programming. Bluefield University is now a preferred partner for offering graduate programming for IRSC graduates. Graduating students and alumni can enroll in the Master of Business Administration (MBA) at a discounted rate and have the ability for their undergraduate coursework to count for a single course requirement. Currently, the institution is seeking approval from the State of Florida to begin offering other graduate program opportunities for IRSC students and alumni. Programs will also meet the needs of the healthcare industry within this booming region which has been identified as one of the fastest-growing metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the United States. PLANTING SEEDS TO GROW INTO LOCAL ROOTS

As noted in previous reports to the Baptist General Assembly of Virginia, many families with college-age children are having a conversation around the dinner table concerning affordability and asking if college is worth it. At Bluefield University we know our experience, whether online or on-campus, enables a student to “Go Further” in life, with many data points to prove it. Several years ago, we built an affordable tuition plan for families in the region we were founded to serve. To meet families where they are the institution took affordability a step further for the 2023-2024 academic year. It combined the price of the Pathways Tuition Plan of $13,800 and the reach of the Commonwealth Connection Tuition Plan for all students in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We now offer the Commonwealth Connection Tuition Program, an immediate half-priced tuition, for all students from public schools, private schools, and those being homeschooled from the Commonwealth and qualifying West Virginia counties. This tuition plan offers an affordable college experience at a private, Christ-centered learning community for students who meet the qualifications. The cost of tuition may be brought down even further or covered completely when coupled with tuition aid through programs like the Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant (VTAG), Pell Grant, and private scholarships. One of the newest private scholarships offered is the Tazewell County Scholarship established by the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors. In celebration of the institution’s centennial year and through an effort to keep students local, the county created an annual scholarship program with Bluefield University. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA, complete community service hours, and remain in good standing to receive the award. LOOKING AHEAD

With the second century of service well underway, leadership changes approaching, and a new strategic plan soon to be launched, there is much to be excited about at Bluefield University. We invite you to join us in this journey, visit us on campus, and to send us your students to be educated in this Christ-centered learning community where they will be developed into servant leaders to transform the world. Find these stories and more by visiting

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Fork Union Military Academy is a private, college-preparatory, Christian boarding school for boys located in Fluvanna County in Virginia. Founded in 1898 by Dr. William E. Hatcher, the Academy offers an extensive college preparatory program for boys in grades 7 through 12, as well as for recent high school graduates seeking a one-year postgraduate program to better prepare for the college of their choice. We continue to be proud of the diversity of our Cadet Corps. The Academy enrolls students from throughout the United States and from every socio-economic background. Our international enrollment this year has increased to include students from 18 different countries. Approximately 52% of our Corps of Cadets are persons of color. THE ACADEMIC PROGRAM

Our Upper School and Eighth Grade utilize a One-Subject Plan of study. The school year is divided into five terms, with approximately thirty-six days per term. One academic subject is taken by each student each term. One Carnegie unit of credit is earned for the successful completion of each academic subject. An array of electives is available, as well, with each offering academic credit. Our seventh graders follow a more traditional academic schedule involving core academic subjects and seminar classes to enhance their academic experience. BGAV AFFILIATION

In 1913, the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) began supporting the Academy financially, recognizing the school’s unique Christian service and ministry to young people. Even with diminishing financial support, the BGAV and Fork Union Military Academy have provided thousands of young men a sound education that is grounded in Christian values, that prepares them for higher education and for life, and that trains them for service and leadership in church and community. OUR SPIRITUAL EMPHASIS

During the school year, Fork Union cadets attend chapel services three times a week. In recent years, several cadets have gone through believer’s baptism during our chapel services after a public profession of faith before their peers. Academic class days begin each morning with a devotion by the Academy Chaplain or Cadet Chaplain. Opportunities to emphasize the service aspect of the Christian faith are afforded to cadets through local mission partnerships with BGAV churches. Bible studies are offered on campus during the school year, and are well-attended by faculty, staff, and cadets. THE 2022-23 ACADEMIC SESSION

In September of 2022, 309 young men from 27 states and 18 foreign nations arrived on our campus to begin the 125th academic session. Approximately 69% had been FUMA cadets the previous year, and 271 of them were boarding students. On June 2nd, the FUMA Alumni Association welcomed 47 new members as the class of 2023 received their diplomas. Although these young men were awarded nearly $4 million in academic and athletic scholarships, of most importance to us is that none left our watch care without having had the good news of Jesus Christ proclaimed to them, explained to them, and lived out before their eyes by our staff and faculty. CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

We speak often at Fork Union Military Academy of our founder, Dr. William Hatcher, a prominent Baptist preacher, and we know that the stewardship of his beloved school now rests on our shoulders. As good stewards of God’s provision, we have no debt. We accept no federal or state money, and we have success in abundance in our alumni. Staying true to these facts, however, becomes increasingly difficult each year, as the cost of operating this institution rises. We want to reach more young men, not less. With an enrollment of approximately 300, we are the largest boarding military high school in Virginia, and one of the largest in the country. We’ve intentionally been on the very edge of financial sustainability since our founding in 1898, because we believe that boys matter more than money. We educate, BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 79

develop, and inspire young men. We build character. We teach leadership. Boys become men at Fork Union, and we believe the world needs more bright, fit, and faithful young men with a Biblical worldview …not fewer. In past years we have seen churches help defray the costs of tuition for one or more students from their congregations. We invite more BGAV churches to consider sponsoring such scholarships for their church members, or to consider making mission contributions to Fork Union Military Academy’s Annual Fund that we can use to provide more Access Scholarship grants to deserving young men. Please continue to pray with us that we will meet our fundraising campaign goals for this year and the coming years. Young men—and this nation—will surely benefit when we do.


Col David Coggins, USMC (Ret.), President COL Steve Macek, Chief of Staff COL Michael Goad, Academic Dean LTC Charlie Coulter, Commandant of Cadets MAJ Ben Jamison, Chaplain BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Mr. George K. Anas, II Mr. Stephen Ashby Mr. Kendrick Ashton, Jr. Mr. David R. Barrett Mr. Lee S. Briscoe COL Thierry G. Dupuis Mr. Edward N. George, Jr. Col. Stuart G. Harrison, USA (Ret.) The Honorable Christopher T. Head (BGAV) Mr. Henry O. Jackson Dr. Harry E. Johnson, Sr. (BGAV) Mr. Martin L. Ledbetter Dr. Jose A. Mera Dr. Adam Metwalli Mr. John Larry Miles Mr. Chad Percy Dr. Robert Pochek Mrs. Paige L. Pruett RADM Frank F. Rennie, IV, USNR (Ret.) Mr. Geoffrey S. Stiff Mr. Jamal Thomas Mrs. Allison W. Unnerstall Mr. William J. Vakos, Jr. Mr. Richard H. Wall Mr. Jeffrey N. Weatherspoon Mr. Cory Wessel

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COL Sammie D. Barr Mr. Thomas E. Bronson LTC Lewis Kent Carter, USA (Ret.) Mr. James F. Cerza, Jr. Mr. A. Douglas Dalton (BGAV) Dr. Emerson D. Farley, Jr. Mr. J. Wesley Hall, Jr. Mr. Curtis Hathaway Mr. David K. Hunt (BGAV) Dr. Russell A. Johnston (BGAV) Mr. J. William Price, III Mr. George C. Turner



In 1906, Mr. Charles R. Warren, a young graduate of Trinity College (now Duke University) organized and operated a day school in Chatham named Warren Training School. But at the close of its third session in 1909, it was announced that the school would not reopen in the fall of 1909. At this time, Mr. Jesse H. Hargrave, a mercantilist, and his son, Mr. J. Hunt Hargrave, joined with the pastor of Chatham Baptist Church, the Reverend T. Ryland Sanford, to make preparations for a new school in September 1909. Mr. Jesse H. Hargrave and his son purchased about thirty-six acres for the school and modified the Martin family home (Tredway House) on the property to provide classrooms as well as dormitory space for seventeen boarders and eighteenday students during the 1909-1910 session. Reverend Sanford was elected President and served as president until 1918. In 1913, the Baptist General Association of Virginia made its first gift, $1,000, to the school, and since that time the school has continued an affiliation with the Association. CURRENT UPDATE

In May 2023, Hargrave Military Academy completed its 114th year of service and commitment to developing young men in mind, body, character, and spirit. Families of graduating cadets hailing from Virginia, eight other states, and Vietnam joined us in Cheatham Chapel for Baccalaureate and Commencement services on May 18 and 19, 2023, as 28 young men received their diplomas. One hundred percent of this class received at least one acceptance to a college or university. As a group, they received 108 acceptances to 65 unique colleges or universities. Two chose to enlist in the United States Armed Forces. Two were accepted to a US Service Academy (West Point and Annapolis). The trend of 100% college acceptance has extended over 20 years. These institutions notably run a wide gamut: Service Academies (e.g., U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Military Academy), Senior Military Colleges (e.g., The Citadel, Virginia Military Institute), flagship state universities (e.g., Virginia Tech, University of Virginia, University of North Carolina), Christian Universities (e.g., Liberty University, Samford University, Baylor University), and many smaller public and private institutions (e.g., Bluefield, Longwood, Averett, etc.). But more importantly, Hargrave continues to focus on the boy in front of us and build towards the man of character through both the next step (college) and onto adulthood. We are very proud of the Class of 2023, who earned over $3.2 million in college scholarships (not including financial aid offers) tied to their excellence in academics, merit (community, service, character), and athletics. Chaplain Michael Washington, as a steward of the faith pillar, has demonstrated tireless dedication while collaborating closely with the President, Academic Dean, Athletic Director, and Commandant. In this capacity, he contributed significantly to various aspects of our institution, ensuring the alignment of spiritual values with institutional goals and fostering a sense of community. His collaborative efforts underscored the importance of holistic education, emphasizing spiritual and emotional well-being alongside academic achievement. In addition to the traditional mandatory twice-weekly chapel services, Chaplain Washington is spearheading an initiative to establish a vibrant peer chaplaincy program. This initiative involves equipping a so-called Company Cadet Chaplain in each company (residential group of 30+ cadets) within our institution. These Company Cadet Chaplains play an integral role in fostering a sense of spiritual camaraderie and support tailored to the unique dynamics of each company. Their work ranges from leading daily devotionals to off-campus community outreach. As we embark on the 2023-24 academic year, we are also excited to announce the formation of our Faith Pillar Advisory Committee. This committee stands as a testament to our commitment to continuous improvement. Its aim is to enhance the efficacy of the Faith Pillar in the lives of HMA cadets. By focusing on discipleship, the committee strives to elevate interpersonal and spiritual relationships, fostering growth and connection among our cadets. In reflection, Chaplain Michael Washington’s steadfast leadership has created a resilient and nurturing environment, molding young men into leaders of character. His collaborative initiatives, coupled with the upcoming strides of the Faith Pillar Advisory Committee, will undoubtedly continue to shape the spiritual landscape of our institution for the better. BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 81

