VOL 2, ISSUE 1
Disaster Response The latest updates on response efforts and remembering a dear friend 10
Annual Meeting Recap
Check out photos and articles from this yearâ€™s meeting in Roanoke 12
BGAV sponsors training for churches with immigrant populations 23
“SINGING IN A FOREIGN LAND” by John Upton
“How can we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?” Psalm 137:4 (NASB) This is perhaps one of the most interesting and confusing periods of time in which to live. Have you ever seen more anxiety at the start of a new year? “Fear Talk” is everywhere. It doesn’t matter if you are churched or not, American or not, Democrat or Republican, British or Syrian, young or old, everyone is feeling displaced right now. It seems that everyone is feeling as if something has been lost to them that they want to get back, but can’t. Many have lost enough that when they wake up, they don’t even recognize their own lives anymore. This seems to be happening in almost all areas of people’s lives: the death of social values that once were the norms, a hope for a future that doesn’t appear possible anymore, or certainties that were once cherished turning into ashes. Any of that, and all of that, becomes a kind of displacement inside our own lives. There is a sense of loss of place, and what we are left with is a sense of living in an alien land. Everyone is trying to find a way to cope with this sense of a new reality in which we all find ourselves. Some are saying, “Cheer up! Look on the bright side.” I’m so glad our faith is real. When God’s people have been in similar times before, they didn’t just try to cheer up; they were honest and said, “How can we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?” They hung up their harps on the trees and were silent. Sometimes our silence is our witness to the truth, and silence is never empty. Something vital moves within us as we are silent.
Sometimes our silence is our witness to the truth, and silence is never empty. Something vital moves within us as we are silent. What moves most often within us is memory and a firm resolve to keep remembering. As we remember Zion, we hold on to a deep resolve to face the lostness before us by remembering powerful memories. We remember we are a beloved community of God. That memory provides us with deep clarity and strength. As we go back to where no present trouble can reach us, we remember there is a blessing laid on our lives and on our churches. We remember we are a community of faith, of courage, of kindness, and that we have a redemptive message that everyone in the world needs. We remember who we are, whose we are, and that we have a divine call which stands underneath a divine promise which is eternal.
JOHN UPTON is the Executive Director of the BGAV.
On the night when Jesus set a table for his friends, he said twice, “Do this in remembrance of me.” Remember his healing touch, his friendship, his stories, his words of judgment and warning, his words of comfort and courage, how he prayed and how he laughed, how he cried, and all the ways he was the love of God for us for and the world. Remember, he said. After the meal he sang; he sang the Lord’s song. He sang the Lord’s song with them before he went into the night. In only a few hours, the powers would string him up like another abandoned harp, hanging on a tree. On the third day, the love of God stirred the strings again, and music came forth. Music is still coming forth; it is the powerful and beautiful song of Christ. When we are too discouraged and too tired to sing for ourselves, Christ will sing for us, and he will help us sing for each other and for the world. Then, maybe, if we haven’t already done so, we can take down our harps and join in a song for all of Babylon to hear. A displaced world is waiting for the music to begin again. What a great calling we share together.
4 // BGAV News & Notes 6 // Because of You 8 // Kingdom Pioneer Spotlight 9 // Church Planting Updates 10 // Disaster Response Updates 12 // BGAV Gathers for 193rd Annual Meeting 16 // “Change-A-Home” Helped Change a Life 18 // Fresh Expressions: Sowing Generously 19 // Hospitality on a Tuesday 20 // A Long Row to Hoe 22 // 4 Ways to Increase Your Child’s Spiritual Life 23 // Studying Immigration Law for Life-Changing Impact 24 // Worship in Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter! 26 // How to Make Your New Year Really New 27 // Latest Ministry Jobs
BGAV Gathers for 193rd Annual Meeting // pg 12
BGAV Advancing the Kingdom Together
A publication of the Baptist General Association of Virginia Volume 2, Issue 1 Winter 2017 BGAV Express is published quarterly by the Baptist General Association of Virginia, 2828 Emerywood Parkway, Henrico, VA 23294.
Send subscription requests to: Linda Peay firstname.lastname@example.org 800.255.2428, ext. 1204 Or visit BGAV.org/Express. Send address changes to: BGAV Express Baptist General Association of Virginia 2828 Emerywood Parkway Henrico, VA 23294 toll-free 800.255.2428
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: John V. Upton, Jr. CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER & BGAV EXPRESS EDITOR: Nathan White SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Meghan Wilson ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Linda Peay ASSISTANT EDITOR: Jennifer Law
Tom Ingram Retires from BGAV
Kairos Collegiate Ministry Staff Changes
Rev. Thomas (Tom) Ingram, Worship and Church Music Specialist and Field Strategist, retired at the end of 2016.
Blake Tommey, Baptist collegiate minister at the University of Virginia, feeling called to other contexts of ministries, stepped away from campus ministry at the end of the year.
“Virginia Baptists have been blessed to have Tom Ingram serve them faithfully for 22 years,” Executive Director John Upton said. “Tom is a gifted leader of worship, a superb musician, a caring field strategist, and a good friend. As Tom closes this chapter in his life and begins the next, he retires with our deepest appreciation. I have no doubt he will continue to serve churches with his capable skills for years to come. We can all give thanks for that.”
Jennifer Mullins, Baptist collegiate minister at Radford University, also decided to leave campus ministry at the end of the year in order to support her husband who has been called to be senior pastor at New Highland Baptist Church in Mechanicsville, VA. Carey Sims, Baptist collegiate minister at the University of Mary Washington, has stepped into a part-time role as her husband, Gannon, has assumed a full-time position with Fresh Expressions US. Due to BGAV budget limitations, Daphne Almarode, Baptist collegiate minister at James Madison University, Bridgewater College, and Mary Baldwin College, ended her service at the end of year.
“These last 22 years at the BGAV have been a wonderful, life-changing and challenging experience, with many varied opportunities, including working and ministering alongside some of God’s choicest people,” Ingram reflected. “I never imagined that God would allow me to serve Him in so many ways and in so many places.”
“The BGAV will experience several personnel changes in several areas of staff in 2017,” John Upton, executive director, said. “The changes are a result of retirement, change in calling, employment transitions, and reduction in budgets. The BGAV has a highly gifted staff, and any change in personnel is felt both personally and professionally. While we experience these changes, the BGAV staff will continue to provide a wide scope of ministries performed with high quality operating within budget.”
