First Community

Is the Spirit moving you to advocate for radical hospitality? Do you long for peace in the Middle East? Do you want to support women who feel called by God to ministry? Would you like to travel to Cuba to show solidarity with our Cuban friends in Christ who remain faithful and hospitable despite searing economic hardship?

If these causes stir your heart, perhaps you would like to join an Alliance community.

What is a community? A “community” is birthed by one or several Alliance members who feel called to a particular ministry or area of interest. This member (or members) then “sounds the call” to form a community in order to organize for ministry and action. The goal is to provide a place of belonging for Alliance members who seek a wider engagement with the Church and the world.

How do I join a community? Each community has a contact person who has agreed to facilitate the community.

How will the community gather? Communities can gather on AllianceConnect, via conference calls, blogs, email and face-to-face at alliance gatherings.

What resources can the Alliance offer the community? Publicity, if desired is provided through AllianceConnect,connections and on the Alliance web site. Communities wishing to remain closed are considered private and will not be publicized. The Alliance’s conference calling system will be made available to community members by the leadership team. Exhibit space will be available at all Gatherings.

How do I “sound the call” for a new community? You can sound a call for your community on AllianceConnect Forward a brief description of your idea or area of interest to Paula Dempsey.

Alliance Communities:

Abolishing the Death Penalty- How can we love our neighbors and kill them? We can't. The death penalty is one of the greatest atrocities of our time and highlights the absurdity of our moral logic. We are trying to teach people not to kill by killing and we are shocked when the killing continues. Followers of Jesus have a particular responsibility to do something. Join with us as we partner together to work to save lives and usher in a beloved community where all lives are valued...even those we would rather forget about. Contact Jeff Hood.

Pastoral Leadership Community – This community is for those men and women currently serving in a pastoral role in an Alliance congregation. We seek ways to provide support, fellowship and professional development for clergy. Contact Mike Castle.

Equity for Women in the Church Community – Advocating and networking for clergywomen across denominations and cultures, connecting them to clergy positions for the transformation of church and society, as well as addressing injustices preventing women from entrance into these positions. Contact Sheila Sholes-Ross or Jann Aldredge-Clanton.

Cuba Community - Given the Alliance’s commitment to its partnership with the Fraternity of Baptists in Cuba and to improving US policy toward Cuba, this community serves to promote and support the establishment of more partnerships between the churches of both countries. We facilitate communication and collaboration among Alliance churches that have existing sister churches in Cuba. Additionally, the community serves to inform the wider Alliance community about US policy issues affecting Cuba, its people, and US citizens, encouraging active participation when appropriate. Contact April Baker.

Brazil Partnership Community- Fostering church to church partnership and nurturing the relationship between the Alliance of Baptists and the Alianca do Brasil. Contact David Gooch.

Outreach & Communications Community - Are you passionate about the stories of the Alliance of Baptists? Do you enjoy writing? Are you skilled at editing? Is photography something in which you take pleasure? If you answered “Yes!” to any of these questions, join us as we tell the stories of the Alliance. Contact Laura Mayo.

Community for Justice in Palestine & Israel - This community seeks to follow the model of the 1st Century Jesus by “speaking truth to power” in 21st Century Palestine and Israel. The pursuit of justice is based on building meaningful relationships between and among all people, using the definition given to us by Martin Luther King, Jr., “Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.” This community works for justice in Palestine and Israel by raising awareness about the current situation there, sponsoring trips/pilgrimages to the Holy Land, networking with other likeminded faith-based groups, and advocating the pursuit of justice with elected policy makers. We believe that if justice exists, peace will be found. Contact GJ Tarazi or Dona Smith-Powers.

Peace & Justice Community - Can "advocacy" in the political world be a spiritual practice? For some of us, the work of advocacy is our response to God's call to discipleship. The Peace & Justice Community works with ecumenical and interfaith groups who advocate for peace and justice on Capitol Hill. We will share our information with Alliance members through the ClearVoice network and other resources. Join us in working for those whose voices are not heard in our political discourse; or to help the Alliance lift its voice for peace & justice; or to work ecumenically for justice in our land and in our time. Contact Carol Blythe.

Community for Racial Justice & Multiculturalism - Mindful of the reality that we live in a racialized society and that our institutions often reflect this racialization, the Alliance of Baptists has made historic commitments to promote racial reconciliation, diversity and multiculturalism. This commitment requires the ongoing leadership of the members and staff of the Alliance. The Community for Racial Justice & Multiculturalism cultivates leaders and shepherd the work of building a multicultural organization committed to racial justice and reconciliation in our congregations, ministries and the broader society. Contact Michael-Ray Mathews or Cody Sanders.

LGBTQ – We offer a safe gathering space for Alliance members and friends to share concerns, joys, sorrows, stories and fellowship around issues pertinent to the LGBTQ community. Both LGBTQ persons and straight allies are invited to participate. In addition to reviewing, for potential update, the Alliance statement which was drafted some 20 years ago, we also hope to plan gatherings and/or retreats. The need for confidentially will be respected. Contact D.H. Clark.

Community for Justice for the Homeless—This Community will seek to provide support and resources to those in the Alliance that encounter, work with, or have a passion for the homeless in our neighborhoods. We will work with groups inside and outside our Alliance who are committed to developing and implementing strategies to prevent and end homelessness. We will promote health, hope, and dignity for the homeless and underserved with whom we engage. We will honor, support, and build the various gifts and callings that arise from our Alliance to respond to the needs of these, seeking every means available to offer the cup of cold water. Contact Mary Bradley. We recognize the overlap of passion and heart with other Alliance communities including: 


Community of the Alliance of Baptists of Ohio - We have initially organized ourselves so that we can participate in the Ohio Council of Churches (OCC). American Baptist Churches of Ohio were longtime members of this organization but withdrew their support, leaving many ecumenical minded and progressive Baptists without a structural way to participate in this mainline ecumenical organization. We are now members of the OCC and have contributed our “fair share” financially. Our purpose is to provide mutual support in faith and fellowship, share a meal periodically, laugh, and pray. We are able to support each other through some of the more difficult transitions in Baptist life such as being “dis-fellowshipped “ from the Ohio region, and offering welcome to pastors new to the region. Contact Kim Keethler Ball.