Hargrave ensures a Christian environment on campus. Upon matriculation, each Cadet is issued their own personal Bible to use throughout the school year during scheduled daily periods of personal reflection with devotionals and reading plans curated by the school Chaplain, as well as to read along and study during the twice-weekly corporate chapel services and the mandatory Bible Survey course. Along with academics, athletics, and character development, faith is a key pillar of Hargrave’s mission to build young men into leaders of character prepared for lifelong success. Not only are Cadets challenged academically and physically, but they are also provided spiritual growth opportunities daily. During the chapel services, each Cadet is given the opportunity to participate in Christian worship through singing, playing an instrument, prayer, reading, and listening to a practical message based on the authority of the Bible. All faculty and staff are welcomed and encouraged to attend Chapel services, as well as participate in these opportunities for spiritual growth. For many Cadets, our Chapel services are their first exposure to the basic tenets of the Christian faith. In addition, Hargrave offers Cadets a Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter, opportunities for worship at local churches, and a prayer room for personal and group prayer. There is also a weekly Bible Study available for faculty and staff. As a Christian-based institution, Hargrave requires that all Cadets complete a Bible Survey course. The primary objective of this course is to demonstrate the intricacies that make up the Christian Bible and demonstrate to the students that regardless of their faith backgrounds, the Bible can be used as an instrument to guide their lives and help them to grow into individuals of character rooted in Truth. Hargrave is fully accredited by Cognia (SACS CASI), the Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS), and the Virginia Council for Private Education / Virginia Department of Education. Hargrave Military Academy is also a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS). Hargrave’s administration, faculty, and staff deeply appreciate the long-standing bond between Hargrave Military Academy and the Baptist General Association of Virginia. We value relationships and just as we build relationships with our cadets that last a lifetime, we will continue to value our relationship with the BGAV. Hargrave will continue to provide the direction and spiritual support that is so critical in developing young men to have a foundation of faith that allows them to lead in their families, churches, communities, and professions. Our nation continues to need Hargrave men who are respected leaders living a life with integrity, courage, and faith.


Mr. Eric Peterson, President Dr. Jimmy Tung, Academic Dean Michael Washington, Chaplain LTC (ret) Sam Redding, Commandant/Dean of Students Amanda Weishaar, Athletic Director


The Honorable Mr. Sloan Gibson, Chairman Mrs. Maxine Alexis Mr. Robert Bartenstein Mr. Randolph Beales Mr. Mike Beck Mrs. Hayako O. Cook Mrs. Jessica Dalton Mr. Ben J. Davenport, Jr.* Mr. Proctor Dean Mr. Jim English Dr. Tiffany Franks Mr. David Fuller Mr. Andrew Kratz Mr. R. J. Lackey Mr. Keith Morgan Mr. Thomas Nichols Dr. John O’Bannon* Mr. Jack C. Pattisall Mr. Grant Sadler Mr. Lewis E. Wall* *BGAV representative

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This represents Leland Seminary’s promise to our students and reflects our mission to develop pastoral and ministerial leaders who will serve and grow the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. The John Leland Center for Theological Studies, now known as Leland Seminary, was launched in 1997 through the vision of Virginia Baptist Pastors. Today, Leland celebrates twenty-five years of equipping transformational leaders throughout Virginia and beyond. Many of Leland’s graduates serve faithfully in Virginia Baptist Churches. Leland Seminary expresses sincere gratefulness for the partnership of the Baptist General Association of Virginia. Because of your generous gifts, our students are given scholarships and our institution becomes strengthened by your prayerful and financial support. Having entered a founding Covenant as an Educational Institution with BGAV in 2004, Leland remains joyfully committed to the vision and purpose of the BGAV. Leland offers the Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree, the Master of Theological Studies (MTS) degree, and the Master of Christian Leadership degree (MCL).Leland also provides graduate certificates in Christian Leadership, Theological Studies, and Biblical Justice Formation. Leland’s Master’s degrees are accredited by The Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and Leland is a member of the Washington Theological Consortium. Leland Seminary’s School of Ministry offers a Diploma in Theology. Over the past year, Leland’s leadership and faculty have identified several areas of concern and opportunity for current and future church leaders and pastors. These have informed the following initiatives that the seminary has or soon will be launching: • In response to America’s ‘loneliness epidemic” that the U.S. Surgeon General has warned is contributing to heightened depression, anxiety, and suicide,Leland has introduced a Graduate Certificate in Trauma and Healing Ministry • .This is designed to help students become better equipped to address the lack of connection to God and others, as well as other traumatic experiences of today’s post-pandemic culture. • In response to the need for increased support for women in ministry, Leland is launching a God-Inspired Women in Ministry Program to recruit and provide scholarships to equip women for leadership positions in the church. • In response to the demand for seminary training for time- and resource-limited pastors in rural settings, Leland offers a Graduate Certificate in Pastoral Leadership • In response to the unique needs of Hispanic congregations, the country’s fastest-growing population of believers,Leland is establishing a second Spanish-language campus in Newport News for its Diploma in Theology program and a new Hispanic Track for the Graduate Certificate in Pastoral Leadership • In response to the ongoing need for reconciliation of humanity to God and of all peoples to one another, Leland’s Institute for Biblical Justice is developing a Master of Biblical Justice program to equip graduates to address the challenges of the underrepresented in our present culture. • In response to the increased need for training in homiletics, Leland will launch the Institute for Vibrant Preaching, a homiletics center to train pastors in four pillars of preaching: the authentic spiritual life of the preacher, the Biblical substantive sermon, the relevant preaching for the congregation’s personal story and setting, and a preaching sensitivity to the present cultural issues that truly exhibit the heart of God for the world

BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 83

At our 2023 commencement, Leland Seminary was honored to host speaker Dr. Wayne Faison, whose message and ministry served as an inspiration for our graduates. Rev. Ella Redfield was recognized at the Women in Ministry Celebration in March 2023. Leland Seminary conducted two enriching and well-attended annual events this past year: the Sabbath Symposium and the Institute for Justice Formation “The Last Frontier Conference.” Leland also conducted an in-depth survey of former and current seminary students as part of a Lilly Foundation grant to further assess development and strategize for opportunities of growth. Leland remains committed to both in-person and online teaching in all degree programs. Our distance learning continues to grow in Virginia and beyond, and Leland continues to encourage onsite involvement for regional students at all campuses and teaching centers. Leland Seminary hosted its first Women in Ministry Celebration in March of 2023where Leland alumni and ministry partners encouraged women serving faithfully in church leadership. Rev. Ella Redfield, a successful pastor and church planter in downtown D.C. was recognized for her lifetime achievements. Leland’s second Women in Ministry Celebration will be held in March of 2024. Leland continues steadfast as the seminary for the church and remains committed to equipping transformational leaders to serve the kingdom of Jesus Christ. One significant expression of this goal, Leland Local, offers relevant and purposeful ministry resources to churches and lay leaders through online training. This year,Leland piloted a lay leadership training program with local churches in Northern Virginia. This pilot program is very successful and will continue as another expression of Leland’s desire to be the seminary for the Church. Leland Seminary honors its 25th Anniversary with a one-year campaign for growth was launched in September. May God continue to be glorified and the name of Jesus magnified, as we all press forward for the Kingdom of our Lord. BOARD OF TRUSTEES

*Charlotte Benjamin *Car Biggs *Anna Grinder *Mel Harris *Mike Hines *Matt Jones *Bill Moorman Lynn Okagaki *Ken Pruitt, President *Rob Ryland *Russ Sullivan Vernon Walton *Dee Whitten *Randy Shepley

*denotes member of BGAV church

84 | BGAV 2023 Book of Reports


Oak Hill Academy provides a safe, Christ-centered, nurturing and structured environment to high school-aged girls and boys of all backgrounds who are seeking an academic and cultural alternative to the standard school setting. Our goal is to help our students grow into young men and women who think critically about their place in the world and their contribution to their communities. We are thankful that enrollment at the Academy often serves as a springboard for our students growth in body, mind, and spirit. The Academy completed its 144th academic session on May 13, 2023 with 20 graduates receiving high school diplomas and college acceptances. It was a great year and a particularly poignant ceremony for all of us here as we bid farewell to our long-serving campus pastor, Rev. Dr. Doug Turnmire, who retired at the conclusion of the year. Doug served our students and staff selflessly during his 30-year tenure, while also serving as Pastor of Young’s Chapel Baptist Church, which is directly across the street from campus. We are thankful for Rev. Chris Luper, who was called to be Rev. Turnmire’s replacement. The enduring connection between Oak Hill Academy and Young’s Chapel Baptist Church dates to the very founding of the school. The idea of the Academy was first proposed by the YCBC congregation, and after working for several years to bring the idea to life, the school doors opened in the fall of 1878. Since then, the church and the Academy have enjoyed a seamless relationship of amazing depth. OHA is unique among church-affiliated schools. We are proud of our Baptist affiliation, and the spiritual growth of our students is important to us. That’s why every Sunday morning for the past 144 years our students have made the short walk from campus to the sanctuary of the church to hear God’s Word, and to enter in to and experience congregational life. They stand as we sing the storied hymns of our faith, pray for those on the prayer list, and often add their own concerns to the list. They participate in the workings of the church by singing in the choir, helping pass collection plates or serving on work teams. They help with children’s ministry, work the sound board, and help with VBS. Truly what our students experience here is unique among Christian schools and an amazing blessing to them and to the congregants who make them care packages, send them Valentine candy, and host a trunk-or-treat in the parking lot. The very foundation of Oak Hill Academy rests on our heritage as a Baptist, mission-based school, and elements of this heritage are notable throughout our programming. Our mission statement is displayed universally in school literature and refers to our Baptist heritage. Our administration is committed to proudly promoting the tenets of our faith and our dedicated Christian faculty view their work here as an opportunity to minister as they help their students reach their goals. Each day begins with corporate prayer and devotion at our morning assembly. Each graduate is required to have taken at least one religion course as part of our requirements. And there are abundant extracurricular opportunities designed to help students grow in faith- including a youth group that meets on Sunday nights, a girls bible study that meets on Wednesday nights, and ample opportunities to serve in our community. Our students are regularly involved in such ministries as tutoring at the local elementary school, working at our local food bank, stacking wood for elderly community members, or building access ramps for those with ambulatory challenges. Our emphasis, in this diverse student body, is to demonstrate how to love our neighbors as ourselves, as Jesus commanded. Oak Hill Academy enrolled 130 students during the 2022-2023 school year, and they hailed from twenty-one U.S. States, the District of Columbia, and from around the world. Our International Students hailed from fifteen countries, including Canada, China, New Zealand, Indonesia, Kenya, Rwanda, Spain, France, Switzerland, and others. Graduates from 2023 are now attending some of the finest colleges and universities in the world. Of particular interest, several years ago the Academy began establishing admissions articulation agreements with regional colleges that shared similar core values as our school. To date we’ve established twelve such agreements, whereby our students are able to gain admission and in some cases, guaranteed scholarships to attend. These agreements have become important in our college placement practices, and we are thankful for our post-secondary partners. In the classroom, Oak Hill Academy’s curriculum is designed to challenge the brightest students with honors courses and dual college credit courses, while also providing structure and support for students who may require additional assistance or accommodation. Our student/teacher ratio is 9 to 1, and each night we host a mandatory study hall to BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 85

help our students achieve. Student life outside the classroom is filled with clubs and activities, weekend socials, special events, leadership programs, and spirit-building events to keep campus lively and our students well-balanced. The comprehensive fee per student for the 2022-2023 school year was $37,890, and our operating budget was $6,152,956. The BGAV contributed 0.003% of our budget. In our efforts to assist as many students as possible in accessing our school program, Oak Hill awarded over $950,000 in scholarships or tuition reduction for students in need of financial assistance. One hundred and forty-four years ago a group of Virginia Baptists envisioned a place of learning and living for the children of this beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain region. And while the constituents of the Academy may now arrive to our campus from afar, the mission of the school continues unabated. We are proud of our Baptist heritage, we accept the challenge of our mission, and we look forward to the continuation of a healthy and productive covenant relationship of ministry with the Baptist General Association of Virginia.


