Strengthening Religious Liberties in Virginia
Over thirty-five years ago, the Virginia Assembly of Independent Baptists was commissioned with a unique purpose: 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.” This purpose has endured and remains of vital importance to VAIB as the organization has grown and developed over the past three decades. We were founded in response to specific threats that arose in the early 1970's, but we are not just a one or two-issue organization. Our mission is to “advance the rights, values, and liberties of independent Baptists in Virginia,” and this mission requires constant vigilance on our part as we seek to strengthen the position of independent Baptists in Virginia on a host of issues affecting religious liberty and the ability of our churches to minister effectively into the future.
The conflict over religious liberty in our country involves a series of battles in a longer culture war. A loss one year is not the end of an issue, and the same is true for success. With each new election and each new legislative session come gains and setbacks in the fight for freedom. By God's grace and in His strength, we will continue to diligently pursue strategic relationships and effectively represent independent Baptist churches in the state of Virginia.
How do we strengthen?
Most people do not fully understand our role as lobbyists at the capitol. Legislators play the critical role of proposing and advancing legislation toward passage, but we can influence legislation by pursuing strategic relationships with legislators and other government officials. We must also pursue sound research in order to speak competently and effectively to each issue. And finally, we must make our presence felt in the capitol, giving independent Baptists a clear, strong voice before the General Assembly.
Ways we strengthen our positions and advance the rights, values, and liberties of Independent Baptists in Virginia:
- Build strategic relationships at the capitol with legislators and government officials
- Research legislation before the Assembly in order to understand its impact on issues of concern to us
- Make our presence felt in the capitol, giving a strong voice to independent Baptists in Virginia during critical times
All three of these activities are important ways we strengthen our positions and accomplish our vision of “advancing the rights, values, and liberties of Independent Baptists in Virginia.” Strengthening our positions is a critical function of VAIB and will always be an essential part of what we do.