July 2009

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"What Do You See?"

Thanks to Rev. Vernon DeLong, pastor at Trinity and member of Strawberry Association's Self-Study Team, for the following article.

We have "Dreaming" sessions at Trinity every once in awhile, searching for a "New Vision," or simply asking "What is God doing in our midst?" We dream because the Bible says, "where there is no vision, the people perish." What is God doing in your life, in your church, and in our association? What kind of association does God want us to be? Do we want to see a mighty work of God right here in Bedford County, a Great Church, a Great Revival, or a Great Ministry?

The association's Self-Study Team will host a "Dessert 'n Dialogue" on Monday, July 20, 7-9 p.m., at Trinity. All pastors and members of the Executive Board are invited to come and discuss the direction of the association in a Round Table Forum. Join us for this "Dreaming" session.

James tells us that Elijah was a man just like we are, yet he prayed and it didn't rain in Israel for 3 and 1/2 years. Then he prayed again and it rained. James reminds us of the story in 1 Kings after Elijah called down fire on Mt. Carmel, he prayed, and God did a second miracle in their midst. God shares A New Dream, in which He wants to work through us to reach others.

A New Dream must begin with Prayer—Soul-Searching, Soul-Cleansing, Spirit-Filled—Prayer. Sometimes, we pray without Feeling—just going through the motions, or without Faith—not believing God will answer our prayers, or even very Formal at times. Prayer is to Know God, to Praise Him, to Hear Him, and to Obey Him. 2 Chronicles 7:14 lists the four requirements for Revival: Humble ourselves, Pray, Seek His face, and Repent of our ways. James tells us the reason for unanswered prayer is either "we don't ask, or we ask for the wrong reasons." The early Church in Acts was a Praying, Praising and Preaching Church who believed God could do anything, except fail.

A New Dream requires Dedicated Service, Faithfulness. While Elijah was praying, his servant went back and forth to see what was happening. Seven times he went back to the sea expecting God to do something. In the parable of the persistent widow, Jesus teaches us to continue to ask, continue to pray, but also continue to work and witness while expecting God to do something. (Create in us a passion to Know and Do Your Will, Oh God.) Preachers continue to preach the Gospel, teachers continue to teach the Bible, deacons continue to serve the Living Lord, leaders continue to lead, and choirs/singers continue to sing, faithfully.

Mark Your Calendars!

Children’s Summer Music Camp
(For children who have completed
grades K-6)
Monday, July 27 through
Friday, July 31, 2009
9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Bedford Baptist Church
Director, Susan Batten-Bell
Musical Program, Friday, 7:00 p.m.

Charming and witty, this superb children's musical captivates the heart through its memorable melodies and humorous dialogue that creatively tells the story of Elijah. From his confrontation with Ahab and Jezebel through his journey in the desert, Elijah shows his faith in the God who provides.

Registration materials will be mailed to Pastors or Music Leaders the first week of June.

Click here for 2009 Registration Form
Click here for 2009 Medical Form

Focus on Our Family

Beaverdam is sponsoring a car show on Saturday, July 11, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Registration fee to enter your Antique/Classic/Hot Rod car or truck is $10. Live music from 2-4 p.m. Refreshments available. All donations benefit Beaverdam's Youth. (Rain date: Saturday, July 18, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.) Contact Tommy Bolling, Youth Director, 540.297.2187, or email (Flyer included in church newsletter packets.)

A Mission Team from Bedford served in Birmingham, Alabama, from June 14-20.

Tim Dooley, who has pastored at Bethlehem since September 1991, has accepted a call to the pastorate of New Chapel Baptist Church in Rustburg. Tim's last Sunday in the pulpit at Bethlehem will be July 19. We wish Tim and Ruby well in their ministry at New Chapel.

Mentow has voted to extend its Intentional Interim Ministry Contract with Rev. John Boyles who has agreed to continue serving as pastor through June 2010.

On May 24, Staunton voted to call Bill Ireland as Interim Pastor.


Mount Olivet needs a pianist (paid) for Sunday morning worship services. For more information, contact Judy Meador, 540.586.1008.