Ingram began his career as a baritone soloist while in college at Wake Forest University, before serving as minister of music at several churches in Georgia, Kentucky, and Virginia. After serving as minister of youth and music at Bon Air Baptist Church in Richmond, Ingram moved to Danville to become Assistant Professor of Christian Studies, Music, and Religion at Averett University for seven years.
BGAV Welcomes New Staff Members
If you call the Virginia Baptist Resource Center, you may hear a new voice answering the phone. We welcome Anne Trevvett as our morning front-desk receptionist.
While in Danville, he served Lee Street Baptist Church and College Park Baptist Church as minister of music. Ingram moved back to Richmond in 1983 to become the minister of music and administration at Hatcher Memorial Baptist Church. He began working for the Virginia Baptist Mission Board in 1994.
Another friendly face at the Virginia Baptist Resource Center as of January 1 is the new properties manager for the building, Sarah Jean Russell.
“I am indeed grateful to all of the people who made these years possible, including Bob Cochran, Jack Price, Howard Lee, Reggie McDonough, John Upton, Ray Pollard, John Chandler, Mike Harton, Wayne Faison, Ken Kessler, and Susan McBride,” Ingram said. “I look forward to the next chapter in my life and pray that it will be a time that honors God and that advances the Redeemer’s Kingdom.” Anne Trevvett 4
Sarah Jean Russell
NEWS + NOTES
Complete list of events at BGAV.org/Events
Event Calendar January
Karl Heilman began January 1 as part-time field strategist for the Capital region. Karl brings a wealth of knowledge to the position as pastor of Sandston Baptist Church just outside Richmond, where he will continue to serve.
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The BGAV is excited to announce that the new and improved BGAV Minister Matching website is officially open for new candidate profiles. This new system has been designed to be easier to use and more effective in matching.
Mission Matters, Vienna, VA Kairos Leadership Initiative (KLI) Retreat, Lynchburg, VA Virginia Baptist All-State Choirs Rehearsal, Richmond, VA Virginia Baptist Male Chorale Retreat, Lynchburg, VA
MinisterMatching.com allows the prospective candidate to create a detailed profile and professional résumé as well as consider preferences for the position being sought. It allows churches to enter detailed information about their church and the position they are seeking to fill. This information will enable the church and the candidate to be matched appropriately so that search committees and congregations will be comfortable with the quality of the résumés which result from the matching process.
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Bookmark MinisterMatching.com today!
NEW! Ministry Equipping Network Offers Training, Certification
The BGAV Ministry Equipping Network is designed for pastors, ministers, and lay leaders to have access to single courses in a specific ministry area or to be able to complete a comprehensive program that results in a Ministry Certification. The Ministry Equipping Network provides interactive, online courses to give participants the benefit of logging in from their locations while interacting with the instructor and networking with fellow participants. Additionally, instructors will be available for in-person training for churches or associations that want to schedule a training day in their area.
Virginia Baptist Handbell Festival, Lynchburg, VA Virginia Baptist Handbell Festival, Glen Allen, VA Tax and Compensation Planning Seminar, Annandale, VA Empower Class 501: Building Blocks for Powerful Coaching, Richmond, VA Congregational Champions Retreat, Richmond, VA Tax and Compensation Planning Seminar, Richmond, VA Tax and Compensation Planning Seminar, Chesapeake, VA Tax and Compensation Planning Seminar, Dillwyn, VA
March 2-3 2 3-4 6 9 10-12
The BGAV Ministry Equipping Network will offer courses in Children’s Ministry, Youth Ministry, and Family Ministry. Learn more at BGAV.org/EquippingNetwork.
For more BGAV news, visit BGAV.org/News 5
Empower Class 502: Establishing a Dynamic Coaching Relationship, Richmond, VA Tax and Compensation Planning Seminar, Halifax, VA Virginia Baptist All-State Choirs Concert Weekend, Richmond, VA Tax and Compensation Planning Seminar, Roanoke, VA Tax and Compensation Planning Seminar, Stafford, VA Journey: A Retreat for High School Students, Lynchburg, VA Tax and Compensation Planning Seminar, Abingdon, VA Tax and Compensation Planning Seminar, Harrisonburg, VA Mission Craft Retreat, Richmond, VA Empower Class 503: Coaching for Change, Transition and Transformation, Richmond, VA
...hundreds of teenagers and adults with special needs gathered together at Eagle Eyrie Conference Center for the 42nd Retreat for Youth and Adults with Special Needs. This annual retreat provides a fun and safe space where students can fellowship together and learn more about their faith. Fun activities included a talent show, group sharing time, and a Saturday evening dance.
...middle school students from all over Virginia climbed the mountain at Eagle Eyrie for the Ignite retreat. They spent the weekend learning about their roles in the Kingdom of God, specifically studying the Lordâ€™s Prayer. Rev. Danny Quirin served as the main speaker, and Reign led the music in worship.
...young adults and college students attended the Kairos Collegiate Fall Conference at Eagle Eyrie. Students heard from Cesar Sotomayor, an international church planter serving in Austria, who is sponsored by the BGAV. In addition to worshipping together, students attended breakout sessions, enjoyed an open mic time, and dressed up for a costume dance party.
...leaders are receiving high-level coach training through the BGAVâ€™s Empower Coaching Network. Led by Ken Kessler, many pastors and lay leaders are learning the value of having a life and leadership coach come alongside them in their journey and help them take the steps necessary to move forward in their spiritual journeys. Learn more at BGAV.org/Empower.
...dozens of volunteers headed down to the Carolinas to help with cleanup efforts following the floods and devastation from Hurricane Matthew. Teams helped clear debris, clean out houses that had been flooded, and served thousands of meals to folks taking refuge in shelters.
m o d g ? n i r K ionee P
a s I t Wha
Webster’s Dictionary defines a pioneer as a person who helps create or develop new ideas or methods. A Kingdom Pioneer reflects the BGAV values of being:
KINGDOM PIONEeRs #I
relationally rich, gospel-centric, reasonable and gracious, has a heart for the “not-yet,” and believes in investing generously in shared mission.
International Church Planter (Austria) “I wanted to work with refugees and to welcome the stranger in the Middle East. God has humor and opened the door in Austria.” Born in Mexico, Cesar felt called to serve in the Middle East to work with refugees displaced from the ravages of war. Quite unexpectedly, he has found himself serving in Vienna, Austria, working among several groups of refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and beyond. We are blessed to offer support through a partnership with the European Baptist Federation. Please pray for strength and safety as he and his young family serve faithfully to those folks who are living on the margins.
