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Our History

A unity in Christ almost as old as our country deserves to be fostered for future generations

The Dover Baptist Association predates any Virginia Baptist organization and even the first Baptist national organization as formed in the early 1800s. We Baptists are a diverse group of Bible-believing, autonomy-loving Christians.  With a long and strong track record of working alongside one another despite any differences, the DBA allows us to unify our impact for the Kingdom locally and globally. 

A Rich History

Dover Baptist Association formed in 1783 when the General Association of Separate Baptists of Virginia divided at the James River.  A decision of the General Association of the Separate Baptists of Virginia to divide into “Upper” and “Lower” districts on the north side of the James River resulted in the formation of Dover Baptist Association.  The association first met in 1784 at the meetinghouse of Dover Baptist Church in Goochland County.  The twenty-two charter member churches had constituents in at least twenty-one Virginia counties.

By 1800, Dover soon took its place as a leading association, providing key leaders for the Baptist General Association of Virginia that organized in 1823.  Even during those early years Dover included congregations representing the ethnic variety of the region, reaching as far as Maryland.  We have a history of working with various believers in Kingdom causes.

In the early 1830s, the Campbellite or “Reformation” movement found Dover Association dealing with problems of doctrinal compromise by advising the churches to exclude the disaffected members.

After 1835, Dover exhibited a new unity and experienced rapid growth.  In the ensuing years Dover has released churches from membership to form new associations, among them, Rappahannock, Hermon, Peninsula and Richmond.

In 1955, the association created the office of Executive Secretary, today’s Executive Director of Missions.  William E. Cullers served from 1955-1961.  W. Paul Hepler served from 1962-1976.  Richard T. Moore served from 1977-1995.  Steven K. Allsbrook served from 1997-2017.  Dr. Robert Dale and Rev. Rose Mary Stewart served as co-Intentional Interim Executive Director of Missions from October 2017-October 2019. The Reverend Dr. Maria Lynn served as the Interim Executive Director of Missions from August 2020-July 2021.

The Rev. Arnold ‘Win’ Davis was called as the fifth Executive Director of Missions on June 8, 2021 and began serving on August 2, 2021. Dover Baptist Association continues to help its family of churches serve Christ as it serves the churches and their leaders, encouraging each other and doing missions together.

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