September 2011

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Where Do We Go From Here?

The history of the early church continues in the book of Acts. Jesus had risen from the dead and ascended back to Heaven. The Disciples looked at each other and asked the same question we are asking, “Where Do We Go from Here?

Back in 2008, at the Annual Meeting of the Strawberry Association, a Self-Study Team was formed to determine where God was leading us. In 2009, a new Vision statement was approved by the Association: Because of 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 fulfill the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.

Last year, the Self-Study Team presented a new Structure. Not like the current Committee-based Structure; but a new Network-based Structure—churches networking together to accomplish the purpose God has set for us, evangelism, missions & ministry, carrying out the Great Commission.

The Self-Study Team also presented a proposed Constitution and Bylaws. We included our Core Values and revised Membership requirements, giving more accountability to the churches. The Bylaws address other issues—two state conventions, the DOM’s title, the new Structure; Leadership Team, Administrative Team, and Support Team, along with Ministry Area Coordinators and Regional Representatives.

Our Transition Team has been working this past year, in conjunction with the Executive Board. At the Executive Board meeting in April, we broke up into “Regions” to give each region an opportunity to meet. Another “Regional” meeting is planned for Monday, September 12, at Trinity. We will meet as the association Executive Board, then break up into “regions” to allow us an opportunity to communicate and coordinate church events.

The Leadership Team consists of three Ministry Area Coordinators: Donnie Slusher, Missions and Ministry Coordinator; David Henderson, Pastoral Development Coordinator; and Dennis Moore, Church Development Coordinator; three Regional Representatives: Michael Cox, North Region; Jackie Carver, South Region; and Todd Childers, Central/West Region; along with the Administrative Team: Moderator, David Timma; Vice-Moderator, Gene Suggs; Administrative Assistant/Treasurer, Esther Woodford; and Clerk, Lois Stevens; and the Pastor or Lay Representative from each church.
We have met the requirements of our current Bylaws by submitting the proposal at the 2010 Annual Meeting, and the published minutes of that meeting give its exact wording. The time is before us. We are now ready to implement our new structure. At the 2011 Annual Meeting on Monday, October 24, we will be voting on the new Structure and Constitution and Bylaws. “Where Do We Go from Here?

We continue to struggle as an Association, barely receiving enough money to pay the bills and the Administrative Assistant’s salary, much less afford even a part-time DOM. Where do we go from Here?

Do we go back to the old structure that did not work properly because of lack of participation, or do we step out in Faith, following God who has led us so far, not knowing what the future holds, except that He Promised to be with us? Are we willing to network together, trying to accomplish something together that we cannot accomplish separately?

We can Wait for somebody to do something while we do nothing, (the disciples went fishing), we can Watch while someone else is working, (the disciples were caught staring at the sky, watching for Jesus to return), or we can continue Witnessing to a lost and dying world around us, but we Can Not Go Back to the way it used to be. Someone once said, “You only get out of church, what you put into it.” I guess the same goes for our Association.

Where Do We Go from Here?



Sep 01 Mike Jones (Sedalia)
Sep 11 Seaburn Daniel (In Memoriam)
Sep 12 Michael Cox (Suck Spring)
Sep 12 David Henderson (Bedford)
Sep 21 Mark Flores (Mt. Hermon)
Sep 25 David Timma (Quaker)
Sep 26 Grant Harbridge (Bethlehem)
Oct 11 Rick Dellinger (Music Evangelist)
Sep 27 Greg Soult (Mentow)
Sep 29 Todd Childers (Norwood)

Wedding Anniversaries

Sep 11 Rick & Cheri Dellinger (Music Evangelist)
Oct 7 Edward & Donna Creel (Beaverdam)
Oct 8 Bryan & Ada Sheehan (Pecks)

Church Ministry Anniversaries

Sep 18 David Timma (Pastor/5 yrs./Quaker)

CenterFest 2011

This is the tenth year in which SBA churches will minister to the thousands who attend Bedford City’s CenterFest Street Festival on Saturday, September 24, 2011. It’s not too late to volunteer to pass out complimentary water or lemonade, monitor the Baby Care Station, or prayer walk. The 5-6 p.m. time slot is still open. Three to five people are needed to man the booth for each hour—there‘s no limit on prayerwalkers. If you have other ideas for sharing God’s love in this venue, contact Rita Calhoun at 540.297.5271 or email


Annual Church Profile material as well as a form requesting names of representatives to SBA’s Executive Board for 2011-2012 will soon be distributed and is due back by Monday, October 10. Clerks, please feel free to contact the association office with questions or if you need assistance. Clerks may also provide names of messengers to the 2011 SBA Annual Meeting with ACP info or enter them at the church’s SBDS website by Monday, October 10.