A K I NGDOM PION Ee R
CHURCH PLANTING UPDATES Below are two reports from BGAV church plants. Please be in prayer for each church as they work to share the gospel in their communities. Church of the Beloved, Centreville, VA “We are in the midst of learning how to pray together as a young church. As a church plant that is not even a year old, we are coming back to the basics of learning to pray together: for each other, for our neighbors, and for the community. Our hope is to become a church that is grounded and rooted in prayer, because we believe that is when we will see God move the most, including drawing people to himself through our church. Would you pray that our church would become a house of prayer?” Matthew Yi and his family at Church of the Beloved in Centreville, VA
The Grove Church, Fayetteville, NC “We are a six-month-old church plant located in the military city of Fayetteville, NC. From the start, our mission has been to reach the 250,000 dechurched and unchurched people in our city. We have found that the best strategy to reach that demographic is through normal, everyday friendships and relationships. Most recently, we have focused on deepening and building those relationships through block parties and food. Through this intentional community, God has already softened the hearts of five families to join us for a weekly Bible study. Please continue to pray that God would use us to make his name famous in our city.” DID YOU KNOW? The BGAV is fueling a church planting movement in Virginia and beyond. Out of hundreds of eligible and trained church planters, we have the opportunity to fund a large percentage of these church plants with your financial support. Want to help spread the gospel? We are seeking to raise $750,000.00 in order to (a) increase the total number of BGAV churches to 1,500 by 2020 and (b) plant a BGAV church in every state by 2025. Visit BGAV.org/Donate or give to the Alma Hunt Offering for Virginia Missions (AlmaHunt.org) to help with BGAV churchplanting efforts.
TAX and compensation planning SEMINARS 2017
Visit BGAV.org/Tax-Seminars for more information.
Central Baptist Church Begins to Rebuild After Tornado
the pews and furniture. The sanctuary is expected to be complete by May 2017. The small, country church has been in the community since 1893. In addition, there is a cemetery alongside the church where many gravestones were knocked over during the tornado. Robinson Funeral Home and L.E. Simmons Monument Company of Farmville worked together to restore the cemetery.
On February 24, 2016, an EF3 tornado struck Appomattox County, damaging and destroying several dozen homes and businesses, including Central Baptist Church. “(It was) devastating and it was even worse when you got here to think and see just what really was gone because it was totally demolished,” Central Baptist Church Member Peggy More said.
(Compiled from BGAV reports, WDBJ-7, and The News & Advance)
Volunteers Serve at the BGAV Annual Meeting As a busy year came to a close, Virginia Baptist Disaster Response volunteers served attendees at the 2016 BGAV Annual Meeting in Roanoke. Held at Bonsack Baptist Church in Roanoke, volunteers set up the Nickelsville-based feeding unit, a command unit, and the children’s response team’s equipment to serve throughout the meeting.
Church members break ground on Central Baptist Church’s new building.
Attendees looking for a tasty lunch on Tuesday were treated to a menu of pork BBQ, chicken fajitas, and chicken tenders, while fresh-baked cookies, brownies, and cinnamon rolls were a welcome sight and smell throughout the foyer at Bonsack.
Attempts were made to salvage some things out of the parsonage, but everything was damaged beyond repair. Unprompted, the community generously responded by donating nearly $150,000 to rebuild the sanctuary. “In a disaster, you really find out who the good people are,” said Nelson Mann, deacon chair.
As Disaster Response Coordinator Aaron Lee shared with WDBJ-7, “They’re going through all of the motions that they will actually do, in peace time when they’re not stressed, so that they can get the habits and the rhythms down. So when a disaster comes, they’ll be ready to go.”
Since the storm, church members have been holding services in a conference room at the Appomattox Baptist Association building, about seven miles away.
Volunteers also utilized the meeting as a reunion of sorts, finding familiar faces from 2016 responses across Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Missouri, and Louisiana.
Thankfully, church members gathered together December 11 for a ground-breaking ceremony for their new building. Plans show that the new building will look a lot like the old church, although a bit smaller. The sanctuary is designed to have two aisles instead of three and Sunday School space will be adapted from the new fellowship hall, using dividers if necessary.
Virginia Baptist Disaster Response volunteers continue to serve in North Carolina following Hurricane Matthew, while also supporting long-term recovery in Appomattox and Essex counties in the Commonwealth following the February tornadoes, and West Virginia following summer floods.
Money from insurance will cover the rest of the $500,000 total estimated costs, however, the congregation will need to furnish
Training opportunities can be found at BGAV.org/Disaster with more to be announced throughout the year.
Lloyd Jackson It is with heavy hearts that we learned that the Rev. Dr. Lloyd Franklin Jackson passed away October 20, 2016. Many disaster response volunteers and Virginia Baptists who knew Lloyd personally all knew of the fruits of his ministry. Over the past five decades, Lloyd was instrumental in the genesis of disaster relief ministry within the BGAV family. Lloyd joined the staff of the Virginia Baptist General Board (now Baptist General Association of Virginia) leading our Baptist camps, focusing on mission programming with men and boys. Soon after, he added disaster relief to his work. Lloyd volunteered his service with Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, where he served as a member of the national steering committee and feeding committee, along with leadership roles with the American Red Cross and the Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD). He was closely connected with the American Red Cross through some of the earliest Baptist feeding operations, and he continued to support the relationship between these two groups as he helped formulate the most recent Memorandum of Understanding in 2015.
of Wallace, NC, during our Hurricane Matthew response because that was his home church as a boy.” “Lloyd Jackson is, without doubt, the father of Virginia Baptist Disaster Response Ministries,” added Dean Miller, Mission Development staff coordinator and previous Disaster Response coordinator. “His compassion and leadership has guided Baptists nationwide to serve those in need during perhaps their most vulnerable periods of life. His personal influence among the leadership of Virginia Baptists has left an everlasting mark on our lives.”
“From my first weeks on the job, Lloyd was quick to offer a listening ear and point me in the right direction,” said Aaron Lee, current BGAV Disaster Response Coordinator. “He was so excited to learn our feeding units served at First Baptist Church
Hurricane Matthew Update During the first week of October 2016, the East Coast prepared for the first U.S. hurricane landfall since 2005. As Hurricane Matthew followed the Atlantic coast, it left a path of destruction.