Class of 2024 Rev. Robert Bailey Mr. Kenny Bowen Mr. Richard Burke Dr. Wayne Hager

Class of 2025/2028 Mr. David Davis Mr. Rodney Halsey Mr. Richard Joyce Ms. Mary Thomas

Class of 2025 Mrs. Susie Garner* Mr. Tom Saunders* Mrs. Jennifer Stenner Dr. Charles Stewart*

Class of 2026/2029 Mr. Robert Bajorek Mr. Don Gibson Dr. Thomas Harvey* Mr. Brian Rosefield

Class of 2026 Class of 2030 (off during 2023-2024) Mr. Dennis Gambill* Rev. Danny Collins* Mr. Luke Kurtz Mr. Todd Fuller Mr. Carl Rosberg* Mr. Joel Jackson Mr. Marty Parks Class of 2024/2027 Mr. Bobby Cheeks Mrs. Theresa Lazo Mr. Samuel Longanacre Mr. Jim Tapp ADMINISTRATION/STAFF

Dr. Michael D. Groves, President Mr. Aaron Butt, Associate Head of School Mr. Todd Giszack, Associate Head of School for Advancement Mrs. Rhonda Bowen, Chief Financial Officer Rev. Chris Luper, Campus Pastor

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BJC’s core mission is to protect and extend religious liberty for all. Founded 87 years ago, BJC brings our uniquely Baptist perspective of “soul freedom” to our work at the intersection of church and state, defending the first freedom of the First Amendment by protecting both the free exercise of religion and defending against its establishment by government. BJC is the only faith-based group working on the national level with this singular focus, furthering the Baptist heritage that champions the principle of faith freedom for all. Fourteen denominational bodies – including the Baptist General Association of Virginia – support BJC, alongside hundreds of churches and thousands of individuals from many different faith backgrounds who are committed to protecting faith freedom for all. Sometimes called a “religious liberty watchdog,” our work is with churches, Baptist institutions, and individuals, as well as the United States Supreme Court, the United States Congress, the presidential administration, and the national media. THE BJC CENTER FOR FAITH, JUSTICE AND RECONCILIATION

In early 2023, we announced the launch of the BJC Center for Faith, Justice and Reconciliation. The Center is led by Dr. Sabrina E. Dent, a leading scholar and advocate at the intersection of faith freedom for all and racial justice. Enlarging BJC’s programming efforts, the Center offers a variety of educational programs for students, congregations, community leaders, faith leaders and public officials that expand and deepen our understanding of religious freedom with a broader justice lens. The struggle of advancing justice in our society requires us to make intentional efforts to expand our understanding of how the limits of religious freedom for some have shaped public policies and social norms while causing harm to many communities. BJC’s investment in the Center points to an initial step in reimagining the work of protecting faith freedom for all. In the past year, the Center partnered with academic, grassroots and national nonprofit organizations to raise the visibility of justice issues rooted in systemic racism, white supremacy and Christian nationalism. Simultaneously, BJC expanded its mission to engage in deep truth-telling by repairing and building relationships with Black Baptist denominations and elevating underrepresented voices in these critical discussions. This reaffirmed BJC’s commitment to addressing the problem that religious freedom has been white too long. CHRISTIANS AGAINST CHRISTIAN NATIONALISM

Over the past four years, BJC has led a broad coalition of Christian groups in response to Christian nationalism, first creating a statement of unifying principles to call out this insidious ideology as a threat to our faith and our country. Christian nationalism is the single greatest threat to religious liberty in our nation today and it is a leading obstacle for congregational unity. This ideology polarizes communities and spreads false narratives that seek to define who is or is not a true American based on an individual’s Christian affiliation. Christian nationalism divides faith communities, creating confusion and division within congregations as it conflates religious and political authority. The Christians Against Christian Nationalism statement currently has more than 33,000 individual signers. Beyond this statement, we are starting conversations through podcasts, social media posts, curriculum, and webinars about what Christian nationalism is and how it shows up in our society today. We create and distribute resources that individuals, student groups, community groups, and churches can use to educate themselves and others how to best respond to this threat. WORK IN THE COURTS

We continue our efforts to advocate for religious freedom in the courts, as well as providing analysis of major decisions and legal trends. BJC General Counsel Holly Hollman and Associate General Counsel Jennifer Hawks lead those efforts, which included filing a friend-of-the-court brief at the U.S. Supreme Court in this term’s major religious liberty case: Groff v. DeJoy. In Groff v. DeJoy, BJC joined a friend-of-the court brief asking the Court to fix the standard under which religious accommodations for employees are evaluated. Also joining the brief were the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 87

Anti-Defamation League, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, National Association of Evangelicals and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The case was brought by Gerald Groff, a parttime rural mail carrier, after the U.S. Postal Service refused to accommodate his observance of Sabbath. Title VII is the federal law that requires employers to accommodate the religious practices of their employees unless doing so would cause an “undue hardship on the conduct of the business.” In a case from 1977, the Court interpreted “undue hardship” to be a very low standard. In a unanimous decision, the Groff Court corrects the interpretation to match the statutory language and give robust protection for an employee’s religious practices. The case returns to the trial court, and Mr. Groff will have the chance to prove his case under the new standard. Not every religious observance can be accommodated, but we were pleased to see a unanimous Court raise a threshold that for many decades had disproportionately limited employment opportunities for religious minorities. The legal team’s work regularly also includes writing and teaching about religious freedom and current challenges to it, including in Virginia. Holly was recently a guest lecturer for William and Mary’s summer in D.C. program. COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA

BJC works through the news media and social media channels to find religious liberty champions and inspire them to take action. Over the past year, BJC’s work has been covered in many news outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post, ABC News, MSNBC, FOX News and USA TODAY. We successfully launched new social media accounts for BJC’s Christians Against Christian Nationalism campaign on TikTok and Instagram. The latest season of BJC’s podcast Respecting Religion had more than 35,000 episode downloads. We encourage BGAV pastors, leaders and congregants to listen to the podcast, follow us on social media, and sign up for our weekly email newsletter and quarterly print magazine, Report from the Capital, at BJC FELLOWS

Since 2015, BJC has offered the BJC Fellows Program, providing young professionals the opportunity to deepen their historical, theological and legal understanding of religious liberty and develop skills to advocate for the cause throughout their careers. The BJC Fellows come from diverse theological, educational, and geographic backgrounds, and they are united in their call to rise against new challenges to defend faith freedom for all. In August, our 2023 BJC Fellows gathered for their initial orientation and education in Virginia, where they complete an intensive, five-day training seminar in Colonial Williamsburg to equip them for advocacy. There, the story of the Virginia Baptists and their stand for religious liberty is shared with these young leaders. BJC staff and other legal and theological experts, plus Colonial Williamsburg’s own historic interpreters, provide the BJC Fellows with a rapid education in the historical, legal, and theological underpinnings of religious liberty. OUR VALUED RELATIONSHIP WITH BGAV

We hold our partnership with Virginia Baptists in high regard and extend our appreciation for the enduring collaboration with BGAV. We honor your commitment to faith freedom for all. Together, we are committed to the common objective of informing Baptists and the broader community about our rich legacy of religious freedom for all. While our endeavors have a national reach, we consistently highlight Virginia’s significance as the cradle of religious liberty. BGAV has direct representation on the BJC Board of Directors. Todd Blake, Jenny Hodge, and Meg Thomas are currently representing BGAV as members of the BJC Board, and two of our staff members – Jennifer Hawks and Holly Hollman – are Virginia Baptists. Thank you again. Your continued support allows us to maintain and expand our programming in our main areas of work with Congress, in the courts, educating students of all ages, and mobilizing supporters to make a difference in our local, state, and national government.

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Alyssa Aldape Sofi Hersher Andorsky (Secretary) Paul Baxley Todd Blake* Timothy Boddie C. Lynn Brinkley (Chair) Anyra Cano (Vice Chair) Valoria L. Cheek David Cooke Jaimie Crumley George Gilbert Daniel Glaze Jeffrey Haggray Jenny Hodge* James Hopkins Perry Hopper Glen Howie Kenton Keller

Elizabeth Mangham Lott Rebecca Mathis Madison McClendon (Treasurer) Emily Hull McGee Jacqueline Baugh Moore Katherine Moore Larry Pullen Curtis Ramsey-Lucas Stephen Reeves Jesse Rincones Meredith Stone Christopher The Megan Thomas* Philip Thompson Samuel C. Tolbert, Jr. Keisha Patrick Wilson

*BGAV Representative

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Thank you, Virginia Baptists, for your continued support of our free and faithful reporting through Baptist News Global. We are grateful for your partnership that enables us to offer independent news, analysis and opinion content with no fee to the reader. As you can see on our website — — news of interest to Baptists in general and Virginia Baptists in particular continues to be priorities for BNG, successor organization to the historic Religious Herald. We’re on track to record more than 7 million page views on our website this year — continuing a multiyear trend of growth. Our board of directors includes three Virginians. Our mission is bold: “To inform and inspire readers with news, opinion and analysis that engages them to grow in faith and wrestle with what it means to live and serve faithfully in a rapidly changing world.” This summer, I spent time meeting with and listening to an array of BNG readers. I wanted to hear their stories, learn how they found us, understand what they find valuable in our content. One of them was a white man in his late 60s, raised in charismatic evangelicalism and even spending a good chunk of his career working for and volunteering with such ministries. What I learned from him across the next two hours was a reminder of why we do what we do. Here is a faithful Christian who — largely thanks to the religious and political climate of the day — has left him questioning the beliefs he held his entire life and is searching for help to explain what he now believes. To that end, he reads our content daily and shares articles with others, sometimes through online groups of which he’s a part. I could tell many more stories like this one, readers who depend on us to help them see and understand how their faith relates to what is happening in our world today. We seek to do that every day through independence, integrity, trustworthiness, excellence, justice and curiosity. And you are a part of that great story.

