February 2009

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Future newsletters will include messages from pastors in Strawberry Association. Following is a condensed version of the message delivered by Rev. Michael Cox during the afternoon session of the SBA Annual Meeting. Thanks, Michael, for your willingness to share with us.

Your Unity
Will Impact Your Community

We all want people to come to our churches. We have signs and banners on the church lawn, ads in the newspaper, and fliers distributed in neighborhoods. We all believe in the mission to reach out to our communities with the gospel of Jesus Christ. But what does the community see? Can they affirm that the living God resides in your church? Do they see you as a household—brothers and sisters in Christ who love each other? Do they see a unified group of believers?
Do you realize that your unity will impact your community?
Let's take greater note of the reason for unity—so the world may know Jesus Christ. In John 17 Jesus is praying for believers, and part of His prayer for us in v. 21-23 is "that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me…and have loved them…." Jesus Himself is praying for our oneness. He is praying for our perfect unity. And the reason is…so the world may know Jesus Christ and His love for them.
Your unity will impact your community!
Based upon Philippians 2:1-4, there are some practical ways to build and display unity:
1. Encouragement
What comments do you want to overhear other people say about your church?
What you say about your church, and the people in your church, travels to the public. Philippians 2:1 says, "Therefore if there is any consolation (encouragement) in Christ…." You have a choice to say something discouraging or encouraging about your church. How wonderful it would be to hear this in public: "So you attend (insert church name here) Baptist Church? I hear God's doing a great work there." "Oh, there's so much love and support there. I hear such wonderful things about the people there." "My neighbor told me about everyone rallying around the mission project." "My coworker said they made some good friends at that church." Wouldn't people be attracted to a church about which they hear those positive and encouraging remarks?
What you say about your church and its leaders will be a tremendous factor in whether people will want to come to your church.

Bible classes offered at
Bonsack Baptist Church, Roanoke

Weeks of January 26 – May 15, 2009

Undergraduate (college) Classes
Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels – Monday, 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Spiritual Formations (Growing in Christlikeness)
Tuesday, 9:00 a.m.-noon

Philosophy of Religion – Thursday, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Cost: $375/class (Additional scholarshipping available for members of Baptist General Association of Virginia churches) Audit: $188

Masters (seminary) Class
New Testament Introduction --Thursday, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Cost: $600/class (Additional scholarshipping available for members of Baptist General Association of Virginia churches) Audit: $300

A partnership of The John Leland Center for Theological Studies and The Southwest Virginia Christian Leadership Network.

For more information, contact Gary Chapman, 777.3014 (Roanoke); toll-free: 866.223.9344; or email,

Focus on Our Family

In January, Benjamin P. Thurman, a senior at Bluefield College, received a $1,000 BGAV Achievement Scholarship presented by Dr. Gary Chapman, Director of the Southwest Virginia Christian Leadership Network. The scholarship was in recognition of Christian service, community service, character, demonstrated leadership, scholastic ability, and continued spiritual development as a member of Flint Hill. Rev. Juan Barr will lead a Winter Bible Study on the book of Daniel, February 15-18, at Flint Hill

Mentow will host Ralph and Tammy Stocks, missionaries to Hungary, on Sunday, February 8, 2009. Beginning at 9:30, during the usual Bible Study time, they will be sharing about their ministry among the Roma people. At 10:30, they will be the featured speakers during the worship service.

Rev. Rick Mallory of Morgans Baptist Church and Rev. Michael Cox of Suck Spring Baptist Church will be doing a pulpit exchange on Sunday, Feb. 15. Rick will preach at Suck Spring and Michael will preach at Morgans.

Etc., Etc., Etc.

SBCV Student Pastor Retreat
February 27-28, 2009
Great Wolf Lodge, Williamsburg

Join us for a time of encouragement, fellowship, and renewal for youth pastors, youth leaders, and their families with guest speaker, Roger Palmer of Reach-Out Youth Solutions. For more info/to register, go to

Church Building Conference
February 29, 2009,
8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Virginia Baptist Resource Center
Designed for pastors, building committee members, church treasurers, and other key leaders. Register at or call 1-800-255-2428.