The cleanup effort in Rocky Mount and Tarboro came to a close on December 10, more than two months after Hurricane Matthew passed through North Carolina. Teams coordinated by BGAV leaders gutted, cleaned, and fogged homes for nine weeks.
In the days and weeks that followed, Virginia Baptist Disaster Response feeding and recovery volunteers assisted residents in Rocky Mount, Tarboro, and Wallace, NC. For two weeks, our largest kitchens prepared 40,681 meals in Rocky Mount and Wallace, while recovery teams began cleaning debris and spraying for mold in Rocky Mount. Chain saw teams responded to Conway, SC, and the BGAV provided assessment and logistical support to volunteer teams in Virginia.
To keep updated on continued recovery efforts, visit BGAV.org/Disaster or Facebook.com/VB.Disaster.
BGAV Gathers for 193rd Annual Meeting The 193rd Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) Annual Meeting took place Monday through Wednesday, November 14-16, 2016, at Bonsack Baptist Church in Roanoke, Virginia. Ministers and lay leaders from many BGAV churches gathered for fellowship, worship, training, and business. On Monday, registration and the ministry fair of 45 exhibitors opened in the early afternoon. Nearly 100 ministers met at the Virginia Baptist Pastors’ Conference held at 12:30 p.m., and at 4:00 p.m., attendees had a choice of five breakout sessions. This year was the first time that breakout sessions were held on a Monday in addition to those available on Tuesday. That evening, attendees worshipped together in the first Gathering, which featured a powerful worship service led by Barry Green, Bonsack’s Minister of Music. Chris Cadenhead, the church’s pastor, gave a warm welcome to the BGAV community, and John Upton, BGAV Executive Director, offered an interpretation of the meeting’s theme, “The New Way.” He reminded Virginia Baptists of the heritage from which they come, challenging them to “remember the courage of those before us as they led with faith, fortitude, and sacrifice.” Tuesday began with a business session, during which the BGAV welcomed Northern Seminary and Campbell Divinity School as new partners. Andrew Wakefield, dean at Campbell’s Divinity School, and William Shiell, president of Northern Seminary, were present and signed covenants to formalize the relationships between the schools and the BGAV. Certificates were also presented in appreciation to Daphne Almarode and Jennifer Mullins for their service as collegiate ministers at James Madison University and Radford University.
During the session, several individuals were recognized with resolutions of appreciation in their retirements, including Charles Chandler, founder and executive director of Ministering to Ministers; Daniel Carro, BGAV Kingdom Advance Ambassador; Richard “Dick” Bidwell, past chair of multiple BGAV committees regarding budget and bylaws and moderator/parliamentarian for Richmond Baptist Association (now River City Faith Network); Tom Ingram, BGAV Field Strategist, Capital Region and Worship and Church Music Specialist; and Brent Walker, executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty.
Reports from the Virginia Baptist Executive Board were offered, including proposed amendments to the Constitution/Bylaws and the proposed 2017 budget, which were later discussed during afternoon breakout sessions. Worship followed, and then attendees were offered a lunch that was served by Virginia Baptist Disaster Response volunteers.
Left: Attendees watch a video of one of the BGAV’s church plants. Below: Gabe Lyons, guest speaker, addresses the crowd during Tuesday night’s worship service.
E. Stuart “Stu” Crow (center) is elected BGAV President for 2017. for 2017; E. Stuart “Stu” Crow, a member of First Baptist Church, Waynesboro, was nominated and elected to serve next year as president. George Fletcher, retired pastor of First Baptist Church, Winchester, was elected as 1st Vice President. Michael Cheuk will serve as 2nd Vice President, and Fred Anderson will serve as clerk for a 35th year. The body approved new Mission Council members and Executive Board members as well, including Carl Johnson as chair of the Executive Board. In additional business, the Religious Liberty Committee brought forward a resolution calling on Virginia Baptists to “speak out against anti-Muslim rhetoric and bigotry, learn about Islam, get to know their Muslim neighbors, meet and talk with them about their respective faiths and common concerns, such as religious liberty, and above all else show them the love of Jesus…” The resolution passed with a 78 percent majority. The proposed amendments to the Constitution/Bylaws passed without discussion. Messengers and guests then worshipped together and closed their final session with a time of communion. Upton concluded, “We will leave this place one family, but we will go to many different places of worship. It is important to remember who we are…God and his love will have the last word so that we can go in confidence.”
Eleven breakout sessions were available during Tuesday afternoon. Later, Bonsack’s praise band led evening worship. Gabe Lyons, keynote speaker, challenged his listeners by asking, “What does it look like for Jesus to show up in our churches this year, the next year, and the next generation?” He engaged attendees by opening up for questions, and then the day ended with a dessert fellowship sponsored by Entrust Financial Credit Union.
The 194th Annual Meeting of the BGAV will be held November 13–15, 2017, in the Hampton Roads area.
For more articles and photos, visit BGAV.org/2016Meeting
At Wednesday morning’s business session, members voted to approve the 2017 budget of $10 million, reflecting a $500,000 reduction compared to 2016. Messengers elected new officers 13
Clockwise from top: Disaster Response volunteers hand out warm pastries to meeting attendees. WMUV staff hold races in the Ministry Fair area. Lynn Litchfield of GraceInside performs her “Hope” skit. Bonsack Baptist Church’s praise team lead worship on Tuesday night. The Bonsack Baptist Church choir performs “A Shepherd’s Heart” on Monday evening.
Clockwise from top: Field Strategist Tom Ingram hands out registration bags during the meeting. Ken Kessler talks with an attendee during the pastor’s conference. Valerie Carter, WMUV president, speaks about the Alma Hunt Offering during Tuesday night worship. CrossRoads Director Chad Davidson speaks with Anna Miller in the Ministry Fair. Bonsack Baptist Church staff members Barry Green, Chris Cadenhead, and Danny Quirin perform their skit, “Lucky” on Wednesday morning.