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Our Vision: The Baptist World Alliance (BWA) is a global movement of Baptists sharing a common confession of faith in Jesus Christ bonded together by God’s love to support, encourage, and strengthen one another while proclaiming and living the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit before a lost and hurting world. Our Beginnings: Founded with a vision to unite Baptists from “every land” in mission and service, the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) began in 1905. From its earliest days, the BWA has hosted gatherings and provided opportunities for Baptists from around the world to pray, worship, fellowship, and serve together with a commitment to “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism.” Our Membership: The BWA is a fellowship of 253 Baptist church organizations in 130 countries and territories comprising 51 million Baptists in 176,000 churches worldwide. Our Mission: Networking the Baptist Family to Impact the World for Christ We accomplish our mission through the following five ministry areas: • Worship, Fellowship, and Unity • Mission and Evangelism • Aid, Relief, and Community Development • Religious Freedom, Human Rights, and Justice • Theological Reflection and Transformational Leadership WORSHIP, FELLOWSHIP, AND UNITY

Centered in Jesus Christ and rooted in deep spiritual life, we strengthen our worldwide family through ongoing gatherings; pastoral presence; mutual friendships; and the cultivation of worship, fellowship, and unity. In the past year, the BWA: • Welcomed four Baptist unions/conventions into membership: Union of Evangelical Baptist Churches of Niger (Niger), Council of Local Evangelical Churches in the Holy Land (Palestinian Territories), Association of Telugu Baptist Churches (India), and the Telangana Baptist Convention (India). While membership in the BWA has most often been convention and union-style groups, the BWA General Council voted in July 2023 to ratify constitutional changes expanding membership eligibility to all Baptist organizations that have their own governance structure and financial identity. Four Baptist groups were accepted as inaugural “BWA Member Partners” in the categories of aid, education, and mission: Baptist Missionary Society Ltd. (United Kingdom), Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development (Lebanon), Dallas Baptist University (Texas, USA), and Howard Payne University (Texas, USA). • United more than 10,000 prayer partners weekly in prayer with the BWA Team utilizing the “Baptists One in Prayer” guide, which facilitates prayer for every country in the world over the course of the year. As part of our commitment to multilingual engagement for this prayer movement, we launched a weekly guide in Spanish in 2022. • Engaged more than 500 registrants from 82 countries for worship, prayer, fellowship, and teaching at the BWA Annual Gathering in Stavanger, Norway, in July 2023. • Released an updated BWA Baptist Vulnerability Index, identifying the BWA Baptists living in contexts facing the highest levels of war, persecution, hunger, and livelihood, that can serve as a guide for prayer, giving, and advocacy.

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• Continued planning for the 23rd Baptist World Congress and Baptist Women’s Summit to be held July 7-12, 2025, in Brisbane, Australia, with the theme “Living the Good News” based on Luke 4:18-19. Find out more and register at MISSION AND EVANGELISM

Compelled by the Great Commission, we lead with a passionate commitment to Gospel witness in every context and people group, foster multidirectional partnerships that connect individuals and churches, and encourage global mission and evangelism. In Mission and Evangelism, the BWA: • Launched the Global Baptist Mission Network, a partnership connecting mission-focused organizations, mission departments, and individuals working with a focus on advancement of world mission. The GBMN aims to facilitate relationships among Baptist mission leaders and movements, provide thought leadership in the field of mission, identify and reach new mission fields, collaborate between agencies and mission personnel, and curtail resource waste and avoid unnecessary duplication. Already, 23 mission organizations have joined as inaugural members with representation from all six BWA regions. • Declared the month of May as Evangelism Emphasis Month and urged Baptists to focus on united prayer and personal evangelism. BWA Baptists from 39 countries prayed and engaged in individual outreach, door-to-door testimonies, street and bus ministry, online ministry, and jail visitation. In this inaugural year, 22,000 churches shared the Gospel with 6 million people and 97,674 people gave their lives to Jesus. • Trained and mobilized over 400 students in the Caribbean and over 3,000 students in Latin America through the virtual School of Evangelism, a new multilingual partnership with regions around the world to equip Baptists to serve on mission. • Supported the planting of 50 churches in Venezuela. • Sent 10,000 Ukrainian Bibles for distribution by local Baptists to the thousands seeking physical and spiritual support across Ukraine. AID, RELIEF, AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Challenged to generously love our neighbor, we respond to people in need; collaborate in times of crisis; network agencies; support sustainability and creation care; build capacity; empower local church engagement; and resource aid, relief, and community development. In Aid, Relief, and Community Development, the BWA: • Distributed BWAid grants to projects in all three fund categories and stood in solidarity with Baptists around the world. 92 | BGAV 2023 Book of Reports

• Facilitated the BWA Forum for Aid and Development (BFAD) which was chaired by Dean Miller (Virginia). This network of more than 20 Baptist aid agencies mobilized for collaboration and impact, including collectively responding to the war in Ukraine and the devastating earthquake in Syria and Turkey.


Committed to a biblical understanding of the image of God in every person, we defend an ethic of life; support religious freedom for all; stand in solidarity with the marginalized; advocate at every level; train and network proactively; and mobilize for religious freedom, human rights, and justice. In Religious Freedom, Human Rights, and Justice, the BWA: • Deepened and expanded our high-level advocacy and engagement on behalf of those facing persecution around the world through the 21Wilberforce Global Freedom Center, including: - Engaging in advocacy for Myanmar including offering pastoral presence in refugee camps in Thailand, providing humanitarian aid for refugees, presenting a video report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, advocating for those unjustly imprisoned such as Pastor Samson Hkalam, and mobilizing 10,000 people who urged their US Congressional representatives to vote for and successfully pass US human rights legislation on Myanmar - Launched the Global Defenders Network, a new network of legal defenders and human rights advocates that work together to defend victims of religious persecution and unjust laws with a pilot project in 2023 to provide training, mentoring, and professional development for young lawyers in Nigeria committed to defending human rights and religious freedom - Co-chaired both the Young Leaders and Religious Prisoner of Conscience Track for the 2022 Annual International Religious Freedom National Summit in Washington D.C. that provided workshop training for over 1,000 people - Initiated a Timothy Program as a three-year immersive religious freedom training for a select group of young Baptist men and women from all six BWA regions - Supported human rights and religious freedom advocacy efforts at the United Nations on behalf of Algeria, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Ukraine • Continued BWA Women’s Stand Against Domestic Violence Initiative to raise awareness and provide resources to prevent violence against women. The UN estimates that a third of women worldwide have experienced domestic violence at least once in their life with numbers increasing even more during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out more at • Promoted the Restorative Racial Justice: A Call to Live in Flourishing Freedom statement. Developed by a specially commissioned Racial Justice Action Group, the statement includes theological perspectives as well as practical action BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 93

steps to mobilize the global Baptist family to stand together for racial justice. This year it was translated into Spanish and French to further engage people around the world and encourage advocacy. Request the document here: THEOLOGICAL REFLECTION AND TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP

Called to discipleship, we advance multicultural and multilingual training, empower next generation leaders, encourage meaningful dialogue and praxis, and engage in relevant theological reflection and transformational leadership. In Theological Reflection and Transformational Leadership, the BWA: • Enrolled an additional 222 students from 28 countries in the Horizons youth and children’s training program, bringing total enrollment to 985. Horizons is a 24-module online program offered in 14 languages to equip youth and children’s leaders to effectively reach and disciple the next generation. Offered at no cost, the training addresses both practical and theological facets of ministry leadership. • Coordinated the gathering of Baptist leaders from around the world for the Baptist-Catholic International Dialogue in December 2022 in Rome, Italy. This was the fifth and final year in Phase III which focused on “The Dynamic of the Gospel and the Witness of the Church Today.” • Mobilized 14 BWA Commissions of more than 350 global Baptist leaders around the world working together to address the most critical issues today such as evangelism and mission, religious freedom, peace building, racial justice, doctrine and theology, and dialogue with other Christian worldwide communions. • Began planning the next Baptist International Conference on Theological Education (BICTE). With the theme “Blessed Are the Peacemakers: Becoming Agents of Peace,” this event will precede the 2024 BWA Annual Gathering in Lagos, Nigeria. This is a brief glimpse into the kingdom impact of the BWA, accomplished by the grace and power of God with the faithful support of Virginia Baptists. Congratulations on your 200th anniversary! Thanks be to God!

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Representatives of Regions Israel Akanji, All Africa Baptist Fellowship Mark Wilson, Asia Pacific Baptist Federation Dominique Dick, Caribbean Baptist Fellowship Jan Sæthre, European Baptist Federation Samuel Tolbert, North American Baptist Fellowship Daniel Avila, Union of Baptists in Latin America

Tomás Mackey, President, Argentina Elijah M. Brown, General Secretary & CEO, USA (Virginia) Karl Johnson, First Vice President, Jamaica Carolyn Fossen, Treasurer, USA (Virginia) Samson Ayokunle, Nigeria Fernando Macedo Brandão, Brazil Otniel Ioan Bunaciu, Romania Joel Dorsinville, Haiti John Hickey, Australia Noemí Janson-Lidak, Colombia Dave Kwok, Hong Kong Jennifer Lau, Canada Elizabeth Mvula, Malawi Albert Reyes, USA Lina Sawan, Lebanon Rachael Tan, Taiwan Samuel Tolbert, USA Elijah Wanje, Kenya

Immediate Past President Paul Msiza, South Africa BWA Women President Karen Wilson, Australia

Twelve At-Large Members 2021-2024 Paul Baxley, USA Lynn Green, UK Melvin Harris, USA (Virginia) Thomas Klammt, Germany 2022-2025 Johnathan Hemmings, Jamaica Roy Medley, USA Adebola Samson-Fatokun, Nigeria Kang-San Tan, UK 2023-2026 Wayne Faison, USA (Virginia) Lone Møller-Hansen, Denmark Enoch Thompson, Ghana Additional Member 2018-2021 John Beasy, Australia


James Baucom, Elijah Brown, Valerie Carter Smith, Will Cumbia, Wayne Faison, Elizabeth Fogg, Carolyn Fossen, Darrell Foster, Geoffrey Guns, Mary Harris, Melvin Harris, John Kubichek, John R. Jones, Joseph Lewis, Anna Miller, Dean Miller, C. Diane Mosby, Gareth Murray, Elizabeth Newman, Timothy Norman, Lorae Ponder, Craig Sherouse, Andrey Shirin, James Somerville, Nathan Taylor, William Tuck, John Upton, Angelique Walker-Smith, Jeff Willetts, and David Washburn.

