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Averett and Virginia Baptists Restore Relationship

November 9, 2011

On November 9, the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) voted to reinstate Averett University as a higher education partner at the annual BGAV meeting in Richmond. The affirmative vote by the more than 1,000 attendees was the culmination of several years of dialogue and reconciliation between the BGAV and Averett, and restored a relationship that had existed for almost 150 years before the two organizations parted ways in 2005.

"This journey has truly been a process of reconciliation, and has given new meaning to that word for me," said Averett President Tiffany M. Franks. "Averett's relationship with the Virginia Baptists had value in the past and will have a greater value in the future."

"This is an historic day. It is unique in denominational higher education. Averett and the Virginia Baptists are new precedent setters," said Dr. John Upton '74, executive director of the BGAV and president of the Baptist World Association. "It is wonderful to have the family restored. We look forward to many wonderful years of partnering together."

The restored relationship recognizes that together the two organizations can achieve more for the greater good than each could on its own.

"I am excited by the possibilities this creates for Averett students and for Baptist youth across the Commonwealth," Franks said. "Our students will have more opportunities for service-learning through mission trips and a strengthened relationship will build on the work of our chaplain and many students who are serving others through groups such as the Christian Student Union."

The renewed relationship reinforces Averett's mission of preparing students to serve and lead as catalysts for positive change. It will also provide another BGAV-affiliated Virginia higher education option for Baptist students.