“Change-A-Home” Helped Change a Life by Linda Peay What started out as a chance for the youth group at North Fork Baptist Church to learn more about serving their community in Virgilina expanded to a meaningful church-wide mission opportunity. The youth committee began looking for mission opportunities by surveying church members to find those who needed assistance with their homes. Church member Carey Dean Morris—a disabled man who takes care of his grandchildren—resided in a mobile home that was in need of serious repairs beyond what he could handle himself. Once members of the church reviewed his home’s needs, they realized it would involve more than just a paint job and replacing a porch. The interior was deteriorating and the kitchen floor was caving in. Sherry Ballew, wife of Pastor Doug Ballew, pondered what could be done for Morris and at what cost. “We didn’t proceed to paint. We proceeded to pray and wait for God’s initiative,” said Sherry.
Sherry Ballew shares her display about “Change-A-Home” at the Southside regional meeting at the annual meeting of the BGAV.
Later that year, coincidentally, the VBS curriculum theme included “Change-A-Home” as a mission choice. The church encouraged the congregation to give loose change in handmade banks to raise funds. An estimated cost for a refurbished mobile home ranged from $10,000–$15,000; however, the ultimate gift would be to provide Morris with a new one, which was estimated to cost more than $57,000. Could it happen? Initially, they had doubts. But when they counted donations, Sherry realized that God was in the mix of providing Morris with a new mobile home. She just didn’t know God’s timing.
Several were listening to North Fork’s story, and the Ballews were very pleased to bring home about $200 from cash donations given at the meeting. However, when they got home, an envelope with a Christmas card had arrived in the mail. Inside the card was a check for $15,000. Overcome with emotion, Sherry read the words of the anonymous donor who said she was so moved by the energy and excitement revolving around the project that she wanted to help. “The contagious spirit of God moved her,” said Sherry. “I realized that His planning exceeds anything we strive to do. Sometimes we struggle to accomplish something, but if we wait and watch, God initiates. He takes full responsibility, and that’s what we saw happen,” Sherry told the Gazette-Virginian in an interview.
As word got out, the community responded. In the first week, an anonymous donation of $1,000 came in, and that gift energized many in the church. Clayton Homes of South Boston wanted to help. In addition, one community member donated his services (typically costing $10,000) to set up the home. Another builder stepped up to provide the porches.
Through all of this fundraising, people close to the project said there were skeptical, but they could not deny God’s work in the situation. One member related to Sherry, “I know you think this mission was for Carey Dean, and it was; however, it was really for all of us.” The representative from Clayton Homes also affirmed similar thoughts. “You think this mission was for him, but it was for me. God has changed me.”
They raised money through gospel concerts and other fundraisers. With all of these contributions, they were about $15,000 shy of the total they needed. Meanwhile, the annual meeting of the BGAV in Roanoke was approaching, and Tony Brooks, BGAV field strategist for Southside region, invited churches to bring a display of their ministries to share. Doug and Sherry brought the handmade “home bank” and poster showing Dean’s current home and the new one the church wanted to provide. Attendees shared their ministries during the regional meeting, not knowing who was listening.
With the remaining amount realized, plans quickly moved to have Dean and his family to be in the new home by December 23. Coming home for Christmas had a whole new meaning for Dean and the people of North Fork Baptist Church. For more #KingdomStories, visit BGAV.org/Blog 16
“When we have poured out all we have, God restores us to do things that we thought were impossible.” - Jeremiah & Allison Hurst Venturers, norway
“I try to be obedient to His mission, faithful to my identity in Him, and to stay focused on His Kingdom vision.” - Melanie Lassiter Church and Community Ministry Director, Peninsula Baptist Association
Since 1823, faithful BGAV pioneers have been committed to developing, planting, and sending Kingdom pioneers for a lost and broken world. Your giving to Cooperative Missions assists Kingdom Pioneers—along with many other ministries and initiatives—in the state and beyond.
“I often ask God to send me to places where I’d feel most uncomfortable.” - Justin Pierson Student, Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond Richmond, VA
2017 Budget Information Now Available at BGAV.org!
COOPERA IVE MISSI NS your giving keeps on giving For more information, visit BGAV.org/CM.
Sowing Generously by Gannon Sims
What does it mean to sow generously? This question, gleaned from 1 Corinthians 9, is what our Fresh Expressions team ponders and prays together as we consider our mandate of putting the church Jesus loves closer to the people Jesus loves.
gifts of the various members best align with the needs of the community. Mike Gray, pastor of Newington Baptist Church in Gloucester, is a great example of a permission-giving pastor. When Andrea Anderson, a young woman in his congregation, discovered that her best relationships were with the unchurched moms in her community, she started a Tuesday group at her house for the mothers without any expectation that any of them would join her church. She’s now reaching 15-20 moms and 15-20 children every week with zero dollars from the budget of her church. And she is extending Newington’s reach in the community through this Fresh Expression of church.
To sow generously, we literally give ourselves away. This sort of generous spirit is what caused the BGAV to get this movement started in the first place. And it’s what will continue the momentum of what we earnestly believe to be part of the greater re-evangelization of the United States. As we generously sow the seeds for re-evangelization, awakening, and revival in Virginia and beyond, it’s worth asking how we help the church move closer to the people Jesus loves in the same way that Jesus moves closer to us.
Supporters are the people within the congregation that pray for and resource this work. Katie Harding, a member of our Fresh Expressions Board and associate director of the NorthStar Church Network in Northern Virginia, is training intercessory prayer teams in churches who pray for new opportunities for the church to extend their witness into the community and for the pastors and pioneers who are doing the work.
We believe that every church can create new forms of itself among those people it isn’t already reaching by identifying permissiongivers, supporters, and pioneers within the congregation.
Pioneers are the everyday disciples of Jesus called to put their faith into action by coming alongside and gathering those in their circle of friends and neighbors who don’t go to church. They are often people who have a knack for starting something. They often have a holy thorn, or a nagging within them to do ministry in a different way. Some, like Andrea Anderson in Gloucester, gather people in the home. Others, like Greg LeMaster in Powhatan, gather people in restaurants and coffee shops. When it’s warm outside, some, like Nita May in Tappahannock, gather people by the river. These pioneering leaders are cropping up across Virginia and are extending our reach.
Permission-givers are often the pastors or church leaders who release the people in their congregation to do what they’re called to do. Permission-givers convene conversations about how the
UPCOMING EVENTS January 27
Fresh Expressions Vision Day Ivy Memorial Baptist Church Hampton, VA
The Amore Project: Reimagining the Family on Mission Cardinal Keeler Center, Harrisburg, PA
Fresh Expressions Vision Day Second Baptist Church Richmond , VA
To learn more about Fresh Expressions and how you can sow generously as a permission-giver, supporter, or pioneer, join us at an event near you or contact us to schedule an event in your area.
