The Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists (AWAB) is a group consisting of Baptist individuals, organizations, and congregations that are committed to advocating and encouraging the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in the lives and ministries of Baptist churches. It is one of many LGBT-welcoming church movements to emerge in American Christianity beginning in the 1980s. AWAB was established by about ten congregations in 1993 during that year's ABCUSA Biennial in San Jose, California. It grew out of a group called American Baptists Concerned for Sexual Minorities, which was founded in 1972 and which merged with AWAB in 2003. As of 2012 AWAB had 76 member congregations. These congregations are affiliated with the American Baptist Churches USA, the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, the Alliance of Baptists, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and the United Church of Christ. Informal partners of AWAB include the Roger Williams Fellowship, the Coalition for Baptist Principles, and Baptists without Borders. In addition to the member congregations and informal partner organizations, AWAB has a number of local affiliated groups, member organizations, one member seminary and thousands of Friends around the world. Beyond Baptist circles, AWAB cooperates ecumenically with welcoming and affirming organizations in other Christian denominations and faith traditions. AWAB is a partner in the Institute of Welcoming Resources and publishes an electronic newsletter, "Welcoming Spirit". The national offices of AWAB are in Kensington, Maryland.