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In 2022-23, Gardner-Webb University received national recognitions and continued to broaden partnerships with local, state and national organizations to strengthen the campus and serve the community. Consistent with its Strategic Plan for 2020-2025, the University continued its focus on attracting and retaining students from across the nation and beyond. Gardner-Webb also celebrated championships in football, women’s and men’s basketball, tennis, wrestling, and track and field. SIGNIFICANT ACCOMPLISHMENTS & ACTIVITIES

Double Dawg Day Blitzes Record with Over $1 Million Raised Giving on Double Dawg Day, April 20, 2023, eclipsed the previous record with a one-day giving total of over $1 million. Each of the 1,153 gifts has a direct and lasting impact on students through scholarships, athletic facilities and training, or enhancing classrooms and labs. With overwhelming support from N.C. donors, gifts also came from 39 states and as far away as Australia, France, Poland, Germany, Canada, Bangladesh and South Korea. New York Times Ranks Gardner-Webb No. 1 in Campus Safety and No. 7 in N.C. for Economic Mobility The editors of The New York Times ranked Gardner-Webb No. 1 in campus safety among all North Carolina colleges, No. 2 in affordability and No. 7 for economic mobility among private colleges in North Carolina. Gardner-Webb also ranks number No. 2 among private colleges in North Carolina when applying equal importance to the characteristics of economic mobility, affordability, and academic profile. The list included 883 U.S. colleges; only those schools that graduate more than 50 percent of their students were admitted to the study. The Times used data from these public sources: the National Center for Education Statistics, the College Scorecard, and Opportunity Insights. Gardner-Webb Ranked Nationally as a Top Five Private College in North Carolina In its 2022 National University Rankings, Washington Monthly placed Gardner-Webb in the top five among private colleges in North Carolina. The University ranked above Liberty University (Va.), Tulane (La.), Robert Morris (Penn.), Baylor (Texas) and Southern Methodist (Texas). GWU was recognized for excellence in three areas: social mobility, research and promoting public service. Recognition as a “National University” places Gardner-Webb within Washington Monthly’s highest tier of U.S. colleges, which includes schools awarding a significant number of doctoral degrees. Gardner-Webb ranked in a higher tier than other private schools in the Carolinas, including: Anderson University (S.C.), Converse College (S.C.), Davidson College (N.C.), Furman University (S.C.), Lenoir Rhyne (N.C.), Meredith College (N.C.), Methodist University (N.C.), and Wofford (S.C.). Gardner-Webb Sees Enrollment Growth in Three Online Programs Three programs offered by Gardner-Webb Online experienced rapid growth in enrollment. The 10-month Master of Public Administration (MPA), which launched in January 2023, added two cohorts to meet demand. The MPA is geared toward working professionals and prepares public servants for leadership in local, state, federal, and non-profit agencies. The second successful program, the Online Degree in Elementary Education, addresses the critical teacher shortage in North Carolina. Enrollment has grown from 71 to 172. The third program is the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing, which has increased from 14 to 73 students in recent years. Gardner-Webb President Dr. William Downs Elected Big South President In June 2023, Gardner-Webb President Dr. William M. Downs was elected by the Big South Conference Council of Chief Executive Officers to serve as Big South President for 2023-24 and 2024-25. Downs served on the Big South’s Executive Committee as vice president and as an at-large member since 2021. He is the second Gardner-Webb president elected to serve as Big South Conference President, as GWU’s Dr. Frank Bonner held the office four years from 2013-17. Gardner-Webb Celebrated Achieving Three Division I Titles Since 2019 With its team championship wins in 2022-‘23, Gardner-Webb became the only Division I University in North Carolina to earn titles in football, women’s basketball and men’s basketball since 2019. On their way to the championships, the 96 | BGAV 2023 Book of Reports

programs and student-athletes also set records. GWU also earned a men’s tennis Big South co-championship for the regular season, and individual championships in wrestling (Southern Conference), and Big South track and field. Gardner-Webb Received Gift to Complete Indoor Baseball Facility Bill Masters, whose legacy of giving energized the men’s baseball program, made another significant gift before he passed away on June 25, 2022. He gave the lead gift for the Masters-Melton Indoor Baseball Facility, also named in honor of his longtime special friend, Patsy Melton Willis. The remaining funds to complete the project were donated by generous friends, alumni and parents. The facility opened in March 2023 and provides a space where the Diamond Dawgs can practice hitting, pitching and fielding in any weather. Scholars Bring Home $12,700 in Scholarships and Prize Money Gardner-Webb students brought home $12,700 in scholarships and prize money from the national Alpha Chi convention in Albuquerque, N.M., March 30-April 1, 2023. The convention brings together Alpha Chi chapters from across the country. The GWU students received recognition in the collaborative competition and won two scholarships. A GW Alumnus won the highest honor given by Alpha Chi, the Pryor Fellowship. Gardner-Webb Bulldog Club Builds Membership to Support Student Athletes The Gardner-Webb Bulldog Club has grown to its largest membership total in 31 years. The Bulldog Club is an investment in student-athletes. Membership provides scholarships for nearly 600 GWU student-athletes participating in 22 NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletics. Bold New Bulldog Sculpture Captures Dedication and Pride of Students, Alumni and Fans A commanding Runnin’ Bulldog sculpture, unveiled on March 13, 2023, celebrates the competitive spirit of GardnerWebb’s student-athletes and captures the dedication and pride of students, alumni and fans. The sculpture was made possible by the support of David and Marie Brinkley and other friends of GWU. David currently serves on the University’s Board of Trustees, and the Brinkleys have enthusiastically supported Gardner-Webb for more than a decade. Gardner-Webb commissioned sculptor Jon Hair to create the bulldog, a bronze sculpture that weighs approximately 800 pounds and stands over 4-feet tall. Gardner-Webb Honored Transformational Leaders of the Past and Present on Founders Day Gardner-Webb honored recipients of the Founders Medal on Dec. 1, a highlight of the revived celebration of Founders Day in 2022. Two couples were recognized for their distinguished service—John and Linda Godbold of Rock Hill, S.C., and the late O. Max and Fay Webb Gardner. The Gardners gave substantially to the college to provide scholarships for students from Cleveland and Rutherford counties. In 1942, Boiling Springs College changed its name to Gardner-Webb College to honor the couple’s support. In 2008, John and Linda gave the lead gift to establish the Godbold College of Business and also pledged annual support. In addition to funding enhancements for the school and development opportunities for the faculty, the donation provided four scholarships presented annually to business majors. Library Dean and Archivist Leads Preservation of 1967 Mural in Dover Center A 33-foot mural depicting the history of textiles was removed from the Hoyt Bailey Dining Room in Gardner-Webb’s Dover Campus Center, and plans are to reinstall it later in the University’s new Welcome and Admissions Center. The painter, Sidney King, was a nationally known artist from Milford, Va., who painted the largest mural in North America (400 feet long x 75 feet tall) in the rotunda of the Mormon Information Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. The mural was dedicated on Jan. 28, 1967, and the local newspaper reported that over 20 N.C. textile firms gathered to take part in the dedication. Gardner-Webb Receives Two Grants from North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities totaling over $40,000 Gardner-Webb’s Student Success Division and the College of Education received grants from North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU). The Student Success Division was one of 12 to receive a three-year grant totaling $25,000 and the College of Education won a $15,600 grant. Student Success will establish faculty-student STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Math) mentoring programs designed to improve student retention and graduation rates among first generation college students, women, and students of color majoring in a STEM field. The College of Education will use the funds to support implementing new literacy strategies into the curriculum for teacher education students and meet the requirements of a new measure passed by the N.C. General Assembly. BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 97


New Cybersecurity Program Addressing Needs of Emerging Sector Gardner-Webb developed a cybersecurity concentration with its bachelor’s degree in computer science. Offered within the Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences, this program meets the needs in a field predicted to have 3.5 million job openings in 2025. Additionally, agreements with Stanly Community College in Albemarle, N.C., Blue Ridge Community College in Flat Rock, N.C., and Spartanburg (S.C.) Community College guarantee transfer into GardnerWebb’s Cybersecurity Program. Gardner-Webb Establishes Partnerships with Academic and Career Partners This year, Gardner-Webb entered several partnership agreements for transfer students and soon-to-be graduates. A partnership between CaroMont Health and the School of Nursing offers senior nursing students $7,500 in tuition assistance and the opportunity to complete their required practicum hours at the hospital. In return, the students agree to work as RNs for CaroMont Health for two years after graduation. Another partnership between Gardner-Webb and Catawba Valley Community College established the “Bulldog Bound” direct-entry admission program to provide a seamless transition to Gardner-Webb. The Department of Physician Assistant (PA) Medicine also launched a partnership with Johnson C. Smith University ( JCSU). Through this agreement, JCSU graduates who are interested in a career as a certified PA can apply for a Reserve Applicant spot with the Gardner-Webb PA program. Two Reserve Applicant spots will be available each year to JCSU graduates. Gardner-Webb Concert Choir Invited to Participate in Concert for 80th Commemoration of D-Day in 2024 The Gardner-Webb Concert Choir and professors have been invited to participate in next year’s 80th commemoration of D-Day. From June 9-18, 2024, they will experience educational opportunities in France and join the historic observance by performing a memorial concert as a lead ensemble in an international choir in the Abbaye-aux-Hommes in Caen, France.

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When Jesse Mercer founded Mercer University in 1833, he and other Georgia Baptist leaders envisioned an institution that would provide students with a classical and theological education. Their concern was for young preachers and for members of area Baptist churches. Mercer knew these churches desperately needed pastor-leaders who understood scripture and could clearly articulate their Christian beliefs. Over the intervening years, the institution begun by Jesse Mercer has developed into a university of far-reaching influence, while remaining committed to an educational environment that embraces the historic Baptist principles of intellectual and religious freedom. Today, more than 9,000 students are enrolled in 12 schools and colleges on campuses in Macon, Atlanta, Columbus, and Savannah; three medical school sites in Macon, Savannah and Columbus; and at four Regional Academic Centers around the state. In recent years, both pastors and students who seriously examined the opportunities for seminary-level training expressed a need for new educational alternatives within the Baptist tradition. After careful consideration of the issues and after an extensive feasibility study, the University’s Board of Trustees in June of 1994 voted to establish a School of Theology. The McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University attracts students who have looked critically at the options and who seek a theological education that will best prepare them for ministry in the next century. McAfee School of Theology offers the following degrees: • Master of Divinity (Residence and Online) • Master of Arts in Christian Ministry (Residence and Online) • Master of Theological Studies • Doctor of Ministry • Graduate Certificate in Theological Studies One of our fastest growing options is with our Combined Degree Programs: • MDiv and Master of Business Administration • MDiv and Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling • MDiv and Master of Science in Organizational Leadership • MDiv and Master of Music in Church Music • MACM and Master of Science in Organizational Leadership • MTS and Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling • MTS and Master of Music in Church Music McAfee includes nearly 1000 alumni, 150 students, a dozen full-time faculty, and a devoted staff. Churches throughout the southeast support the school in their budget and hundreds of other individuals faithfully give to scholarships, operations or other school-related causes.

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McAfee has more than $29 million in endowments and this previous year received $240,000 in gifts to the annual fund and an additional $765,000 towards scholarships and other endowed gifts. Two years ago McAfee received a grant just under one million dollars from the Lilly Foundations “Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative.” Last year McAfee received a grant from the Georgia Rural Health Innovation Center to work with the School of Medicine in the area of faith and healthcare. This grant was for nearly $500,000.

McAfee has more than $29 million in endowments and this previous year received $240,000 in gifts to the annual fund and an additional $765,000 towards scholarships and other endowed gifts. Two years ago McAfee received a grant just under one million dollars from the Lilly Foundations “Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative.” Last year McAfee received a grant from the Georgia Rural Health Innovation Center to work with the School of Medicine in the area of faith and healthcare. This grant was for nearly $500,000.