Details for these and other events can be found at FreshExpressionsUS.org!
For more information, visit FreshExpressionsUS.org 18
I was once told that you never know what’s going to happen in ministry. One day could be totally different from the next. And that was particularly true on a Tuesday at Mooreland Baptist Church four years ago. I was working in the office at the church as usual. For safety, I always keep the doors locked when I am in the building by myself. And I was used to the usual people who came by the church: church members, people visiting the cemetery, and the UPS delivery man. But on this particular Tuesday, I heard a knock on the door, and it wasn’t any of the usual visitors to the church. I opened the door to a commercial truck driver who was particularly upset. “Please, please, can I park in your parking lot to sleep?” he asked. “I am out of miles, and I have to sleep. I thought this road would be a sleepy little road, and I wouldn’t be noticed. I knew that wasn’t going to work when I saw all these houses. I don’t know what to do,” he explained.
Hospitality on a Tuesday
“Let me make some phone calls,” I told him. I quickly called our head deacon and told him about the situation. We decided immediately that he could stay if he could fit the truck on the pavement. We didn’t have anything going on that day, and the parked truck wouldn’t be a problem.
by Jillian Andrzejewski
He promised me he would leave that night and be on his way to Danville to unload the truck. He said goodbye and finally went to take his nap.
I went out to the driver and asked, “Can you fit the truck on the pavement?” His eyes lit up as he answered, “Oh yes, I can do that. And if I mess up the grass, I will have it fixed for you.” And sure enough, he was right. He could fit the truck on our pavement without much trouble. After parking the truck, the man looked into my eyes and said, “Thank you so much. You all have been so kind. Most people aren’t very nice to truck drivers. You all are different. Thank you.”
No two days in the ministry are alike, are they? You never know who will show up at your door. Rev. Jillian Andrzejewski is the pastor of Mooreland Baptist Church, south of Charlottesville, VA. She is a member of the Virginia Baptist Mission Council.
Do you have a #KingdomStory to share? Contact Nathan White at email@example.com. 19
ROW to Hoe A Letter from Our Intern
Greetings from the desk of an older professional but a very young minister. Iâ€™m Neil Zahradka, a student at Baptist Theological Seminary of Richmond, and I am blessed to be spending a few months as an intern with the Mission Development staff of the BGAV. Between now and April, I hope to make visible some exciting connections between food and faith, building on national momentum around the importance of local, healthy food, and connecting that with insights on the value of agriculture as an instrument of connection with God. I will focus not only on ministries like urban agriculture and church gardens that produce food for hungry people, but also on connections between food and faith that run even deeper into our rhythms of Christian life. I suspect that Jesus had something like this in mind when he centered the remembrance of Him in the sharing of a meal. I was the â€œbabyâ€? in a family of four children on a farm in Prince George County, and my parents are also the children of farmers. I grew up watching things grow. I would love to say I appreciated this from the beginning, but since our family income was dependent upon that growth, my early experiences were not as romantic as they were focused on work. For me, the connection between cultivation of soil and spirit would not be discovered for decades. I headed to Virginia Tech in 1988, aspiring to major in engineering and go to work in an industrial setting. I landed in the Agricultural Engineering department, though, and became 20
Left: Members of Central Baptist Church harvest some produce from its community garden. Below: Neil Zahradka, intern with BGAV Hunger Ministry
enamored with the science underneath all that growth I had taken for granted as a child.
steeple brings new meaning to watching things grow, and I want to learn how to share that experience.
For the past 12 years, I have worked at the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to manage regulatory programs designed to ensure that agricultural practices protect ground water and surface water.
My initial work with BGAV is focusing on connecting with congregations with similar garden ministries and building a network of resources that will expand opportunities to connect to God through agriculture and the provision of food. I look forward to learning from you, and to sharing in this Kingdom work together.
I grew up attending a small, rural United Methodist Church, and my relationship with Jesus began at a youth retreat in high school. While I was blessed to find a spiritual home in Blacksburg, singing and doing mission work with the Wesley Foundation, I ultimately came to call volunteer rescue squad my ministry for 13 years. It was during this time that I met my wife, Amy, and began worshipping with her at Richmond’s First Baptist Church. Later, in 2008, we joined Central Baptist Church in Chesterfield.
If your church has a community garden and would like to connect and consult with Neil for additional resources, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My call to seminary came shortly thereafter in 2009, and I initially suspected that a career change was in store. I began to realize that all the time I was watching things grow; immersing myself in soil and water conservation textbooks; committing to emergency medical response; making connections with Virginia Cooperative Extension and other community and crop experts; and engaging in my seminary journey; God was weaving my experiences into a tapestry centered on food and its connections with Christian faith.
Neil’s work at the ministry of the community garden and food pantry at Central Baptist Church and food ministries at 50 other congregations and agencies in Virginia are supported by your generosity through the BGAV Hunger Ministry. Donate online to support ministries providing food for the hungry, or apply to request funds for your own congregation’s food pantry or feeding program at BGAV.org/Hunger.
For the last year, I have coordinated a small garden at Central Baptist Church that provides fresh produce for the church’s onsite food pantry. Tending a garden in the shadow of the
For more information, visit BGAV.org/Hunger 21
TO INCREASE YOUR CHILD’S SPIRITUAL LIFE by Tony Brooks Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. (Proverbs 22:6 NIV) “The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.” – Denis Waitley We as parents are responsible for “roots of responsibility” when our children are young. As they reach adolescence, we begin to help them spread their wings. If we don’t provide the roots, the wings will lead them on many paths that are destructive. So how do we prepare them spiritually with roots of responsibility that leads to healthy wings? Here are some thoughts:
Serve together in the church and outside the church walls. Children and youth need to see the brokenness of humanity and the power to bring God’s hope, love, and grace to others. For children, we set up a Children’s Coloring Committee that helped all children to draw and color pictures for persons in the hospital and who were homebound. (I would also recommend the book Praying in Color to enhance their prayer life. There is a children’s edition.)
Begin preparing them before they can read. My wife, Katrina, and I used to pray with our children (even as infants and in the womb) and sing the chorus of “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” every night. Prepare early for speaking a future blessing and spiritual word to them. With my schedule as a minister, I missed many of these opportunities which I regret. Don’t let your work or ministry cause you to miss these important times.
