Central Virginia Baptist Association votes not to disband - Word&Way

Central Virginia Baptist Association votes not to disband

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Messengers attending the fall meeting of the Central Virginia Baptist Association rejected a recommendation from its steering committee that the association vote to disband.

By a vote of 22 in favor of the proposal to dissolve to 26 against, the recommendation, which required a three-fourths majority, failed.

Central Virginia is a fellowship of about 40 congregations in Charlottesville, Va., and the surrounding Albemarle, Fluvanna and Greene counties.

The future of the 220-year-old association –which was home to such notable Virginia Baptists as Lottie Moon and John A. Broadus — remains uncertain, observers said.

“Yesterday was definitely not a solid affirmation of the association’s existence,” said Jeff Cranford, the Virginia Baptist Mission Board’s field strategist for the Central Region and a former director of missions of the CVBA. “I would interpret it more as a temporary reprieve.”

Cranford emphasized that the recommendation to dissolve was not made without a great deal of thought by the steering committee. In fact, the committee had presented the recommendation in its spring meeting last May, but it was tabled until Sunday’s vote.

“I don’t see any antipathy or hostility,” Cranford said. “Those who favor dissolution just don’t believe it [the association] is viable. A statement we heard repeatedly was, ‘The churches just don’t see the association meeting their needs.’ ”

Darrell Mayo, moderator of the Blackwater Baptist Association in southeast Virginia, who read of the CVBA vote in the Religious Herald, was moved to attend the meeting as a visitor. When invited to bring greetings, he offered whatever help he and Blackwater’s mission director, Nancy Greene, could provide.

Cranford echoed the sentiments of most in saying, “The future hope is the we move on to view the association as a method for networking churches to get things done locally. Someone or perhaps several someones need to step up and provide leadership as the association evaluates its role in the time to come.”

Jim White (jwhite@religiousherald.org) is editor of the Religious Herald.