January 2011

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Facing the Future

As 2010 ends, we look forward to 2011 with anticipation. What is God going to do in the Strawberry Association? How do we continue to do Missions and Ministry in Bedford County? This year in Strawberry Association, we will have a “dual’ structure, working with the old committee-based structure and transitioning to the new network-based structure. How do we do that?

In Philippians 3:13, Paul says, “forgetting those things which are behind.” We have to Forget the Past, at least let go of the old structure, along with all its faults and failures. We can’t go back to what is past, longing for the “Good Ole’ Days,”” or the “hey-day” of the Association when all the churches were involved in mission work. We should recognize our achievements, admit our mistakes, even extend and receive Grace where things have not worked out as we had planned. Jesus said, “Follow Me!” Forget Past Failures & Mistakes.

Paul also tells us, “Reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” What is ahead for us in the Association? I cannot answer that, but I do know that God has something in store for us. We need to Focus on the Future, developing our new structure. We need to Grow, to Go Forward, and Go on to maturity. We can’t live in the past, and we can’t sit still, so we have to Go Forward. We have to look ahead, not behind us, to keep from stumbling. We have to stay Focused, “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.

In Philippians 3:14, Paul says, “press toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” We need to Forget the Past, Focus on the Future, but we also have to Finish the Faith. We must press on, even though it doesn’t seem like we are accomplishing anything at times, and the world may press against us. Things may not work out as we plan, but we have to nevertheless Persevere, in Faith. God has called us to reach the people of Bedford County with the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ. Are we settling for “so All may Hear” or working “so All may be Saved?” As an association of churches, will we hear Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant?

The Nominating Committee is currently seeking people who are willing to serve as Ministry Area Coordinators and Regional Representatives. The Missions and Ministry Coordinator needs to have a passion for and experience in Mission work and Ministry at the local church level. The Pastoral Development Coordinator needs to have a passion for connecting and relating to other pastors. The Church Development Coordinator needs to have a passion for working with churches, helping them to grow and become healthy churches. The Regional Representatives are responsible for connecting, communicating, and coordinating with the churches in their region for ministry and fellowship. The Ministry Coordinators and Regional Representatives will be part of a Transition Team that will lead us into the new structure.

In the new structure, the Ministry Coordinators, Regional Representatives, along with the Administrative Team and the pastor and a representative from each church, will be part of the Leadership Team that will work alongside the Executive Board. There is also a Support Team made up of the chairs of five critical committees and the Administrative Team that will also work to keep the association running smoothly.

The old structure didn’t work properly because of lack of involvement within the committees. But unless the pastors and church members are willing to become more involved in the Association, our new structure will not work any better than the old structure. Honestly, I don’t know if this new structure will work or not, we’ve never tried it before, but God is calling us to Missions and Ministry, right here in Strawberry Association.

Forgetting the Past – Facing the Future!


Jan 11 Vernon DeLong (Trinity)
Jan 17 Bill Mitchell (Mount Zion)
Feb 16 Marc Jantomaso (River Rock)

Wedding Anniversary

Feb 14 Todd & Dana Childers (Norwood)

Focus on Our Family

Big Island Missions Report for December 2010: sponsored 16 Secret Shepherd Children for Christmas; sponsored soup and sandwich dinner for Big Island PTA (serving about 125 people); delivered 36 quarts of homemade soup to shut-ins; sponsored an Angel tree for 15 shut-ins, delivered 20 boxes of non-perishables to less fortunate, Lottie Moon for 2010 totaled $2,330.05.

The Christian Sportsmen Association of Thaxton is planning the church’s second annual Wild Game Dinner scheduled for February 19, 2011. There were several decisions to follow Christ during last year’s dinner and excitement is building about the possibilities for the upcoming dinner.

Help Wanted

Associate Pastor of Music and Youth - Part Time
Hunting Creek Baptist Church
Big Island, Virginia

Hunting Creek Baptist Church is a Southern Baptist Congregation in the reformed tradition. We are looking for someone to lead our Music and Youth Ministries. In terms of the Music Ministry, this will primarily include preparation for, and the leading of music for, three weekly services (Sunday AM, Sunday PM, & Wednesday PM); and seasonal services. The music style of the church is “blended”, and the Music Minister must be able to lead and excited about leading the congregation in both older and newer songs. The Music Minister will also be charged with leading the choir(s), either directly or indirectly. In terms of the Youth Ministry, this will primarily include preparation for, and the leading of weekly youth gatherings and special activities. The goal will be to build a vibrant Youth Ministry that reaches youth in the church, their friends, and youth in the community without a home church youth group. In accomplishing the work of the ministry, the Associate Pastor of Music and Youth will work with the Senior Pastor and other church leaders, and their family will be expected to be involved in the church.

Salary: $25,000
Contact Person: Brenda Oliver,
Personnel Committee Chairman
Contact Address


Reggie McNeal insists we often ask the wrong question and miss the more accurate but really tough questions that confront us as churches. For your consideration:

  • Wrong question: How do we “do church” better?
  • Tough question: How do we ““be church” better? Or how do we deconvert from “churchianity” (institutional religion) to Christianity (the movement)?
  • Wrong question: How do we grow this church?
  • Tough question: How do we serve this community?
  • Wrong question: How do we develop ministers for the church?
  • Tough question: How do we develop missionaries to the culture?
  • Wrong question: How do we develop church members?
  • Tough question: How do we develop followers of Jesus?
  • Wrong question: How do we plan for the future we see?
  • Tough question: How do we prepare for the future God sees in us?
  • Wrong question: How do we develop leaders for church work?
  • Tough question: How do we develop leaders for the Christian movement?