For youth, get them involved in ministry inside and outside the church. Have a free media tech day where youth help members and others know how to use their cell phones and set up Facebook, Twitter, Instagram accounts, and more. Advertise this opportunity in the newspaper.
Encourage a regular devotional life. I accepted Christ as my Savior and Lord at 15. I began reading through the Bible (as my pastor requested) every year at one to three chapters every night. I also learned the books of the New Testament to the tune of “Nothing but the Blood of Jesus.” I still remember the books because of this!
For youth and children: Adopt an adult who is physically unable to come to church. Many years ago, I took students to a nursing home once a week. They adopted a resident and spent time with them. Many youth realized how fortunate they were and developed great relationships outside the church.
Katrina has challenged her middle school students to have a devotional every day at Madison Heights Baptist Church. They are using this app and website: d365.org. It provides a devotional every day of the year. Claim a verse for your child, and claim their future. We discovered this idea in Georgia, and it is a great word! It is picturing a special future for our children. Children going into the first grade would have a Bible verse that teachers from their past would claim. Sharing the verse encouraged them as they traditionally received their first Bible. The Bible verse would be used when they were baptized, graduated from high school, and more. It was laminated and given to them as a bookmark for that first Bible.
For youth, send them to Impact Mission Camps to help repair houses for those in need. Learn more at ImpactMissionCamps.org.
How are you developing spiritual roots with your children and youth?
Studying Immigration Law for Life-Changing Impact by Greg Smith
What do you get when a national organization that is dedicated to standing with the world’s most vulnerable people partners together with a state Baptist body committed to justice and mercy to train non-profit and faith-based leaders in immigration law in a venue hosted by a dynamic, kingdomfocused congregation?
Left: Manassas Baptist Church Senior Pastor David Donahue leads a devotional for immigration law training attendees.
You get the makings of a powerful and life-changing impact on the lives of millions of immigrants throughout our country.
Below: Attendees gathered together for a week at Manassas Baptist Church.
From October 10–14, 2016, 27 students from 12 states and the District of Columbia gathered at Manassas Baptist Church in Manassas, VA, for an intensive week, poring over all aspects of immigration law and practice.
Senior Pastor David Donahue challenged participants by recounting the Bible’s many stories about immigrants, stating that “when we throw away our mandate to care for the stranger, we throw away the Bible.” As for her own morning devotional, Sarah Bankard, World Relief ’s capacity building specialist, noted that immigration is not merely a political or social issue, but is fundamentally a congregational and missional issue, which God calls the church to address.
Sponsored by World Relief and the BGAV, the Basic Immigration Law and Practice training is a 40-hour, intensive course, designed to give participants the tools they need to engage in the authorized practice of immigration law under the guidance of immigration attorneys. “The training was a great partnership between two organizations’ desire to expand the mission of Christ through equipping local churches and organizations to provide low-cost immigration legal services for the foreign-born,” commented Kathleen Leslie, general counsel and director of World Relief ’s Immigration Legal Services division. “The training provided an opportunity to understand the moral, ethical, and legal issues that churches and nonprofits face in providing low-cost immigration legal services to their communities.”
Leslie praised the BGAV for being a “fantastic, collaborative partner” in securing “top-notch presenters from the local legal community” to train participants. Topics covered during the week included family-based immigration, naturalization and citizenship, special visas for victims of crime and human trafficking, and various forms of humanitarian relief. One of the week’s most anticipated topics was the U.S. government’s “recognition and accreditation” program for nonprofits and churches wishing to start their own immigration legal services. Under this Department of Justice program, staff and volunteers from recognized religious, charitable, or social service organizations (including local congregations) may become accredited Board of Immigration Appeals representatives who are authorized to practice immigration law in a limited capacity under the watchful eye of immigration attorneys. The Manassas training served as an important step in pursuing recognition and accreditation. Learn more about this effort and view upcoming training dates at BGAV.org/ImmigrationLaw. For more information, visit BGAV.org/ImmigrationLaw 23
Worship in Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter! by Fred Anderson
The wintry weather forecast gets mixed reactions. Children are gleeful that the expected snowfall likely will cancel school, and—with any luck—school could be closed for a week. Persons considered “essential employees” groan, knowing that they must persevere. Church folks are in a dither wondering whether or not church activities and worship will be canceled. Church treasurers (and the BGAV treasurer) fret that offering receipts will be down. And all of this because of tiny flakes of condensed moisture which piled one upon another can alter our lives.
“The road was by no means easy. I was in danger of losing my way. There was not a dwelling on this road nor in sight. I became a human plow.” “The farther into the woods I went the deeper the snow. On and on I trudged. Now I grew hot and almost faint and wondered whether my strength would fail me. The last mile was down a long hill and up another sunken road; the snow here was half a foot deep everywhere and, in drifts, many feet. This was for me a valley of humiliation and the ‘hill of difficulty.’”
George Braxton Taylor, a native Virginian, had left the warmer winters of Middle Georgia to return to Virginia in 1894 when he accepted a “field of churches,” Liberty and Hebron in the Appomattox area. The winter of ’95 proved to be one of the coldest on record. One weekend began with a bitter wind, deep snow, and “the mercury standing at 24 degrees below freezing.” By Sunday there were clear skies but bone-chilling cold. Hebron was 10 miles from the parsonage. The pastor’s head deacon, as well as his physician – who usually loaned him a horse – warned him not to attempt the journey. But as “the new pastor,” George Braxton Taylor did not want to miss a single service. Taylor was a young widower and realized that being single meant that he only had to listen to his own inner voice. “As I was alone in the parsonage, I had no one to panic at my plan or to protest, so my decision was made: I would walk to Hebron!” He had his “Saturday night tub and a shave,” and early Sunday morning he determined to keep his appointment. “The sun rose clear and calm on a cold, crystalline, snowbound world,” observed Taylor in an account of his Sunday sojourn. “Breakfastless, I started, for had I gone to the boarding house, they would have sought to prevent my trip.” “I prepared myself for the bitter cold by putting on two overcoats, a pair of ‘arctics’ and leather leggings coming above my knees. The first lap of my walk was three miles up the railroad and, as the wind had swept away the snow, so far my path was clear. Next came four miles through the woods, an unbroken track. Neither wagon nor walker had passed this way since the last white fall.”
