Randy (Sherrilyn) Aldridge
& Larry (Margaret) Black
The Church Planting Team at the SBC of Virginia (SBCV) has experienced significant transition in 2019, but none more significant than the exit of two of its long-term strategists — Larry Black and Randy Aldridge.
Larry and Margaret Black (right) joined the SBCV missionary team in 2005. Larry came with extensive experience in church planting in other state conventions, one association, and the North American Mission Board. As a church planting strategist with the SBCV Larry has served in the Central, Central-West, and Northern regions of the state.
While there are churches that dot the landscape in the regions Larry has served, he most significantly has left a legacy of assisting SBCV churches to reach people from the nations of the world that God has brought to the Commonwealth. He led a three-year effort that resulted in discovering 190 of the 195 nations of the world present in Metropolitan Washington DC, and 124 present in Metropolitan Richmond.
Upon discovering the myriad of people from the nations, Larry worked diligently to help our churches engage directly with indigenous church planters from 65 of the 190 nations. He became a champion for those indigenous leaders, advocating for support, creating and delivering contextual equipping, creating networking platforms, and providing loving coaching as a friend and brother in Christ.
Larry and Margaret have retired from the SBCV after 14 years of service. They now reside in the Atlanta, Georgia-area closer to their grandchildren and continuing in their work of advancing the Gospel through church planting among the nations.
Randy and Sherrilyn Aldridge hail from south Georgia but came to Virginia in 1993 for Randy (bottom right) to become the pastor of Pennington First Baptist Church. In 1998, Randy led the church to align with the newly formed SBC of Virginia and served on its executive board from 1999-2002. He pastored Pennington First Baptist Church for 11 years until he resigned to join the missionary team of the SBCV in 2004.
With his pastoral experience and knowledge of the Appalachian region of the state, Randy served the churches of that region as a church health missionary for four years. In 2008, he began work as a church planting strategist in the region at the same time he was planting Christian Life Fellowship in Jonesville, Virginia. The church grew quickly with new members and new followers of Jesus. After four years, Randy resigned as pastor of the new church and continued in his role as the SBCV church planting strategist, serving the western two-thirds of the state.
Randy served the churches of the SBCV in the Central-West and Southwest regions of the state faithfully for 15 years until his resignation in 2019 to become the new pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Martinsville, Virginia, in August. He and Sherrilyn have served the churches and pastors of that region well, leaving a trail of communities and towns with new and healthier churches — all proclaiming the Good News that Jesus saves.