Who We Are as Virginia Baptists
A Statement of Re-Affirmation from the BGAV Executive Office and Executive Board
Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) is a missionary movement unleashing the power of the resurrected Christ through the local church for the renewal of all things. As such, we reaffirm our heritage that equally values churches from a wide range of faithful positions. We believe that we have greater influence for Christ together than we could separately.
BGAV upholds the historical Baptist distinctive of the autonomy of the local church. The ordination of women and how they shall serve is a local church matter. The autonomy of the local congregation and the priesthood of believers are the criteria by which BGAV represents churches. We bless churches to prayerfully discern their stance on women in pastoral ministry, fostering a respectful space for diverse perspectives. BGAV affirms each church's authority to ordain women if they discern this as part of their faith journey.
The proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ is our priority. Virginia Baptists have historically been gospel centric. BGAV recognizes that the Holy Spirit bestows gifts without regard to gender. Both women and men are seen as vessels through which the Spirit works, and the Spirit equips all believers for myriad ministries including the role of pastor within the church. This basic understanding affirms the inherent worth and potential of all followers of Christ.
Whether churches choose to ordain women or not, BGAV values the unity of the body of Christ and the collective mission that can be achieved when churches work together. BGAV emphasizes the importance of collaboration and mutual support for the greater purpose of advancing the Kingdom of God. BGAV believes that when Baptist churches unite, we can accomplish more for the Kingdom. Be assured that the Executive Office and the Executive Board value and honor all BGAV churches.
You are at home with BGAV!