“Now I wished I had not put on so many wraps. They became impediments. After two hours, I arrived at a deacon’s house. They caught their breath in surprise at seeing me. ‘Come in!’ There was the roaring open wood fire, big enough to roast an ox. ‘Up near the fire.’ Thank you, no; as far from it as possible!’ I was perspiring furiously and in danger of developing pneumonia.”
In telling the story from long ago, this writer is not attempting to pile guilt as high as a snow bank. When the roads are impassable, he will be the first to suggest that we do not attempt the trip. However, I also know that most likely my church will be holding worship services even if only a few modern sleighs and carriages are able to get there.
George Braxton Taylor “After a bite to eat, in a buggy the other three miles were covered. I was on time at the church and there was a congregation of 49 who had come in 12 sleighs, by carriage and on horseback, little dreaming that their new pastor, city bred, would be there.” One reason that the new pastor might have felt compelled to make the formidable journey was his own conscience. Just before leaving Georgia, he had preached a sermon entitled “On Church Going.” His text was Hebrews 10:25: “Not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together.” He confessed that he had delivered the sermon “without enjoyment.” In his sermon he lambasted the “stay-at-homes” as “pleasure seekers, workers, and resters.” In a day before automobiles, he said: “By inquiring at the livery stable [you will find] that many teams were hired on Sunday for country trips.” Even a day of “blue laws,” he said: “I heard a church member explain why he did not come to church by saying, ‘I am too busy.’ Many fail to arrange their business so as to be at prayer meeting.” As for “resters,” he described their Sundays: “A late breakfast, slippers and the Sunday newspaper and the cigar.” He also chastened “church goers” who only come “to be seen or to see.” Perhaps that sermon contributed to his decision to leave Georgia. In any event, after such a message, the preacher could not let even a blizzard of epic proportions prevent keeping him from his duties at church. Taylor’s story from an earlier century is remarkable on several accounts: his tenacity, his faithfulness, or his stubbornness. Who among us today would walk miles to church in deep snow drifts in freezing temperatures? And he was not alone. A congregation had assembled.
Fred Anderson is the executive director of the Virginia Baptist Historical Society and the Center for Baptist Heritage & Studies. He wrote the biography of George Braxton Taylor, entitled Sunbeams & Shadows. Taylor (1860-1942) was a BGAV pastor (Fairmount and Mt. Shiloh in Piedmont Association and Mountain Plain in Central Virginia Association; Liberty and Hebron; and for 37 years on “the Hollins field” which included Enon, Troutville, and Cove Alum in the area of Hollins University near Roanoke) and while at Fairmount founded the Sunbeams, the missions organization for children, which made him a household name in thousands of Baptist churches and homes. Taylor also was a biographer, writing four volumes of collective biographies under the title Virginia Baptist Ministers.
For more historical articles, visit BGAV.org/Blog
REMEMBER? Virginia Baptist Music & Worship Arts Camp
July 17-21, 2017 Eagle Eyrie Lynchburg, VA
More details to come at BGAV.org/MWAC
How to Make Your New Year New
A “new” year is upon us, or is it? Have you ever wondered why the New Year seems to hold such a pivotal role in our lives? While the hours in a day pass and are gone forever, we don’t particularly notice the passing of hours or days in the same way as the passing of another year. Perhaps it is because the hours of a day seem to be recyclable. We reason that what we didn’t get done today, we can work into tomorrow’s schedule. However, the passing of a year is something that cannot be repeated. The 2nd of June will come again, but the year 2016 will not. This finality in the passing of years reminds us that our time in this body is getting shorter, not longer. It reminds us of our mortality--something we know to be real but subconsciously do not want to admit. Like the sands dropping through an hourglass, we are each running out of time, and once the grains of time are gone, they are gone. Most of us consider making New Year’s resolutions as we begin a new year, hoping that we can make improvements in our health, efficiency, body shape, comfort, family, workplace, or other area of life. But all too often, our resolutions lack the determination to make a real difference in our lives. Does this mean that it is pointless to dream of a brighter day, of personal improvements, or of more personal efficiency in the coming year? Not at all! Dreams are important; they give us inspiration, aspiration, and motivation to take action to improve our lives or our life situations. But in order for dreams to become more than dreams, we must develop plans to make them become reality. We can break the dreams into smaller, more functional plans or parts and establish deadlines to complete each portion of the plan. Action plans help dreams become substance. 26
What role do God, faith, and the Bible play in the formulation of our dreams and plans? God is the source of worthy dreams and aspirations. God created us, gifted us, and knows what purposes we can fulfill in His greater purposes that encompass the whole world. God communicates His truth and plans for us through the Bible, which is the major media source for God’s communications to us. By faith, which is itself supplied to us by God, we can see God at work in our lives and world, and we can perceive His plans and how he wants us to participate in them. Faith connects us to God, empowers us to dream, and transforms those dreams into substance that manifests God in our world. Faith sees the dream in its fulfilled state and moves us to be a part of fulfilling it--bringing it from dream state to substance state. This is what is affirmed in Hebrews 11:1 (NLT): “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” What is it that makes a New Year actually new? That which makes a year really new are the changes that we implement in order to make it new and different from last year. This is true in our church life, community life, and personal lives. If my dream is to exercise regularly, then I need to plan my new exercise program, do it, measure results, and celebrate that this is a part of the New Year that is actually new. If one wants a new career to mark the New Year, then one must plan and implement that plan to begin working in that new career. If we want our churches to have a new type of year, then we need to make the necessary plans, adjustments, and changes to bring about new perspectives, new plans, new actions, and new motivations. When we are successful in doing that, then the next year really can be new.
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LATEST MINISTRY JOBS • Pastor @ Crewe Baptist Church, Crewe, VA • Senior Pastor @ Emmaus Baptist Church, Poquoson, VA • Minister of Music @ Enon Baptist Church, Roanoke, VA • Minister of Music @ Calvary Baptist Church, Roanoke, VA • Worship Pastor/Leader @ Fellowship Baptist Church, Chester, VA • Youth Minister @ Grace Hills Baptist Church (Appomattox, VA) and Providence Baptist Church (Red House, VA) • Minister of Music/Worship Leader @ Colonial Beach Baptist Church, Colonial Beach, VA • Pastor @ Brookneal Baptist Church, Brookneal, VA
• Pastor @ Boykins Baptist Church, Boykins, VA • Director of Family Ministries and Outreach @ Oakland Baptist Church, Disputanta, VA
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