April 2008

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An Evening to Remember

My prayers for the Strawberry Association have remained unchanged over the years.
1. Praying for more fellowship and shared ministry among our churches. Too many churches are caught up in their corner of the world and are missing opportunities to learn from and minister to sister churches. An association must enjoy a cooperative spirit or it is an association in name only.
2. Looking for pastors who would live out the mind of Christ serving one another in true humility. There are many among us who are isolated and striving alone.
3. Asking the Lord to stir hearts to much deeper financial commitment to the ministries of the SBA. There are many other ways we can do a better job and join God where He is at work, but unless we walk together and share in the financial requirements it will not happen.
4. Praying that local churches would become so burdened for the unchurched families in their backyards that they would dynamically look for exciting, friendly, and innovative ways to reach out and become involved.
5. Asking God’s Spirit to break, melt, and mold us so there would be a greater emphasis on what we have in common and less on what makes us different.
6. Praying that we would not grow weary in our multiple evangelism and mission efforts throughout the year—to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth.

For whatever reasons, and from my perspective, reality has been different than what I had hoped for. Perhaps my prayers and desires were off base in regards to associational life and relationships. Though there have been some isolated positive cooperative efforts, I am inclined to give low marks as to my personal contribution and that of the Association at large. It is difficult to determine any significant impact that we have made, especially in our own Jerusalem.

Our Annual Executive Board meeting takes place at 7:00 p.m. on April 15, 2008, at Mount Hermon Baptist Church. The Board consists of officers of the Association, department directors, committee chairmen, trustees chairman, pastors, and two representatives elected by each member church. We encourage everyone to be present.

The bulk of the evening will be used to present about eight different options that the Association might wish to consider in making future plans. The drop in financial and moral support received from member churches and pastors has been so great that we will no longer be able to maintain a full-time missionary, administrative assistant, property, and ministry.

Transition is always uncomfortable and challenging, even in the best of situations. The alternatives to the way we have been carrying out our work these past seven years are quite varied, ranging from selling off our property to dispensing with a full-time missionary. Without a doubt, this year’s gathering will be quite memorable, whatever the outcome.

I do have another prayer to add. I desire that those in attendance will seek that which honors God, edifies His church, and brings peace to troubled hearts.

By His grace,


Henry and Richard Blackaby

Henry and Richard Blackaby, best known for the Experiencing God series, will be at Highlands Fellowship Church in Abingdon on April 25-26 for a “Spiritual Leadership Conference.” Based on their book, Spiritual Leadership: Moving People to God’s Agenda, the best-selling authors will teach on leadership from a biblical perspective, not only for those in ministry roles, but business and education leaders.

Conference sessions will be held on Friday evening (7:00-9:30 p.m.), Saturday morning (9:00-11:30 a.m.), and Saturday afternoon (1:00-3:30 p.m.). Persons may attend any or all sessions. There is no charge to attend the conference, though love offerings for the Blackabys will be taken at each session. There is, however, a charge of $7 for a box lunch on Saturday.

This event is sponsored by the Southwest Virginia Christian Leadership Network, a ministry of the Virginia Baptist Mission Board Individuals and groups interested in attending or needing more information may contact the Network by phone, 540.777-3014 or 866.223.9344 (toll free). The Network can also be contacted by email, Reservations for the conference should be received by April 14. More information available on the Network website,

Focus on Our Family

Beaverdam will host a Beth Moore Live Simulcast on Friday, August 1, 7:30 to 10:00 p.m., and Saturday, August 2, 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Tickets are now available at $25.00 per person (non-refundable). To purchase tickets, please call Debbie at 540-297-6111

Flint Hill will have revival services April 6-9. The Sunday morning service will be at 11 a.m., and evening services will be at 7 p.m. Rev. Melvin Harris will be the evangelist.

North Bedford will have revival services April 20-23. The Sunday morning service is at 10:55, and evening services Sunday through Wednesday begin at 7:00. Guest speaker is Rev. Gabe Turner, former public school teacher and coach.

On April 26, 2008, 9 a.m.-12 noon, Palestine’s student ministry will be hosting a Parenting Conference for all parents who have teenagers. Dr. Steve Vandegriff, Director for the Center for Youth Ministry at Liberty University, will lead the conference.

Quaker will have revival services April 27-30, 7 p.m. Reverends Rick Mallory, Bryan Sheehan, Bert Kirk, and Mike S. Jones will bring messages on different evenings during the revival.

