Wayne Faison


Rev. Dr. Wayne Faison is the executive director of the Baptist General Association of Virginia.  He was elected to the position by the messengers to the 199th BGAV Annual Meeting held last year in Hampton.  Dr. Faison previously had served on the staff for 21 years, contributing especially in the areas of African-American church development, evangelism, and church planting. At the time of his election as executive director, he was the leader of the Growth/Venture Team as well as the national coordinating officer for the BGAV’s Ascent Team.  A native of Florida, Dr. Faison and his wife, Carmen, were easily and enthusiastically welcomed into the life and work of  Virginia Baptists and have found a home among them.  He serves as senior pastor of the East End Baptist Church in Suffolk. Prior to going into the Gospel ministry, he worked in the banking field.  He holds a Doctor of Ministry degree as well as a Master of Divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  He also earned a “mini-MBA” from the University of Richmond. 

Robert Stephens


Robert is the Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church of Alexandria, Virginia. Through a Divine intervention, Robert stepped into his first ministerial position at the age of 19. He currently has two decades of pastoral experience utilizing his gifts of teaching, leadership, and discernment. These gifts provide him with the ability to help people walk in obedience with the redemptive work of God. Robert is passionate about personally sharing the good news of Christ with people and he believes that every Christ follower should be actively sharing this news with others as well.


Robert holds a B.S. in Animal Science from Tarleton State University, a Master of Divinity in Theology from Logsdon Seminary at Hardin Simmons University, and a Doctor of Ministry in Biblical Studies from Liberty University. In addition, he currently serves as a Chaplain (MAJ) in the United States Army Reserves with the Office of the Chief of Chaplains working in the Proponency Assistant Directorate.


He and April were married in 2010 and they have three children, Allie (10), Kate (8), and Julia who is (6). They met in college and before starting a family, April was a veterinarian technician and dog trainer. The Stephens family enjoys RV traveling, visiting sights in our Nation’s Capital, family game nights and spending time together. They relocated from central Texas in 2023 to join the First Baptist family.


One of Robert’s favorite verses of scripture comes from Acts 20:24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

Miriam Swanson


Miriam has been equipping local churches to love, reach and disciple university students through the Fusion Movement for over a decade. She moved from the UK in 2019 and is now pioneering Fusion USA from her home in Florida where she lives with her husband Ben, and two small children. She travels to speak and train the church internationally, is passionate about mission and raising younger leaders, and adores this wild new adventure of being a mum.

Elijah Brown


Rev. Dr. Elijah M. Brown is the General Secretary and CEO of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA). Founded in 1905, the BWA is a Christian World Communion that draws upon 400 years of shared Baptist history with 253 member bodies in 130 countries and territories representing over 51 million baptized believers and 176,000 churches.


As General Secretary and CEO, Rev. Dr. Brown has the overall leadership responsibilities for the BWA and is its chief representative within the Baptist family and to governments, global organizations and institutions, and other Christian World Communions and faith traditions.  


Elected as the ninth General Secretary and the youngest in the history of the BWA, Rev. Dr. Brown brings strategic and visionary leadership as the principal leader to the Baptist movement as well as a ministry passion for the vision of the BWA to “network the Baptist family to impact the world for Christ.”