January 2012

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New Beginnings

1. The Two Hundred Thirty-fifth Annual Session of Strawberry Baptist Association was held on Monday, October 24, 2011, at Trinity Baptist Church.
2. Special music entitled “I Want to Die Living” was presented by Broken, a ladies quartet from Trinity Baptist Church.
3. The session was called to order by Rev. Vernon DeLong, Moderator.
4. Rev. Vernon DeLong, Pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, gave the welcome, scripture and prayer.
5. Mrs. Ginger Bell led the congregation in singing “To God Be the Glory.”
6. Dr. David Henderson read scripture from 1 Thessalonians 5:16 and Ephesians 4:11. He noted that October is Pastor Appreciation Month and thanked the WMU of Strawberry Association for the banquet held on October 13, 2011, in appreciation of the pastors of the Association. Ministry is a partnership between pastors and lay people and the church cannot function unless both work together. He introduced new ministers to the association: Rev. Monroe Baldwin and his wife, Tammy, Diamond Hill; Rev. Phillip Kelley and his wife, Debbie, Timber Ridge; Rev. Mark Oblinger, Flint Hill; Rev. Greg Soult and his wife, Maryanna, Mentow; and Rev. Tom Stokes, interim at Big Island.
7. Special music entitled “The Center of Your Will” was presented by Broken.
8. Mr. Gene Suggs, Chair of the Nominating Committee, presented the Committee’s recommendation as follows:
Regional Representatives: Rev. Jackie Carver, Rev. Michael Cox, Rev. Todd Childers
Ministry Area Coordinators: Church Development Coordinator, Rev. Dennis Moore; Missions/Ministry Coordinator, Mr. Donnie Slusher; Pastoral Development Coordinator, Dr. David Henderson
Officers/Committee Chairs
Moderator.................................................Rev. David Timma
Vice-Moderator............................................Mr. Gene Suggs
Clerk.....................................................Mrs. Lois S. Stevens
Treasurer.......................................Mrs. Esther O. Woodford
Finance Chair........................................Mrs. Wanda DeLong
Personnel Chair.........................................Mrs. Faye Eubank
Property Chair.........................................Mr. Richard Goode
Nominating Chair.......................................Mrs. Rita Calhoun
Mr. Suggs moved the adoption of these recommendations of Officers and Committee Chairs. Motion carried.
9. Mrs. Wanda DeLong presented the proposed budget for 2012. The budget was adopted as presented.
10. Mrs. Ginger Bell led the congregation in singing “He Leadeth Me! O Blessed Thought.”
11. The Memorial Service was led by Ms. Melinda Nichols. She read a poem entitled “Road to Eternity.” As the names of deceased members were read, members of the churches were asked to stand. A candle was lit in memory of the deceased.
12. Special music entitled “Learning to Lean” was presented by Broken.
13. Rev. Jackie Carver presented a report of the CenterFest Ministry which was held in the City of Bedford on September 24, 2011. Strawberry Association gave out free water and lemonade and provided a baby care station.
14. Mrs. Rebekah Overstreet, associational WMU Director, presented a report of the Woman’s Missionary Union of Strawberry Association. She reported that the 2011 Annual Meeting was held at Diamond Hill Church, and the 2012 meeting will be held at Flint Hill on April 28, 2012. Members participated in hosting a banquet in appreciation of our pastors on October 13, 2011, and also a quilting camp was held in August with 14 students participating.
15. Mrs. Mary Thompson presented a report on the Music Camp Ministry. The camp was held July 25-29, 2011, at Bedford Baptist Church, with 38 children participating representing 14 churches. The theme for the week was “Heroes of the Faith.”

Thank You!


Feb 17 Bill Mitchell (Mount Zion)

Focus on Our Family

Bethlehem sent 20 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. They also contributed items to the Bedford Community Christmas Station.

Through the Secret Shepherd Ministry, Big Island provided entire outfits, including outerwear, to 22 children with ties to Big Island Elementary School. The church also delivered 72 lunches and 22 food boxes to folk in the Big Island Community. Other Christmas activities included a cantata on Sunday, December 18.

Palestine has two mission trips planned for January 2012—Uganda, January 4-18, and Haiti, January 21-28.

Nicaragua Mission Trip
Information Meeting and Dinner
Sunday, January 29, at 5:00 p.m.
Suck Spring Baptist Church

This is a special invitation to our Associational churches who are interested in going on a first-time mission trip or who want to go someplace different. Suck Spring is hosting a Nicaragua Information Session on Sunday, January 29, at 5 p.m. Don and Pam Gillette, founders of Because We Care Ministries, will be here to share about the current mission work and how other churches can become involved.

We have been to Nicaragua four times, and the people living there have become dear to our hearts. God is doing an amazing work of salvation and now we are involved in discipling Nicaraguan pastors who will be equipped to lead the people in their villages. During this presentation we will have video, slides, and music to worship God and His saving power! We will help you know how to prepare for the mission trip by personal fundraising, collecting supplies, medical requirements, getting a passport, and preparing your Christian testimony.

This will be followed by a dinner of the chicken stew that is made in the villages, side dishes, and Nicaragua cake.

Please RSVP with the number of people who plan to attend from your church so we will have enough food prepared. RSVPs are needed by Sunday, January 22, to Pastor Michael Cox at 540.586.4502. If you decide to do the mission trip on your own, that’s OK. But it’s more fun to do it with other people. We hope you can join us!