Etc., Etc., Etc.

The Virginia Baptist Women's Chorale will be in concert at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, April 5, at Chestnut Hill, Lynchburg, VA. The program includes both traditional and contemporary styles of music. The Chorale is composed of ladies from across the state of Virginia who have music leadership roles in their churches. We hope that you can come and worship in an evening of sacred choral music at Chestnut Hill Baptist, 5225 Fort Ave., Lynchburg, VA 24502, 434.237.6417.

SBCV Women’s Conference
April 18–19, 2008
Grove Avenue Baptist Church, Richmond
Speaker: Jennifer Rothschild

REGISTRATION: $25.00 thru April 16, 2008. $30.00 after April 16, 2008 & at the door. Registration fee covers cost of event and materials. Tickets may be ordered by calling 800.965.9324 or by going online to

Pastor/Deacon/Church Leadership Conference
(Featuring the African Children’s Choir)

May 2-3, 2008
Eagle Eyrie Baptist Conference Center
To register, call 434.384.2211

Church librarians and friends are invited to join in the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Virginia Baptist Library Association at the 2008 Spring Conference for Church Librarians, May 16-18, at Eagle Eyrie Baptist Conference Center. For study course topics and more details, see the newsletter mailed to church librarians listed on the ACP letters or contact Nancy King at 804.781.0151. Registration forms available at

Senior Adult Sing & Share
Festival of Praise Begins on May 12, 3:30 p.m.
Concludes by noon on May 13
Rosalind Hills Baptist Church, Roanoke
For more info, visit

SBA churches, especially choirs, are invited to join with Radford on Friday, April 11, at 7:00, as the church welcomes Damaris Carbaugh in concert. A love offering will be received for her ministry. More information on Damaris' ministry can be found at or

2007 SBA Annuals may be picked up from the office the middle of March.


Mount Olivet is in need of a paid piano player immediately. If you know of someone qualified to help, please contact Kelly Daniel at 540.587.5536.

ALEXANDER, The Servant Boy Who Became A Colonial Virginia Frontiersman, published by Infinity Publishing, is now available. The 385-page book contains 25 pages of pictures, documents, a bibliography, and a genealogy chart for the benefit of researchers. It has a high-resolution laminated cover, a perfect bound binding, and retails for $19.95. To purchase, go to or call toll-free 877.BUYBOOK. (877.289.2665) For more information, you may contact the author, Charles Stinson, at 434.384.5879 or

A Place for You in WMU!
Mrs. Lois Stevens, WMU Director
1118 Roundtree Dr., Bedford 24523
Phone: 540-586-7409

Women on Mission: Thaxton is leading devotionals at Oakwood Manor in April; Sedalia will lead them in May. Palestine will host the April birthday party for residents of Bedford County Nursing Home; Flint Hill will host it in May.

Mark your calendars!
SBA WMU Annual Meeting
Saturday, April 19, 2008, 10 a.m.
Timber Ridge Church
(Bring side dishes or desserts for the covered dish lunch—Timber Ridge is providing meat, bread, and beverages)
Mrs. Judy Hetherington, former WMU director of the Roanoke Valley Association, will be the guest speaker. Our project will be to collect items for the Bedford Community Christmas Station. The following NEW items are needed: clothing for infants/children/teens, toys, board games, sports equipment, household items, and nonperishable food.

Missionaries, Bob and Janice Newell, are asking for handmade baby blankets to be given to Albanian families. If you or a sewing group in your church would like to assist with this ministry, please email

Mark Your Calendars!

SBA Children's Summer Music Camp

(For children who have completed grades K-6)

Monday, July 28-Friday, August 1, 2008
9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Bedford Baptist Church
Musical Program, Friday, 7:00 p.m.


May 3 Woody Elliott (Retired/Bethel)

Wedding Anniversaries

May 23 David & Tammy Williamson (Hunting Creek)
May 30 Calvin & Paula Sacra (North Bedford)

Church Ministry Anniversary

May 10 Rick Mallory (Pastor/Morgans/10 years)

Click for April Calendar

Only 1 % of SBC churches averages 1000 in Sunday School; about 75% of them average less than 100. —Ray Gilder, bi-vocational specialist, Tennessee Baptist Convention

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, April 23.

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

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Updated 3/31/2008
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