Trinity has two folding machines to give away. If interested, call 540.586.8010.

Self Study Team

The Self Study Team (SST) of SBA met June 19 at Quaker to discuss the results of the pastoral interviews. All churches were contacted and most pastors were interviewed one-on-one. Some were interviewed by phone or email. The results were compiled and discussed with the consultant, Don Harvey. We will meet again Friday, July 10, 9 a.m., at Quaker.

Pastors and Members of SBA's
Executive Board are Invited to
"Dessert 'n Dialogue"
Monday, July 20, 7-9 p.m., Trinity Church

This is your opportunity to discuss the direction of SBA in a Round Table Forum.

Hosted by the Self-Study Team (SST)

Self-Study Team Contact Info:
Billy Burnette, 540.586.8087; Rita Calhoun, 540.297.5271 or; Hoyt Dellis, 540.297.5622 or; Vernon DeLong, 540.586.8010 or; Rick Mallory, 540.297.4959 or; Dennis Moore, 540.890.1294 or; Rebekah Overstreet, 540.586.2956 or; David Timma, 540.297.3715 or


July 8 Ed Greer (Retired)
July 11 Bryon LePere (Big Island)
July 23 Harry Leland (Shady Grove)
July 31 Esther Woodford (SBA)

Click for July Calendar

Etc., Etc., Etc.

Precept Schools of Virginia is enrolling now for classes beginning August 24. Precept Schools is Christian, Modern, and Classical, offering classes for Pre-K through 9th grade. The tuition cost—just a little more than the cost for child care—is a great investment in growing the next godly generation. Also offered is an after-school enrichment program at reasonable rates. Classes will be held at Liberty Baptist Church, located one mile north of Bedford on SR 122.

Additional information is included in church newsletter packets or you may contact Becky Hensley, 540.587.9216 or email

Do you live paycheck to paycheck?
70% of Americans do.
Do you run out of money before
you run out of days each month?
Are you in bondage to debt?


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

Women on Mission: Radford is leading devotionals at Oakwood Manor in July; Rainbow Forest will lead them in August. Radford will host the July birthday party for residents of Bedford County Nursing Home; Morgans will host it in August.

Since 1997, Bedford Community Resource Center has worked with local schools, businesses, churches, and organizations to provide backpacks to needy students in Bedford. In 2006 and 2007, more than 400 local low-income children received a new pair of school-appropriate shoes along with filled backpacks. Children, parents, and school personnel expressed gratitude for the shoes that made it possible for children to participate in all school activities. In 2008, we were unable to provide this ministry; however, this year, an organization has donated $1,000 to be used for this purpose. It is estimated that it will cost $2,400 to purchase shoes for all the eligible students who apply for assistance. It is our hope that your church can help us resume this worthy project. With your help, these students will be ready to put their best foot forward when school starts!
—Karen Hughes, Volunteer Services Coordinator

Please remember in prayer Rebekah Overstreet as she prepares for six weeks of English as a Second Language ministry in Peru, beginning in late July/early August.

Wedding Anniversaries

July 1 Ken & Evelyn Butterworth (Diamond Hill)
July 18 Eldridge & Jennie Cullum (Thaxton)
July 19 Bryon & Annie LePere (Big Island)
July 30 Marc & Cari Jantomaso (River Rock)
July 31 Jackie & Glynda Carver (Palestine)
Aug 4 Tim & Ruby Dooley (Bethlehem)
Aug 7 Vernon & Wanda DeLong (Trinity)
Aug 7 David & Suzann Timma (Quaker)
Aug 12 Rick & Laura Mallory (Palestine)
Aug 17 David & Donna Henderson (Bedford)
Aug 19 Dennis & Mary Moore (Beaverdam)
Aug 20 Gary & Becky Fowler (Bedford)
Aug 20 Ed & Nancy Greer (Retired)
Aug 26 Mike & Edith Grooms (Rainbow Forest)

Christianity promises to make men free; it never promises to make them independent.
—William Ralph Inge (1860-1954)

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, July 22.

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

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Updated 7/1/2009
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