Who is AWAB?

The Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists (AWAB) – We are the only organization across the Baptist landscape solely devoted to supporting churches in being and becoming welcoming and affirming of all people, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.

From its humble beginnings as a grassroots organization in the US half a century ago, AWAB has now blossomed into a fully formed 501(c)3, celebrating its 30th year. Our influence has transcended borders, reaching the continents of Africa and Europe. As an international entity, we collaborate with Baptist identities and denominations, including individuals, congregations, and regional groupings, including those aligned with other Christian denominations outside of Baptist Life.


What does AWAB Do?

  • Consult and resource congregations as they discern their own path to becoming welcoming and affirming
  • Intentionally connect with the larger Baptist landscape, including BIPOC congregations
  • Support queer ministers and those exploring a call
  • Connect queer-identifying clergy with congregations and congregations with queer-identifying clergy
  • Build partnerships with educational institutions to encourage and support queer seminarians and divinity students
  • Resource the LGBTQ+ community and allies
  • Address the realities of religious harm and stigma in order to provide hope for those who are marginalized
  • Provide monthly webinars to address a range of topics related to LGBTQ+ realities impacting both queer folx and allies alike
  • Provide an online resource library
  • Organize an annual lectureship, which features a scholar, theologian, or historian who offers perspective and thought rooted in and informed by the academy but practical in application to LGBTQ+ issues
  • Respond in moments of needed advocacy with statements of solidarity, vigils, events, or whatever else is necessary in the face of political, social, and religious injustice

Why Should We Join AWAB?

Membership benefits allow for what churches need to not JUST be welcoming but to focus on being AFFIRMING. We help churches with:

  • Support, education, and theological expression as they become more Welcoming & Affirming (W&A) while honoring scripture and Baptist heritage
  • Adaptation to their changing cultural and social contexts related to LGBTQ+ issues
  • Exploration of Church trauma for LGBTQ+ folx and appropriate responses to healing and hope, which includes ways to offer wellness and positive mental health
  • Support to families and individuals experiencing difficulties reconciling their sexual orientation and gender identity
  • Bolstering relationships with community leaders so the congregation fully supports the local LGBTQ+ community and organizations, including knowing how to respond to organizations that create trauma and harm
  • Emphasis on the continuous need to celebrate the sacredness among us all
  • Connection to an even more extensive network of W&A Baptist churches across the United States and around the world to help sustain compassion and provide strength

Maybe most importantly, WE need YOU and your unique congregation, community, region, setting, and leadership. YOU make us who we are, and we are missing without your church at the table. 

Is there a Financial Commitment?

There are no expectations, though we appreciate a financial contribution as the church is able. There is no specific amount we request, but here is a good rubric to use:

If your church budget is…

      • Under $150,000, give $500 a year
      • Between $150,000 – $300,000, give $750 a year
      • Between $300,000 – $500,000, give $1,000 a year
      • Between $500,000 – $1,000,000, give $1,500 a year
      • Over $1,000,000, give $2,000 a year plus another $1,000 for every million over $1M

What’s Next?

If you are interested in membership, complete our application form.

Any Baptist community is eligible to apply for membership provided they are committed to demonstrating their position as inclusive to the LGBTQ+ community, which includes: welcoming and affirming LGBTQ+ individuals in their congregational materials, performing marriages among members of the LGBTQ+ community, and having employment practices that do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. 

  • Be prepared to provide your welcoming statement. Please know that AWAB does not require adherence to a prescribed statement or specific use of language. Sample statements can be found here. If you need additional help, please contact the AWAB office at admin@awab.org
  • Provide the source of your welcoming statement. Briefly outline the source of your W&A statement and the process by which it was drafted. A brief one-page narrative describing your process and any minutes reflecting the decision would be helpful as we review your application. We are particularly interested in how your statement was approved—was the statement approved by a particular board, voted on by the whole church, was it a consensus decision, etc? Make sure to include the date of its approval.

Completed applications are submitted to the Board of Directors for a vote at the next regularly scheduled board meeting which are held every other month.