Ministers…Bible Teachers…Bible Students…
College and Masters classes
Bonsack Baptist Church, Roanoke
January 24-May 12, 2011

College Classes
Pastoral Care and Counseling: Mondays, 6:00-8:50 p.m.
Ministry of Worship: Thursdays, 6:00-8:50 p.m.

Masters Classes
Christian Ethics: Thursdays, 3:30-5:30 p.m. OR 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Global Church History: Thursdays, 8:10-10:10 p.m.

Tuition for College classes: $375/class Audit: $188
Tuition for Masters classes: $700/class Audit: $350
(Tuition scholarships available for BGAV church members)

Offered by The Christian Leadership Network and
The John Leland Center
(Both ministries of the Virginia Baptist Mission Board)

For information and registration
Gary A. Chapman, Director,
Christian Leadership Network
3835 Cundiff Drive, Roanoke, VA 24012
540.977.2652 Toll-free: 877.977.2652

To: Strawberry Association Churches
From: Cary Ogden

       Representative to the Virginia Baptist Mission Board

First, I would like to thank you for electing me to serve on the Mission Board. My first meeting was very exciting and rewarding. I was overwhelmed with all of the ministries taking place. I was reluctant to try to highlight only the ones I felt were important but, because of space limitations, I have outlined below some of the achievements from 2010 mission ministries.

  • 34 New Church Starts, Multi-Sites, and new to BGAV; making this our second best in the last five years.
  • Participated in a nationwide Easter evangelistic campaign called, “God’s Plan for Sharing: Across North America”.
  • Disaster Relief has an ongoing response to earthquake-devastated Haiti. Our initial response was with the SBC (2,721 Buckets of Hope) and with CBF (3,000 lbs. of medical supplies). Our long-term response is in partnership with the Haiti Baptist Convention, Baptist World Alliance, and Hungarian Aid.
  • 350 plus volunteers participated in short-term partnership mission trips.
  • Provided leadership, funding, and mission support for Campground Ministries, Inc. This ministry reaches 5 major campgrounds with 1800 campsites.
  • For the academic year of 2010-2011, the BGAV Scholarships and Ministerial Educational Funds Committee awarded $163,508 to 166 students. These recipients represent 128 BGAV churches, 34 district associations, and 45 schools.
  • Had significant personal contacts with over 800 pastors/staff and church leaders.
  • Had over 500 people participate in Leadership Gathering event with Reggie McNeal.
  • Provided many training programs with multiple topics all over the state.

With so many different opportunities for ministry being provided by Virginia Baptists, it is difficult to identify all of them, so I have placed a copy of the report in the Association Office for your use. There is also a copy of the DVD entitled BGAV Connect: 2010, dated November 9-10, 2010. I hope you will find time to review these items and share them with your congregation.

A Place for You in WMU!
Mrs. Rebekah Overstreet, WMU Director
1813 Oakwood St., Bedford 24523
Phone: 540.586.2956

Women on Mission: Radford will lead weekly devotionals at Oakwood Manor in January, February & March. Bethlehem will host the January birthday party for residents of Bedford County Nursing Home; Mount Olivet will host it in February.

Dues ($2.00 for each member of Women on Mission and leaders of age-level organizations) are due now for the 2010-2011 year. Checks should be payable to Strawberry WMU and mailed to Phyllis McDaniel, 2460 Hawkins Ridge Rd., Goode, VA 24556. The following have already sent checks: Beaverdam, Bethlehem, Big Island, Diamond Hill, Glade Creek, Hunting Creek, Morgans, Mount Hermon, Pecks, Sedalia, Shady Grove, & Thaxton, and Timber Ridge.

SBA WMU Planning Meeting
Tuesday, January 18, 2011, 5:15 p.m.
Association Office

A volunteer at Bedford Christian Ministries reported that there was a great response to the request for blankets in the December newsletter. Thanks to all who shared!

The following churches reported participation in Operation Christmas Child: Beaverdam, Bedford, Bethlehem, Flint Hill, Mount Hermon, Mount Zion, Palestine, Quaker, Shady Grove, Suck Spring.

Total shoeboxes from SBA churches: 1,594!

Click for January Calendar


SBA’s Vision Statement: Due to our common faith in Jesus Christ and His body, the Church, we Commit ourselves to Connecting with one another for Coordinating the missions and ministries of our member churches and Communicating opportunities to partner together to fulfil the Great Commission and Great Commandment.

Peace Starts with A Smile

Help us all stay informed. If you have information about what's going on at your church, please share it with us. Items for the next newsletter should be written and in the association office by Wednesday, January 19.

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Strawberry Baptist Association
163 West Main, Bedford, VA 24523
Tel.: (540) 586-8345
FAX: (540) 586-4246

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Updated 12/28/2010
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