Founding Steering Committee

From its inception Dr. John Halsey, along with the eight other pastors who comprised the original steering committee, realized the need for a group of godly men to maintain balance and direction for the assembly. The committee would need to adequately represent all of the different "camps" of independent Baptists throughout the various geographic regions of the state. Also, a guiding purpose was needed to which all could agree. Dr. U. G. Robertson developed the original purpose statement which read:

"Our purpose is to rally the Independent Baptists in the Commonwealth of Virginia in strengthening our position on issues for the common good of all, and to inform Pastors concerning things of a critical nature that affect our local churches and their ministries. It shall in no wise be the purpose to promote any school, college, fellowship or personal interest group."

The original nine pastors became the official VAIB steering committee: Dr. John Halsey (Great Hope BC, Chesapeake)- Moderator; Pastor Calvin Eaves (Clover Hill BC, Chesterfield)- Vice Moderator; Dr. E. Wayne Thompson (Engleside BC, Alexandria)- Secretary Treasurer; Dr. Rod Bell Sr (Tabernacle BC, Virginia Beach); Dr. Rudy Holland (Berean BC, Salem); Pastor J. Kenneth Peters (Barnhardt BC, Goodview); Dr. U.G. Robertson (Central BC, Portsmouth); Pastor Billy Carl Rice (Fellowship BC, Henrico); Pastor Charles Martin (Valley BC, Edinburg). Over time, as more churches became involved, pastors served three year terms with one-third of the committee changing each year. In 1989 the steering committee was expanded to fifteen men. Pastors who serve must come from churches which financially support VAIB. Nominations are made so as to maintain a balance by geographic region as well as to represent the different groups of independent Baptists throughout the state. New committee members are elected at the annual conference held in September in Richmond, VA, and any pastor or Christian worker at an independent Baptist church in Virginia can vote.

A key function of the steering commitee is to develop resolutions which detail the positions of VAIB on issues of concern in the state. These resolutions then become the guidelines for the education and lobbying work of VAIB staff.