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Since 1994 Ministering to Ministers has provided support to ministers, their families, and congregations, during one of the most traumatic crises in ministerial life: a forced termination from a church or place of ministry. Part of the Pastoral Excellence Program of the Center for Lifelong Learning at Columbia Theological Seminary, this ministry offers help, hope and renewal for ministers in crisis. Ministering to Ministers offers spiritual and emotional support, as well as legal guidance, to clergy and their families. Its primary focus is clergy who have experienced a forced termination or substantial conflict with their churches so as to make continuing ministry together untenable. “Being forced to leave our church was such as shock. It was the most traumatic experience our family has ever experienced. After feeling hurt and hopeless from our forced termination the Wounded Minister Retreat provided much needed healing and hope Thank you for this amazing ministry. We have found a way forward,” said a recent participant. Ministering to Ministers has dedicated itself to a larger investment in health promotion and conflict prevention and transformation in the relationship between pastors and their churches before they endure debilitating and destructive experiences. Ministering to Ministers comes alongside ministers to affirm the worth of the individual and the authenticity of their call in the midst of the challenges in ministry. We strive to reclaim ministers wounded in toxic situations and forced terminations through wellness retreats, personal counseling, legal counsel, and professional and personal development programs. Ministering to Ministers helps churches and BGAV ministers through: • The Wounded Ministers Retreat for Clergy and Spouses. Held annually at the Eagle Eyre Conference Center in Lynchburg VA, at Samford University’s Center for Congregational Resources, Birmingham AL, and the Center for Lifelong Learning, Atlanta GA. This signature event offers clergy and their spouses an opportunity to share in a restorative experience with ministry peers. Led by trained facilitators, the retreat offers peer group support, information sessions led by experts in relevant fields, and group therapy led by psychiatrists or psychologists. • Providing immediate support to clergy and their families who are experiencing personal or professional crisis due to deteriorating congregation--clergy relationships through counseling and referrals to legal counsel if necessary. • Providing resources to ministers for assessing their relationship with their church and establishing optimal terms for employment in their ministry contexts. • Offering programs and courses for personal and professional development focused on pastoral intelligence, vocational development, and conflict transformation. • Offering coaching programs to raise the emotional maturity and conflict transformation skills of all parties in churchminister relations. These programs are designed to promote health and conflict prevention between clergy and their churches by establishing strong initial foundations, healthy dispute resolution, and mediation. As a result of interventions and support, clergy are able to continue to respond to God’s call into service. Many of these ministers are enabled to resolve situations and stay in their ministry position, some rise to serve new churches, and others move forward to serve the living God in new ministries or positions. Significant and tragic losses to the BGAV and its churches, in terms of ministerial education, training, and years of vocational experience may be avoided through redeemed careers and affirmation of personal vocational calling to ministry. BGAV’s support of Ministering to Ministers provides Virginia Baptist pastors and ministers, support and the hope for healthier clergy-church relationships, renewal, leave-taking without conflagration, and, importantly, retention of terminated pastors for church service. Ministering to Ministers Center for Lifelong Learning Columbia Theological Seminary BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 101


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CALLED C e l e b rat ing 200 Years

TO BE 2023


CONSTITUTION/BYLAWS OF THE BGAV • Constitution/Bylaws • Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation

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CONSTITUTION/BYLAWS Baptist General Association of Virginia



The name of this body shall be the Baptist General Association of Virginia, hereinafter referred to as the General Association. ARTICLE II


The object of the General Association shall be to furnish the Baptist churches of the General Association a means of cooperation for the propagation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and for the advancement of the Redeemer’s Kingdom by all methods in accord with the Word of God. There shall be full recognition of the autonomy of the local churches. ARTICLE III

Meetings and Composition Section A: Meetings The General Association shall meet annually. Special meetings may be called by the president or a vice president with the concurrence of a majority of the officers of the General Association. Meetings and voting may take place in person and/ or electronically in accordance with applicable law. Section B: Composition The General Association shall be composed of the officers of the General Association and messengers elected by Baptist churches which follow the New Testament teaching of salvation by grace and believer’s baptism by immersion, and which cooperate with the General Association. Each church contributing financially at least $500 during the previous fiscal year, according to the treasurer’s report, to the Virginia portion of the Cooperative Missions Budget shall be entitled to two (2) messengers; to a total of three (3) messengers for $750; a total of four (4) messengers for $1000, and to one (1) more messenger for each additional $600; provided that no church shall be entitled to more than fifteen (15) messengers. If $500 is more than two percent (2%) of a church’s total annual receipts, such church is entitled to two (2) messengers, provided it contributes financially at least two percent (2%) of its total annual receipts to the Virginia portion of the Cooperative Missions Budget. The Cooperative Missions Budget as adopted by the General Association is the preferred way Virginia Baptists express their unity in mission and ministry. Cooperative Missions is Virginia Baptists’ long-standing commitment to the Cooperative Program. Section C: Cooperating Churches Cooperating churches of the General Association shall be identified as one of the following, and shall be entitled to benefits, publications and services as indicated: Participating – A church contributing financially to the Virginia portion of the Cooperative Missions Budget shall be named on the group exemption roster for IRS as exempt from Federal income tax under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code under the General Association’s blanket exemption from Federal income tax. Such a church shall be eligible to participate in annuity benefits for staff, and receive all publications and services. Watch care - A church unable to contribute financially, as a new start and/or hardship, to the Virginia portion of the Cooperative Missions Budget may be named on the group exemption roster for IRS as exempt from Federal income tax under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code under the General Association’s blanket exemption from Federal income tax; may receive annuity benefits for staff, and publications and services for up to five (5) years in accordance with policy; and may receive mentoring and/or shepherding for proactive special ministry needs. 106 | BGAV 2023 Book of Reports

Affiliate – A church contributing financially only one (1) of the three (3) preceding fiscal years to the Virginia portion of the Cooperative Missions Budget shall be named on the group exemption roster for IRS as exempt from Federal income tax under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code under the General Association’s blanket exemption from Federal income tax; however, such a church shall not be entitled to receive annuity benefits for staff or to receive publications and services. If such a church makes no contributions financially for five (5) years to the Virginia portion of the Cooperative Missions Budget, that church shall be removed from the list of churches named on the group exemption. A church shall be deemed to have contributed financially when it has given either (a) at least $500, or (b) at least two percent (2%) of its total annual receipts, during the previous fiscal year, to the Virginia portion of the Cooperative Missions Budget. ARTICLE IV


Section A: Officers of the General Association The officers of the General Association shall be a president, first and second vice presidents, an executive director, a treasurer, and a clerk. 1. President. Upon nomination from the floor, the president of the General Association shall be elected for a one (1) year term on the second day of the annual meeting of the General Association. 2. Vice-Presidents. Upon nomination from the floor, the first vice president shall be elected for a one (1) year term at the annual meeting of the General Association. Upon nomination from the floor, the second vice president shall be elected for a one (1) year term at the annual meeting of the General Association. 3. Clerk. Upon nomination from the floor, the clerk shall be elected for a one (1) year term at the annual meeting of the General Association. 4. Executive Director. The executive director shall be nominated by the Virginia Baptist Executive Board, hereinafter referred to as the Executive Board, shall be elected by the General Association, and shall serve until his/her successor is elected. Nominations for this office may be offered from the floor of the General Association any year at the time of the nomination of its annually elected officers. 5. Treasurer. The treasurer shall be nominated by the Executive Board, shall be elected by the General Association, and shall serve until his/her successor is elected. Nominations for this office may be offered from the floor of the General Association any year at the time of the nomination of its annually elected officers. The treasurer shall receive all funds contributed to the General Association, pay over such amounts as are specified by the contributors for particular uses according to their directions (provided that, in the opinion of the treasurer, said uses comply with accepted General Association causes), distribute any amount not specified according to the instructions of the General Association, and make an annual report of all receipts and disbursements. All checks for paying of funds of the General Association shall be signed by the treasurer and countersigned by such other persons as may be designated by the Executive Board. The treasurer shall ensure that the duties of stewardship education and financial resources development are performed. The treasurer shall serve under the direction of the executive director and shall perform such other fiscal and management duties as may be assigned by the executive director. Section B: General Provisions 1. All nominees shall be resident members of Baptist churches contributing financially to the Virginia portion of the Cooperative Missions Budget. 2. Multiple nominations for any one office shall be elected by ballot. Single nominations for one office shall be elected by voice vote. A majority vote of those present and voting shall be required for election to all offices. 3. Election of other officers shall follow in order after the election of the president. 4. No seconding speeches shall be permitted for any nomination. BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 107

5. Elected officers shall assume their respective offices at the close of the annual meeting at which they are elected, and hold office for a term of one (1) year or until their successors are elected. 6. In case of the death, resignation, disability or ineligibility of the president, the vice presidents in the order named shall succeed to the office of president and shall complete the term of said office. 7. In case of the death, resignation, disability or ineligibility of the first vice president and/or the second vice president, or of the succession of either to the office of president, the resulting vacancy or vacancies shall be filled by the Executive Board for the unexpired term(s). 8. In case of the death, resignation, disability or ineligibility of the executive director, treasurer, or clerk, the Executive Board shall make provisions for the continuance of the work until the office is filled by election at a General Association annual meeting. 9. The responsibilities of the officers of the General Association shall be those usual to the respective offices, plus those specifically outlined in the Constitution/Bylaws. The president and executive director shall be non-voting ex officio members of all committees of the General Association. ARTICLE V

Virginia Baptist Executive Board Section A: Members by Virtue of Office The members by virtue of office shall be the president, the first vice president, the second vice president, the immediate past president, the executive director, and the treasurer. Section B: Members from the General Association There shall be fifteen (15) members at large from the General Association. Upon nomination by the Executive Board, five (5) members shall be elected annually by the General Association for three (3) year terms. Four nominees shall be from among the candidates submitted by the Mission Council and the fifth nominee may be one of the candidates submitted by the Mission Council or another eligible Virginia Baptist. A member having served three (3) consecutive terms shall not be eligible for reelection until at least one (1) year has elapsed following his/her previous service. The nominees shall reflect a wide representation of Virginia Baptists, including both laypersons and ministers. Any vacancy occurring between the sessions of the General Association may be filled by the Executive Board from among the candidates submitted by the Mission Council for the remainder of the unexpired term. Section C: Chair of the Executive Board Upon nomination by the Executive Board, the chair shall be elected annually by the General Association for a one (1) year term. The chair shall be a current member of the Executive Board. Section D: Meetings The chair shall set the date, place and time of meetings. A majority of voting members shall constitute a quorum. Meetings and voting may take place in person and/or electronically in accordance with applicable law. Section E: Responsibilities 1. The Executive Board shall have entire management of the matters committed to its trust and shall carry out such plans as may seem judicious, provided they are in strict accordance with the Articles of Incorporation, with the Constitution/Bylaws of the General Association, and with such instructions as may from time to time be given by the General Association. Although the Executive Board shall not have authority to control and direct the agencies, institutions and shared ministries of the General Association, it is instructed and commissioned to maintain liaison with and to study the affairs of these agencies, institutions and shared ministries in search of acceptable solutions to problems which may arise. The Executive Board shall keep records of its proceedings and make an annual report to the General Association. 2. The Executive Board shall act in the interim for the General Association on such matters as the officers of the General Association may determine to require action before the next meeting of the General Association, and the Executive Board shall report such action to the next annual meeting of the General Association. 108 | BGAV 2023 Book of Reports