SBCV Prayer Evangelism Conference
March 20-21, 2009

Putting feet to our prayers is the theme for this year's evangelism conference. Prayer is such a vital part of any evangelism effort—we've even changed the name: Prayer Evangelism Conference. Once again this year, the event will be held over two days in four different locations: Seaford, Stafford, Max Meadows, and Fincastle. More details and registration are forthcoming.

Wedding Anniversaries

February 12 Chris & Susan Smith (Staunton)
February 14 Todd & Dana Childers (Norwood)
March 28 Phil & Jean Day (Retired)

Church Ministry Anniversary

February 12 Eldridge Cullum (Pastor/Thaxton/5 yrs.)

Click for February Calendar

Receipts for 2008

2008 Treasurer's Report

A Place for You in WMU!
Mrs. Lois Stevens, WMU Director
1118 Roundtree Dr., Bedford 24523
Phone: 540.586.7409

Women on Mission: Radford continues to lead devotionals at Oakwood Manor in February and March. Mount Olivet will host the February birthday party for residents of Bedford County Nursing Home; Diamond Hill will host it in March. The WOM of Flint Hill will sponsor a spaghetti supper on Saturday, February 14, 4-7 p.m. Any donations will help fund local mission projects.

Strawberry WMU
Executive Committee Planning Meeting

(Church WMU Directors and
Associational WMU Leadership Team)
Thursday, February 12, 2009,
5:15 p.m., SBA Office

Mark your calendars:
Strawberry WMU Annual Meeting
Bedford Baptist Church
Saturday, March 21, 2009,
10 a.m.(Covered dish lunch)

"Called To Love"
by Kathryn Beisser,
Acteens Leader at Mount Olivet

"Called to Love" is the theme for the Acteens at Mount Olivet this year. As a new Acteens leader, I have prayed that God will help me lead the girls in a way that is the most pleasing to Him. I asked God to show me some mission projects that we could be involved in. The projects needed to engage the girls and help them use their God-given talents to help others. One Wednesday night this fall, a church member came to me and shared a mission project that she does. She has a daughter in Acteens and suggested that this would be a great project for our group. I felt God working and got so excited! She uses looms to knit hats and shawls for children who are cancer patients at Duke University. I personally enjoy crafting, but this looked a bit "involved" and I hoped that I could learn to do it and share it with the girls. I bought the supplies and my 12 year old and I sat down to begin to learn to knit on the looms. We caught on quickly and my 8 year old daughter soon jumped in also. At the next Acteens meeting we introduced it to the group and it is really taking off. I heard so many excited comments from these beautiful girls as they learned that they could knit and share God's love through it. We decided that it would be fun to meet again soon and knit even more! I began to wonder how I would afford all the yarn we would need, and God provided! Without even asking for any donations a church member came to me and said that she had a lot of yarn that she didn't need if we could use it. God is so good! Last Friday we had a knitting party with a great turn out! The wonderful member who introduced me to the idea came and helped us out along with two other moms and six girls. We completed NINE hats that night! As we knitted, we talked about, thought about, and prayed for the children who will receive our hats. We will continue to meet and knit and send as many hats as God sees fit. I do believe that this mission project is answering His "Call to Love."


February 8 John Boyles (Mentow)
February 16 Marc Jantomaso (River Rock)
February 28 Gary Kingery (Mountain View)
March 2 Philip Ayers (Glade Creek)
March 4 Daren Davis (IMB Missionary)
March 7 Rick Mallory (Morgans)
March 24 Dennis Moore (Beaverdam)
March 31 Harold Lewis (Walnut Grove)

Many people are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges. —Mary Jess “Lights from the Chapel Window”

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, February 18.

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January 2009

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

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Updated 1/30/2009
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