This Annual Homecoming, the SBC of Virginia celebrates 20 years of faithful service. Growing from the original three fellowship groups to the now nearly 700 affiliated churches, the Lord has blessed the SBC of Virginia in its mission of Strong Churches with a Bold Commitment to the Great Commission. Thank you for partnering for the Gospel as we celebrate the last two decades and look boldly to what God has set before us.
No Facebook. Tweet what? Google may as well have been some strange game. No iPod, no iPhone, no iPad. Oh, and Amazon only sold books. Much has changed since 1996 when the SBC of Virginia was constituted as a convention of Southern Baptist churches.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” – HEBREWS 13:8
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” – ISAIAH 40:8
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” – JOHN 14:6
“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” – MATTHEW 16:18
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” – ACTS 1:8
I was a 26-year-old new seminary graduate, serving as a student pastor in Virginia Beach. As my pastor, other pastors, leaders from churches, and representatives from the national Southern Baptist Convention gathered at Grove Avenue Baptist Church for our constituting, I watched as men and women stood strong in their conviction that God’s Word is inerrant and joined together in cooperation to advance the Gospel of Christ. Much would change in my life in the coming 20 years—my wife would bless me with three children; we would be a part of planting a church; we would have many different experiences, many joys, and a few tears—but some things have not changed: The Lord Jesus. God’s Word. The importance of His Church. Our mission. The blessing of Gospel partnership.
SBC of Virginia family, turning 20 years old means something. It means we are no longer a “teenager.” SBC of Virginia has been blessed with a solid foundation. We have been blessed with a healthy DNA and a good family life. Now is the time for us to step up to challenges and opportunities before us as a vibrant coalition of Southern Baptist churches. As long as the Lord Jesus tarries in His return, may we be ever more committed as a Gospel partnership to strengthen and mobilize churches to make disciples and plant churches among our neighbors and the nations.
I close with the words I heard Doyle Chauncey say in 1996, as they still ring true 20 years later:
“Let’s work together until Jesus comes, always in His strength, always for His glory. Together we can make a difference in Virginia and beyond! And in the end it will truly be worth it all to have given our time, resources, and individual loyalty to the One who gives us eternal and abundant life through His Son, Jesus Christ.” — DOYLE CHAUNCEY, September 16, 1996, SBCV Annual Meeting
Your brother in Christ,
Your brother in Christ,
“Looking ahead to the next decade, in which formal relationships are being replaced by informal networks, my prayer is that the network of relationships between the churches will remain strong, innovative, and effective as they partner to fulfill the Great Commission in Virginia, North America, and to the ends of the earth.”
“It seems like only yesterday that the SBCV was founded and organized as a state convention. Many critics predicted that the convention would not last, but God had another plan. Not only did the SBCV survive, it thrived. Today, there are many more churches, and the future is brighter for even greater impact and ministry advancement. We rejoice in what God has done in the last 20 years and can’t wait to see what God has in store for SBCV in the future.”
“From you I take courage, faith, and innovation. In each of these you are pioneers and pacesetters. The effects of your efforts are felt locally and globally. Should Jesus tarry His coming, may the next 20 years be even more fruitful than the past!”
with the Proclaimer, the flagship communication piece of the SBC of Virginia
Proclaimer is launched.
From newsletter to magazine (page count 16).
Awarded Best in Print from PIVA. (Readership Average: 8,500)
New look and a move from events-driven to storytelling.
A bold change in cover appearance. (Page Count: 24)
New look, plus a page size increase: 9″ x 10.875″.
Online library created and paid advertising begins. (Readership Average: 16,500)
Cover change. (Page Count: 36, Readership Average: 19,000)