Tuesday, September 20, 2022, was a good and historic day for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Virginia. We gathered at First Baptist Church in Waynesboro to celebrate CBFVA’s 30 years of ministry, to mark the closure of my tenure as Coordinator, and to install Mark Snipes as the new Coordinator.

This year’s assembly was particularly meaningful for me because it was my last major event as leader of CBFVA. Allow me to share a brief retrospective and words of gratitude!

Many thanks to our host church First Baptist Waynesboro for extending hospitality and creating a welcoming space for our General Assembly. FBC provided many volunteers to make everything go smoothly. An acoustically friendly sanctuary, wonderful choir, and gifted accompanist enriched our times of worship. The Fellowship Hall was perfect for our times of conversation and the luncheon. Contiguous rooms for workshops were spacious and accommodating.

I can’t say enough good things about Kristen Koger! She planned and prepared many details to ensure the success of our General Assembly. We very much appreciate Kristen’s servant spirit, attention to details, and can-do attitude! I am delighted Kristen is back in Virginia!

Here are a few highlights of the General Assembly from my vantage point:

– We bracketed our 30 th celebration with worship. Both the opening and closing times of worship were meaningful and inspirational. I really enjoyed the FBC Chancel Choir’s rendition of God of Grace and God of Glory! Make sure you listen to storytellers Beth
Bailey and Art Wright. Also meaningful for me was utilizing hymn and song texts that were written specifically for our organization. The texts are rich and communicate much about who we are and what we value.
– Our first live podcast was a success! Many thanks to Seth Price for crafting good questions for Paul Baxley and Mark Snipes (questions he did not provide ahead of time, by the way).
– Lunch provided by local restaurant Take Out 250 was enjoyed by all. Quite obviously, folks enjoyed their mealtime together.
– We were blessed to have CBF Global staff lead three timely workshops. We appreciate Meredith Stone for helping us understand how to create church cultures more inclusive of women leaders. Reports from these four workshops were extremely positive.

Allow me to express my gratitude for:

– Many notes and expressions of appreciation for my time as Coordinator.
– Kind words spoken by Ben Brown during my recognition.
– Sentiments shared by Council members on Monday evening.
– A generous love gift designated for re-creation and rest presented during corporate worship.
– Ways in which Melissa Fallen highlighted my commitment to theological education and challenged folks to contribute to the Theological Endowment Fund in my honor. I have been in full-time Christian ministry for 39 years; Melissa asked constituents to give $39, $390, $3,900, $39,000, or $390,000 (whichever is most appropriate for you!) to support theological education in Virginia.

I feel good about and have thoroughly enjoyed my days at the helm of CBFVA. Thank you for your collaboration and efforts to move CBFVA into the future. Now I’m cheering for Mark, the Council, and the Fellowship and pray God’s richest blessings on all clergy, congregations, and partners affiliated with CBFVA!