On Independence Day, BGAV Celebrates Religious Freedom
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On Independence Day, BGAV Celebrates Religious Freedom

RLC and VBHS reflect on Baptist historical perspectives on liberty

July 2, 2024
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In celebration of the United States' 248th birthday, the Religious Liberty Committee (RLC) and Virginia Baptist Historical Society (VBHS) bring you these pieces for reflection on Baptist historical perspectives on liberty.

A word from Rev. Dr. Adam Tyler, chair of the RLC

BGAV’s Religious Liberty Committee continues to work on these key objectives:

  • To speak to our constituency in the BGAV and educate them regarding the meaning and importance of religious liberty, and
  • To bear witness and advocate for religious liberty to state and local governments and the wider world.

Virginia Baptists have always been at the forefront of the struggle for freedom and liberty in our state and country, particularly in the face of political accommodation and undeserved suppression. We continue to be a positive voice for the freedom of all people to worship and serve, even as religious freedom is under attack from various quarters.

When Baptists were jailed across the state of Virginia for preaching the gospel, we saw the pain and ugliness of suppression and political manipulation. We worked hard through John Leland and other Baptist patriots to gain freedom—so everyone would not have to face political oppression again for their religious beliefs—as the new government was founded. We hold to the basic Baptist belief that God can speak more openly in people’s hearts when we are free from federal or state entanglement.

As we celebrate our country's 248th birthday, we are thankful to God that we live in a country where everyone can worship freely and openly. We hold the standard high for religious liberty for all people.

Rev. Shelton Miles Speaks on Religious Liberty

Virginia Baptists and Religious Liberty: Margaret Meuse Clay

Read an account of Margaret Meuce Clay from Nathan Taylor, executive director of Virginia Baptist Historical Society.

Last Updated:    
July 10, 2024