It is my joy and privilege to join the Alliance of Baptists in this new role as Co-Director. I am thrilled to get the opportunity to help lead the Alliance into this new season and vision that God has for us. As I begin this work, I would love to introduce myself to all of you. My name is Reverend Elijah R. Zehyoue. I am originally from Liberia, West Africa, but grew up in Baton Rouge, La and now currently reside in Washington, DC where prior to joining the Alliance of Baptists, I was on the pastoral staff at Calvary Baptist Church.
I have been connected to the Alliance since my time began at Calvary. During my first year, I was recruited by the members of the Calvary Latino Fellowship to join them in driving the van down to Atlanta for the Annual Gathering. They had been talking about it all year and could not wait for me to be a part of it. As I entered the room that Friday night, I was in awe of the diverse people, the powerful stories, and the rich worship that I encountered. From that moment on, I knew the Alliance would be my denominational home. Over the years, I have continued to lean into the work of the Alliance, especially through my work on the Board of Directors and on the planning committee for the 2019 Annual Gathering.
Those experiences cemented my place in the Alliance of the Baptists and are the reason that I am excited to join the team. As we begin this work, I want to highlight a few of our priorities and commitments for the coming year so that you are up to date, excited, and open to engaging more deeply with us in this iteration of the life of the Alliance.
- Racial Justice Task Group Implementation: The Alliance will continue to live into its identity as a movement to dismantle systems of white supremacy and embrace racial equity. It is my hope that through careful theological reflection, historical study, and individual assessments, the Alliance of Baptists board, staff, and body will commit itself to the liberating work of antiracism.
- Supporting our Ministry Partners: Many Alliance ministry partners live in contexts that have been particularly turbulent, especially during the pandemic, and we will continue to support partners doing transformative work in sometimes challenging situations.
- Amplifying the Clergy Affiliate Information & Resource Network: We will continue to offer support to congregational leaders through CAIRN, creating spaces of support and encouragement.
I look forward to working with you, learning from you, and growing with you as we do the shared work of Jesus Christ, the liberating one, in this world. I also ask that you support this work, with your time, talents, and resources.
Peace and Blessings,
The Reverend Elijah R. Zehyoue
Co-Director, Alliance of Baptists