Churches are needed to help provide donations to Bedford Christian Ministries. (BCM) helps Bedford residents with items such as food, clothing, financial aid, and household goods. But right now the BIGGEST NEED is household items. The shelves that should contain blankets, towels, pots and pans, silverware, and sheets are literally empty. Would you consider doing a donation drive for one or two of these items? This would be a great project for missions groups, men’s classes, Sunday School, youth group, or the church as a whole. We want to provide the best to people who have little or nothing of these items. So, as you donate, please either purchase brand new items or give gently used items (nothing broken/torn/smelly/stained/rusted). This is currently a desperate need for Bedford Christian Ministries. Donations can be dropped off at their building on Washington Street, from 9 a.m. to 12 Noon, on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays. If you have questions about donating (or volunteering your help), please call Pastor Michael Cox at 540.586.4502. Thank you for helping.

Blessed Are the Pure in Heart
for They Will See God

Passion for Fashion is a revolution of modesty and character geared towards young women in our elementary and middle schools. Modesty has to be taught! I, Kelly Overstreet, have taught a class called Passion for Fashion at my church (Palestine) for two years now for grades 3-8. It has been a great success. Those girls are more aware of what they wear and whose attention they are attracting with their appearance. I have been given the opportunity to teach it at Staunton River Middle School. This is a mission field.

The main focus of the class is to teach girls how to dress modestly, why they are supposed to do so, and how to properly apply makeup, and do their hair, skincare, and hygiene. Due to the ages of the girls involved we will cover purity as well. The normal process for this class is to teach the material, then take the girls shopping to put the knowledge to the test, and hold a fashion show to model the outfits purchased for their families and friends.

We are in need of HELP! We will need funds to help cover the cost of the clothes that we will shop for. As well, we are going to purchase purity rings as a vow and commitment reminder for them. We will have Miss SML 2010 and Miss Lynchburg 2011 help with the Fashion Show Ceremony. We would love to have any help imaginable. Please contact me at 540.874.4033 or

Checks should be payable to Staunton River Middle School PTA (with Passion for Fashion on the memo line). Monetary donations may be mailed to the school at 1293 Golden Eagle Drive, Moneta, VA 24121, or to Kelly Overstreet, Passion for Fashion, 5132 Rock Cliff Road, Bedford, VA 24523. You will receive a tax deductible receipt for your giving. Thank you in advance. God will provide!

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, and March. Bethlehem will host the January birthday party for residents of Bedford County Nursing Home; Mount Olivet will host it in February.

Annual Dues ($2.00 for each member of Women on Mission and leaders of age-level organizations) are due now for the 2011-2012 year. The following churches have already mailed their dues: Bedford, Bethlehem, Big Island, Diamond Hill, Hunting Creek, Mentow, Mount Hermon, Mount Zion, Pecks, Sedalia, Shady Grove, and Thaxton. Checks should be payable to Strawberry WMU and mailed to Phyllis McDaniel, 2460 Hawkins Ridge Rd., Goode, VA 24556.

Many of you have heard about the WMUV ministry to Standing Rock Indian Reservation. The 2012 Mission Trip is scheduled for July 29-August 4. Volunteers will engage in construction, medical, VBS, cooking, adult crafts, recreation, and a traveling fair. The first training session for new volunteers will be Saturday, March 3, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at the Virginia Baptist Resource Center. To register, call 1.800.255.2428. Items for collection are: NEW shoes, new socks and underwear for all ages, money or gift cards, make pillowcases for boys, girls, teens, and adults.

Visit the Children’s Page of the WMUV website for information on “Abigail Girls” and “The Lisk Scholarship.” Applications for either are due February 1, 2012.

HopeTraining 2012
January 28 or August 25, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., CrossRoads Camp and Conference Center Hopetraining is designed for those who desire training to begin a new ministry that reaches their community. These 6-hour courses are taught by active practitioners in the ministry and include lunch. Participants register for one of the following: Community Gardens, Hope Builders, myMissionVirginia, ESL, Booklet, Chronological Bible Storying. The $25 cost includes lunch. Register by calling 1.800.255.2428, ext. 8267.

The Metropolitan New York Baptist Association (MNYBA) has an associational building right in the middle of all of the hustle and bustle of downtown New York. The Association provides housing for mission volunteers who come for short mission trips. They have 50 beds with one set of sheets per bed. This is a very busy place with minimal staff. They have asked for new twin beds sheets/pillowcases and bath towels, wash cloths, and hand towels for the volunteers. If anyone is interested in making this a Home Mission Project, they would greatly appreciate all donations. The elevator is broken and would require at least $250,000 to repair. Everyone has to run up and down six flights of stairs daily. Let’s hope the washer and dryer are not in the basement! For more information you can go to their website, The mailing address is MNYBA, 236 W. 72ND Street, New York, New York, 10023; Phone 212.580.0655; Fax 718-559-6777.

In 2012 Royal Ambassadors and their older brother, Challengers, are returning to WMU. If your church has either of these groups, they are now to be included in your WMU budget, annual planning, etc.

Wedding Anniversaries

Feb 14 Todd & Dana Childers (Norwood)

Click for January Calendar

Deeply Grateful

We are deeply grateful to Carol Lacy who volunteered to scan the microfilm of SBA minutes from 1815-1891. After numerous days and hours working at the Roanoke Public Library and in her home, she now has these records in digital format and available in the SBA office to individuals and churches who are doing historical research. Thank you, Carol.

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.

Lord, keep us mindful of Your Word above all others during this New Year.
—Zona B. Davis

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 25.

Occasionally the administrative assistant has to close the SBA office for errands or meetings. Before coming by to drop off or pick up items, please call 540.586.8345 to be sure the office is open.

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

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Updated 12/31/2011
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