Bon Air Baptist church exists to declare Jesus Christ, disciple all peoples, and display God's glory.
"We proclaim him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ" (Colossians 1:28).
Bon Air Baptist Church covenanted together in 1943 and moved to its current location in 1949. After 77 years of faithful gospel ministry, Bon Air held its final memorial service on October 25, 2020.
This is a sad reality, but a true one: Every local church has a life cycle. Just like humans, churches are birthed (planted), they grow and become established, they peak, then they slowly decline and eventually die. If you think about it, all of the churches in the New Testament are gone: they were started by the apostles, went through their respective life cycles, and are no longer around. You cannot attend the church at Philippi or the church at Thessalonica or the church at Ephesus today. They died a long time ago. But you can still find faithful churches in those regions today! Why? Because new churches were started, often through the ministries of the former churches and sometimes on the legacy of those churches.
That is what we came to realize at Bon Air: we were at the end of our life cycle. But that doesn't mean the gospel has to die in our community! We simply need to start a new church, a new life cycle, built on the legacy of the old church but bearing new fruit for the kingdom of God. "Truly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces much fruit" (John 12:24). "And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost as well as the skins. No, new wine is put into fresh wineskins" (Mark 2:22).
On September 27, 2020 the members of Bon Air Baptist Church voted unanimously to partner with Del Ray Baptist Church in Alexandria, VA to honor and preserve the legacy of BABC. We praise the Lord for the unity he gave our congregation to move forward in faith for the work of the gospel in our community and beyond.
We have great hope that this partnership with Del Ray Baptist Church (DRBC) will honor the history and legacy of Bon Air. Del Ray itself was down to 22 members in the late 2000s, and in 2007 they entered a partnership with the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia to reinvigorate the church. That led to a partnership with Capitol Hill Baptist Church (CHBC) in 2011, and CHBC then sent current lead pastor Garrett Kell and members to DRBC in 2012. Members from other like-minded churches also joined the work. That whole process took almost 5 years, but it was worth it! Over the past decade, DRBC has gone from 22 to 400+ members, to the praise of God's glory! (You can read more about DRBC's history here: https://delraybaptist.org/welcome/our-history/).
Our prayer is that God will use the next 2–4 years to plow the ground so that a team of faithful members and long-term pastors can be sent from DRBC to replant Bon Air as a healthy, gospel-preaching church. We want to see the Lord revitalize Bon Air through the ministry of DRBC, just as the Lord revitalized DRBC through the ministry of CHBC and other partner churches. We want to see the Bon Air story continue for another 75 years! We ask for your continued prayers over these next years for just that. "Unless the Lord builds a house, its builders labor over it in vain" (Psalm 127:1).