3. The Executive Board shall serve as the Finance Committee of the General Association, and shall present a proposed budget to the General Association each year at its annual meeting. 4. The Executive Board shall advise and consult with the executive director in staff personnel matters, including the consideration of new staff positions, the election of assistant executive directors and team leaders, and personnel policies. 5. The Executive Board shall study and recommend changes to the Constitution/Bylaws of the General Association. 6. The Executive Board shall advise and consult with the executive director in strengthening the work of the General Association, including objectives, plan or organization, assignment of responsibility, and matters of general policy. Section F: Church Membership All members of the Executive Board shall be resident members of Baptist churches contributing financially to the Virginia portion of the Cooperative Missions Budget. Only one (1) member from any one (1) church may be elected a member of the Executive Board; however, this restriction shall not apply in the case of persons who serve by virtue of office. If a member of the Executive Board becomes a member of a church not participating with the General Association, his/her membership is automatically terminated. Section G: Membership Restrictions No person serving as a member of a board or committee, no trustee, no employee or independent contractor of either the General Association or any Virginia Baptist agency, institution or shared ministry receiving funds from the General Association, or his/her spouse, shall be eligible to serve as a member of the Executive Board. These restrictions shall not apply to members or pastors of churches which receive financial assistance from the General Association, nor shall they apply to persons who may serve as members of the Executive Board by virtue of office. ARTICLE VI

Virginia Baptist Mission Council Section A: Members by Virtue of Office The members by virtue of office shall be the president, the first vice president, the second vice president, the clerk, the immediate past president, the executive director, and the treasurer. If a member of the Mission Council is elected to any of the above-named offices, he/she shall complete the term to which he/she was elected as a member of the Mission Council. Section B: Members from the General Association There shall be fifteen (15) members from each of the regional clusters of the General Association and six (6) members from churches which are not in a regional cluster. The regional clusters shall annually nominate five (5) members for three (3) year terms. The churches not in a regional cluster shall nominate two (2) members for three (3) year terms. The nominees shall be elected by the General Association on the second day of the annual meeting. A member having served two (2) consecutive terms shall not be eligible for reelection until at least one (1) year has elapsed following his/ her previous service. The nominees shall reflect a wide representation of Virginia Baptists, including both laypersons and ministers. If a vacancy has occurred during the preceding year, the regional cluster shall also nominate a member to fill the remainder of the unexpired term. Section C: Chair of the Mission Council The President of the General Association shall serve as the chair of the Mission Council. Section D: Meetings The chair shall set the date, place and time of meetings. A majority of voting members shall constitute a quorum. Meetings and voting may take place in person and/or electronically in accordance with applicable law. Section E: Responsibilities 1. The Mission Council shall submit a slate of fifteen (15) potential nominees to the Executive Board every year before May 1. The Mission Council is directed to see that this slate reflects a wide representation of Virginia Baptists, including both laypersons and ministers. BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 109

2. The Mission Council shall provide timely counsel to the Executive Board, serve as liaisons between the General Association and the local churches, and serve as ambassadors for the General Association. Section F: Church Membership All members of the Mission Council shall be resident members of Baptist churches contributing financially to the Virginia portion of the Cooperative Missions Budget. Only one (1) member from any one (1) church may be elected a member of the Mission Council; however, this restriction shall not apply in the case of persons who serve by virtue of office. If a member of the Mission Council becomes a member of a church not participating with the General Association, his/her membership is automatically terminated. Section G: Membership Restrictions No employee or independent contractor of the General Association or his/her spouse shall be eligible to serve as a member of the Mission Council. These restrictions shall not apply to persons who may serve as members of the Mission Council by virtue of office. ARTICLE VII


Section A: Committee on Credentials The president and two (2) vice presidents of the General Association, acting as a committee, shall appoint, at least thirty (30) days before the annual meeting, a Credentials Committee of seven (7) members to serve at the forthcoming meeting. Any questions regarding the registration or status of messengers shall be referred to this committee for decisions and the committee shall report to the General Association. Section B: Tellers Committee The president and two (2) vice presidents of the General Association, acting as a committee, shall appoint, at least thirty (30) days before the annual meeting, a Tellers Committee of six (6) members to serve at the forthcoming meeting. This committee shall collect and count ballots, count standing votes and report the results to the Chair, and accomplish other tasks as may be directed by the Chair. Section C: Committee on Boards and Committees The Committee on Boards and Committees shall consist of the immediate past president of the General Association and nine (9) members, at least four (4) of whom shall be laypersons and at least four (4) of whom shall be ministers . The president and two vice presidents of the General Association, acting as a committee, shall nominate three (3) members to be elected annually at the General Association meeting for three (3) year terms. However, no person shall be nominated to the Committee on Boards and Committees who holds membership on other committees or boards, or is an employee of the General Association or its agencies, institutions or shared ministries. 1. This committee shall nominate qualified persons to the standing committees as outlined in this Constitution/ Bylaws. Prior to presenting its report, this committee shall share with each nominee the duties and responsibilities associated with the service for which he/she is nominated, and obtain the nominee’s acceptance of said duties and responsibilities. 2. This committee shall nominate persons to the boards of trustees of all agencies, institutions, and shared ministries of the General Association in accordance with their respective charters. 3. This committee is encouraged to solicit suggestions as to qualified persons to serve on the boards and committees of the General Association. The committee is directed to see that proper distribution of membership on boards and committees reflects a wide representation of Virginia Baptists, including both laypersons and ministers. The committee shall not nominate any person to serve as a trustee of any board of any agency, institution or shared ministry of the General Association who is currently serving as a General Association nominated member on another board of any agency, institution or shared ministry of the General Association, nor shall an employee or independent contractor of the General Association be nominated to serve as a trustee of such boards. However, this restriction shall not apply to any agency, institution or shared ministry which, by its bylaws or board policy, requires 110 | BGAV 2023 Book of Reports

a specific employee of the General Association to be a member of its board. All trustees who are nominated by the Committee on Boards and Committees are eligible for consideration to succeed themselves for a second term. After two (2) terms on the board of any agency, institution or shared ministry, a trustee is not eligible for nomination to that board for at least one (1) year. Members of the Committee on Boards and Committees or their spouses shall not be nominated to other committees or boards. 4. All nominees shall be resident members of Baptist churches contributing financially to the Virginia portion of the Cooperative Missions Budget. Prior to presenting its report of nominations to the General Association, this committee shall determine the eligibility, availability and willingness of each proposed nominee to serve, if elected; and this committee shall include in its report to the General Association the place of residence and the church membership of each nominee. Section D: Committee on Scholarships and Ministerial Education Funds The Committee on Scholarships and Ministerial Education Funds shall consist of fifteen (15) members, at least seven (7) of whom shall be laypersons and at least seven (7) of whom shall be ministers. Upon nomination from the Committee on Boards and Committees, five (5) members shall be elected annually at the General Association meeting for three (3) year terms. 1. No person serving as a member of a governing board, no trustee, no employee or independent contractor of an educational institution whose students are eligible for financial assistance from the General Association, or his/her spouse, shall be eligible to serve as a member of this committee. 2.

This committee shall oversee the awarding of financial assistance from the BGAV Scholarships and Ministerial Education Funds to further the educational development of (a) persons who are preparing for the Baptist ministry and (b) emerging leaders of all ages.

Section E: Other Standing Committees The Committees on Program, Christian Life, Memorial, Religious Liberty, and Resolutions shall consist of nine (9) members each, at least four (4) of whom shall be laypersons and at least four (4) of whom shall be ministers. Upon nomination from the Committee on Boards and Committees, three (3) members of each committee shall be elected annually at the General Association meeting for three (3) year terms. 1. The Committee on Program. This committee, in consultation with the president, shall prepare the order of business for the annual meeting of the General Association, and arrange for speakers, reports, and special events of the program; consult with the host association concerning necessary arrangements and committees; and make available to the office of the executive director, by September 15, information and photographs for advance publicity, and for the printing of the program. The committee is instructed to give priority to business sessions, providing adequate time for the discussion of needs, problems, and opportunities. The committee shall recommend at each annual meeting the time and place of the meeting for at least two years in advance, giving careful consideration to the need for adequate auditorium, parking, and hotel facilities. Also, the committee may recommend at each annual meeting the speakers and/or special events for at least one year in advance. The committee shall assure that worship is emphasized during each annual meeting of the General Association. The second vice president of the General Association shall be an ex officio member of the committee. 2. The Committee on Christian Life. This committee shall study the social environment in which we live and its relation to Christian ethical standards. It shall point out in its annual report the problems confronting Christian conscience, and suggest relevant Christian teaching that should serve as a guide for attitudes and responses. 3. The Committee on Memorial. This committee shall collect and prepare for distribution biographical data concerning deceased pastors and other Baptist leaders, and shall conduct a memorial service at each annual meeting. 4. The Committee on Religious Liberty. This committee shall report to the General Association annually on the nature and importance of religious liberty and the separation of church and state, citing violations in principle and practice, BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 111

and suggestions for correcting same. This committee shall make available information relating to the subject with the view of safeguarding these cherished principles. 5. The Committee on Resolutions. This committee shall prepare and submit to the General Association for action those resolutions which it deems proper and which further the purpose of the General Association as set forth in Article II of this Constitution/Bylaws. This committee shall report to the General Association as scheduled in the adopted order of business on all resolutions referred to it, with or without recommendation or amendments. Section F: General Provisions 1. The incoming president of the General Association shall appoint the chair of each standing committee by December 15 following his/her election, and the chairs shall hold office for a term of one (1) year or until their successors are appointed. No person may serve as chair of the committee for more than two (2) years consecutively. The appointee may be an existing member of the committee or an additional member of the committee. If such appointee is not serving an elected term on the committee, the appointed term on the committee shall be for one (1) year to coincide with the year of appointment as chair. The appointee shall have had at least one (1) year’s previous service (not necessarily consecutive) on the committee. 2. No standing committee member, having served a full or partial term, shall be eligible for reelection to the same committee until after one (1) year has elapsed. All members of standing committees shall be resident members of Baptist churches contributing financially to the Virginia portion of the Cooperative Missions Budget. 3. A vacancy occurring in the membership of any of the standing committees between the sessions of the General Association may be filled by the president of the General Association for the remainder of the unexpired term. 4. Any standing committee member, absenting himself/herself from committee responsibilities for one full year without just cause given to the chair of that committee, shall be replaced by the president of the General Association for the remainder of the unexpired term upon written request of the chair of that standing committee. 5. Committees are expected to fulfill their responsibilities effectively and expeditiously, keeping meetings to the minimum number required. Committee chairs are instructed to schedule meetings, after consulting with the office of the executive director concerning dates, and to see that preparatory planning and research is done by members or others who are responsible. 6. Reports of committees will be received by the General Association at its annual meeting. However, no committee report, except from the Committee on Resolutions and the Committee on Credentials, shall be received, nor shall any of its contents or recommendations be approved by the General Association, unless such report has been submitted not later than September 15 and published on the General Association website before the annual meeting, or unless such report has been made available to the messengers at registration. Such recommendations requiring approval shall appear at the conclusion of the committee’s report. ARTICLE VIII

General Provisions Section A. New Relationships. No new relationship with an agency, institution or shared ministry shall be created by the General Association until the proposal has been studied by the Executive Board. Any motion involving the authorization of any new relationship shall be referred to the Executive Board for study and recommendation to the General Association at its next annual meeting. Section B. Consideration of Business. Matters introduced after the end of the first day of an annual meeting may not be considered at that annual meeting except by unanimous consent. Section C. Voting Requirements. The General Association shall not authorize any new relationship with an agency, institution or shared ministry which involves the expenditure of money except by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the messengers present and voting, which affirmative vote shall be not less than twenty percent (20%) of the messengers registered at such annual meeting. 112 | BGAV 2023 Book of Reports

Section D. Policy Changes. All motions which would change the policy of the General Association or recommend changes to the policy of any agency, institution or shared ministry connected with the General Association, shall be made in writing and presented on the first day of the annual meeting. Action on such motion shall occur on the second day of the annual meeting. Section E. Non-budgeted Expenditures. Any proposed action involving the obligation or the expenditure of funds not provided in the Cooperative Missions Budget of the General Association shall be referred to the Executive Board for study and for such action as it may deem appropriate. Section F. Publishing of the Constitution/Bylaws of the General Association. The Constitution/Bylaws of the General Association shall be published each year in the Book of Reports provided for the messengers to the annual meeting, and in the General Association’s Annual. Section G. Definition of Minister. Wherever used in the Constitution/Bylaws, the word minister shall be interpreted to mean a person who is an ordained minister, or who is recognized by his/her church as being in church related service, and in no way is intended to imply that laypersons are not engaged in ministry. Section H. Assistants to Clerk. The clerk of the General Association may appoint two (2) assistants. Section I. Resolutions. A resolution is defined as the expression of the opinion of registered messengers and in no way establishes the policies of the General Association. Only registered messengers, the Executive Board, and committees of the General Association are eligible to submit resolutions to the annual meeting of the General Association. Resolutions from messengers must be received in writing by the office of the Executive Director no later than October 15 and shall be referred to the Committee on Resolutions. Resolutions from the Executive Board or committees, and resolutions submitted for action by the Committee on Resolutions, must be published in the Book of Reports; or be published on the General Association website in advance of the annual meeting of the General Association; or be available to the messengers at registration. Adoption of any resolution shall require three-fourths (3/4) majority vote of the messengers present and voting. ARTICLE IX

Parliamentary Authority To protect the rights of all the members and to ensure that the will of the General Association prevails, the rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the General Association in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with this Constitution/Bylaws and any special rules of order the General Association may adopt. ARTICLE X

Amendments to the Constitution/Bylaws The Constitution/Bylaws may be amended only on the second day of the annual meeting by an affirmative vote of not less than two-thirds (2/3) of the messengers present and voting, which affirmative vote shall be not less than twenty percent (20%) of the messengers registered, provided that said amendments have been offered in writing and presented on the first day of the annual meeting. All amendments thus adopted shall become effective at the close of the annual meeting at which they are adopted. Approved by the Baptist General Association of Virginia, November 12, 2014. Amendments approved by the Baptist General Association of Virginia, November 11, 2015. Amendments approved by the Baptist General Association of Virginia, November 16, 2016. Amendments approved by the Baptist General Association of Virginia, November 16, 2022.

BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 113


Under the provisions of the Virginia Nonstock Corporation Act, Chapter 10, Title 13 .1 of the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended (the “Act”), set forth below are the amended and restated articles of incorporation of Baptist General Association of Virginia: I. The name of the corporation is “Baptist General Association of Virginia”. II. The corporation is incorporated as a continuation of, and the direct successor to, the unincorporated association more commonly known as the “Baptist General Association of Virginia” founded in 1823 (the “Association”). The corporation is organized and shall be operated for religious, educational and charitable purposes within the meaning of§ 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (“Code”), including without limitation, to (a) furnish the Baptist churches of the corporation (which Baptist churches shall not constitute “members” of the corporation, as that term is used in the Act) a means of cooperation for the propagation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, (b) advance the Redeemer’s Kingdom by all methods in accordance with the Word of God, ( c) assist and foster missions in the dissemination of Christianity, (d) assist persons preparing for the Baptist ministry, (e) nominate trustees of agencies, institutions and shared ministries whose charters require the same to be done by the corporation, (f) take, have and hold and enjoy by purchase, grant, gift, devise or bequest, estate both real and personal, (g) receive, collect and disburse money for missionary, educational and benevolent causes as may be determined to be in compliance with the objectives and purposes of the corporation, and (h) continue the mission, conduct and operations of the Association. The corporation shall have all powers and authority now or hereafter conferred upon nonstock, not-for-profit corporations organized under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia; provided, however, that (a) no part of the net earnings of the corporation shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its officers, Executive Board Members (as defined below), or other private persons, except that the corporation shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth above, (b) no substantial part of the activities of the corporation shall be the carrying on of propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation (except as provided in§ 50l(h) of the Code), and the corporation shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office, and ( c) notwithstanding any other provision of these articles, the corporation shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (i) by a corporation operated exclusively for religious, charitable and educational purposes within the meaning of, and exempt from federal income tax under, § 50l(c)(3) of the Code (or corresponding Section of any future federal tax code), or (ii) by a corporation, contributions to which are deductible under § 170( c )(2) of the Code ( or corresponding Section of any future federal tax code). III. In compliance with§ 13.1-814 of the Code of Virginia, the corporation shall not have the authority to issue shares of stock. No dividend shall be paid out and no part of the income of the corporation shall be distributed to its Executive Board Members or officers, except that the corporation may pay compensation in a reasonable amount to its Executive Board Members or officers for services rendered. IV. The corporation shall have no members. V. The registered office of the corporation shall be located at 2828 Emerywood Parkway, Richmond, Virginia 23294, in the County of Henrico, Virginia and the registered agent shall be Rev. David Washburn, an individual who is a resident of the 114 | BGAV 2023 Book of Reports

Commonwealth of Virginia and an Executive Board Member (as defined below) and whose business address is the same as the address of the initial registered office. VI. Subject to and expressly restricted by those limitations set forth in the director agreement of the corporation (the “Director Agreement”), which is intended to be, and shall be interpreted as a “director agreement” within the meaning set forth in Section 13.1-852.1 of the Act ( or any successor statute thereto) and pursuant to which certain provisions of the Act are thereby waived, and the corporation’s constitution/bylaws (the “Constitution/Bylaws”), the corporation’s management and affairs shall be vested in an executive board (the “Executive Board”, which Executive Board shall constitute and be the corporation’s “board of directors” as that term is defined in Section 13 .1-803 of the Act). The number of Executive Board Members, the powers, authority and responsibilities of the Executive Board, the manner of their election and all other matters concerning the Executive Board and the Executive Board Members shall be set forth in, the Director Agreement and the Constitution/Bylaws. VII. To the full extent that the Virginia Nonstock Corporation Act, as it exists on the date hereof or may hereafter be amended, permits the limitation (which limitation shall be (i) $1 or the minimum amount allowed to be stated by such Act if a specific dollar amount is required to be stated or (ii) the full extent of the limitation set forth in such Act if no specific dollar amount is required to be stated) or elimination of the liability of Executive Board Members or officers, an Executive Board Member or officer of the corporation shall not be liable to the corporation for monetary damages. Any amendment to or repeal of this Article shall not adversely affect any right of protection of an Executive Board Member or officer of the corporation for or with respect to any acts or omissions of such Executive Board Member or officer occurring prior to such amendment or repeal. To the full extent permitted and in the manner prescribed by the Virginia Nonstock Corporation Act and any other applicable law, the corporation shall indemnify an Executive Board Member or officer of the corporation who is or was a party to any such proceeding by reason of the fact that he is or was such an Executive Board Member or officer or is or was serving at the request of the corporation as a director, officer, employee or agent of another corporation, partnership, joint venture, trust, employee benefit plan or other enterprise. The Executive Board is hereby empowered, by majority vote of a quorum of disinterested Executive Board Members, to contract in advance to indemnify any Executive Board Member or officer. The Executive Board is hereby empowered, by majority vote of a quorum of disinterested Executive Board Members, to cause the corporation to indemnify or contract in advance to indemnify any person not specified in Section 2 of this Article VII who was or is a party to any proceeding, by reason of the fact that he is or was an employee or agent of the corporation, or is or was serving at the request of the corporation as a director, officer, employee or agent of another corporation, partnership, joint venture, trust, employee benefit plan or other enterprise, to the same extent as if such person were specified as one to whom indemnification is granted in Section 2. The corporation may purchase and maintain insurance to indemnify it against the whole or any portion of the liability assumed by it in accordance with this Article VII and may also procure insurance, in such amounts as the Executive Board may determine, on behalf of any person who is or was serving at the request of the corporation as a director, officer, employee or agent of another corporation, partnership, joint venture, trust, employee benefit plan or other enterprise, against any liability asserted against or incurred by any such person in any such capacity or arising from his status as such, whether or not the corporation would have power to indemnify him against such liability under the provisions of this Article. VII. In the event there has been a change in the composition of a majority of the Executive Board after the date of the alleged act or omission with respect to which indemnification is claimed, any determination as to indemnification and advancement of expenses with respect to any claim for indemnification made pursuant to Section 2 of this Article VII shall be made by special legal counsel agreed upon by the Executive Board and the proposed indemnitee. If the Executive Board and the proposed indemnitee are unable to agree upon such special legal counsel, the Executive Board and the proposed indemnitee each shall select a nominee, and the nominees shall select such special legal counsel. BGAV 2023 Book of Reports | 115

The provisions of this Article VII shall be applicable to all actions, claims, suits or proceedings commenced after the adoption hereof, whether arising from any action taken or failure to act before or after such adoption. No amendment, modification or repeal of this Article VII shall diminish the rights provided hereby or diminish the right to indemnification with respect to any claim, issue or matter in any then pending or subsequent proceedings that is based in any material respect on any alleged action or failure to act prior to such amendment, modification or repeal. Reference herein to Executive Board Members, directors, officers, employees or agents shall include former Executive Board Members, directors, officers, employees and agents and their respective estates, heirs, executors and administrators. VIII. For any period during which the corporation is a “private foundation” as defined by Section 509 of the Code, and only during such period(s), the corporation shall be subject to the following restrictions and prohibitions: the corporation shall distribute its income for each taxable year at such time and in such manner as not to become subject to the tax on undistributed income imposed by §4942 of the Code; the corporation shall not engage in any act of self-dealing as defined in §4941(d) of the Code; the corporation shall not retain any excess business holdings as defined in §4943(c) of the Code; the corporation shall not make any investments m such manner as to subject it to tax under §4944 of the Code; and the corporation shall not make any taxable expenditures as defined in §4945(d) of the Code. IX. It is the intent of the corporation to continue the works and services described in Article II above in perpetuity, and there is no intent to dissolve the corporation. However, to preserve and maintain the corporation’s non-profit, taxexempt status, this Article IX shall provide for the distribution of the corporation’s assets upon any dissolution of the corporation. Accordingly, upon the dissolution of the corporation, the Executive Board shall, after making provision for the payment of all of the liabilities of the corporation, dispose of all of the assets of the corporation (a) for one or more of the exempt purposes of the corporation within the meaning of §501(c)(3) of the Code or (b) to a fund, foundation or corporation, or more than one such organization organized and operated exclusively for charitable, scientific, religious or educational purposes as shall at the time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under §501(c)(3) of the Code. X. These articles of incorporation may not be amended or restated, whether in whole or in part, without the affirmative vote of at least ninety-percent (90%) of the Executive Board Members then currently serving.

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