SBA’s 235th Annual Meeting
Trinity Baptist Church
Monday, October 24, 2011, sessions at 4 and 7 p.m
(The meal, to be catered by Liberty Station and served at 5:30, will cost $12.00 per person)

WE NEED FOLK who are willing to sing in an Associational Choir for the 7 p.m. session of the Annual Meeting. Two rehearsals are scheduled—Sunday, September 18, and Sunday, October, 16, both beginning at 3 p.m. and held in Trinity’s sanctuary. Carol Easterly, Music Minister at Trinity, will be directing. Carol has chosen the following selections: All To Us, words and music by Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, Matt Maher & Matt Redman, arranged & orchestrated by Cliff Duren; The Solid Rock, written by Edward Mote & William Bradbury, arranged by BJ Davis; and I Am Redeemed, words & music by Phil Cross, arranged by Russell Mauldin (Brentwood/Benson Ready to Sing series, vol. 5). Please contact Carol at 540.586.8010 or 540.874.4031 if you are willing to participate.

Heroes of the Faith

In July, we completed our seventh consecutive Children’s Summer Music Camp, directed by Susan Batten-Bell.

We appreciate Susan’s musical ability, creativity, enthusiasm, boundless energy, and willingness to share her gifts. We are also grateful for the many other volunteers who gave of their time and talents to touch lives with the joy and significance of music in sharing the gospel. Leaders were Carolyn Craig, Michael and Connie Cox, Wade and Sandra Locy, Laura Mallory, and Mary Thompson. Helpers included Margaret Chilton, Judy Mansfield, Ellen Mitchell, Barbara Peterson, Lois Talton, David Thomas, Evelyn Wade, John Woodford, and Laura Zaryczny. Thanks to Bedford Baptist for again allowing us to use their facilities, for sharing Susan with us, and for providing the delicious refreshments after Friday‘s wonderful presentation. We thank God for blessing the commitment and efforts of the children and the volunteers.

There were 38 children enrolled, with Ryan Markham and Jessica Perkins graduating this year. Activities included choir, drama, choreography, bells, tone chimes, crafts, and snacks. Fourteen churches were represented—Bedford Baptist, Bedrock Community, Holy Name of Mary Catholic, Main Street United Methodist, Mentow Baptist, Morgans Baptist, Palestine Baptist, Redeeming Grace Baptist, Renolda Presbyterian, Sedalia Baptist, Suck Spring Baptist, Thaxton Baptist, Timber Ridge Baptist, and Trinity Ecumenical Parish.

Susan writes the following: “On our field trip to a museum we encountered Moses who taught us that we can become leaders when we follow God. Deborah taught us that we need to obey God’s call. We learned to be faithful to God’s command like Elijah and that we can receive courage by placing our faith in God like David.

Parents/Grandparents/Guardians, thank you for the opportunity to share with your children during the week.

Strawberry Woman’s Missionary Union
is hosting its
2nd Annual Ministers/Spouses Dinner
(Catered by Liberty Station Restaurant)

Thursday, October 13, 2011
6:00-8:30 p.m.
in the Fellowship Hall of
Trinity Baptist Church

Child care and a snack supper provided
for children up to 12 years of age.

RSVP with names of those attending to
540.586.8345 or
by Thursday, September 29.

Click for September Calendar

Focus on Our Family

During worship service on July 31, Bedford Baptist recognized Elizabeth Curry for 20 years of faithful service as secretary for the church. Susan C. Batten-Bell celebrated her seven year anniversary as Minister of Music on August 1.

On Wednesday, August 17, 2011, Diamond Hill voted to call Rev. Monroe Baldwin as their full time pastor. Pastor Baldwin achieved his Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Williams Baptist College in Arkansas, his Masters of Arts in Religion and Masters of Divinity from Liberty University, and is pursuing his Doctoral Degree in Ministry at Liberty University. Most recently he served as a Chaplain for Corporate Chaplains of America. He and his wife Tammy have three children. Tammy is a licensed Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and an online professor teaching nursing for Liberty University. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Family Psychology from Williams Baptist College, Arkansas, and a Master of Nursing from University of Arkansas Medical Sciences.

Rev. Mark Oblinger began serving as pastor of Flint Hill on Sunday, August 14. A graduate of Bluefield College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, he earned a Master of Ministry at Temple Baptist Seminary. Prior to coming to Flint Hill, ministry involvement includes. New England from 1997-1999 (receiving partial support from NAMB); numerous interim pastorates in Virginia; 11 years of collegiate ministry; service at Bluefield Union Mission; stakeholder leader for Campus Crusade for Christ, and in-hospital pastoral care. Mark has two daughters—Amy, 26, music professor/conductor at Virginia Intermont and King College; and Emily, 25, animal care technician for a veterinary clinic. Martha, his wife of 28 years, died of breast cancer in 2009. Mark and his cat, Oreo, reside in Roanoke.

Timber Ridge is having “Homecoming” on Sunday September 25. Donald Gillette from “Because We Care Ministry” will be presenting the message following music from Reed Creek Bluegrass. There will be a covered dish luncheon on the grounds. Any questions, please call the church office , 540.586.9267.

Thaxton has scheduled revival services for Sunday through Wednesday, September 18-21, with Dale Riddle as guest evangelist.

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

Women on Mission: Bedford will lead weekly devotionals at Oakwood Manor in September. Thaxton will lead them in October. Thaxton will host the September birthday party for residents of Bedford County Nursing Home; Timber Ridge will host it in October. Recently, the Sedalia Stars made 49 blankets for children for the Disaster Relief trailer. They also filled 22 backpacks with school supplies; made 300 witnessing bracelets for the mission team participating in “Salmon Frenzy”; and gave a monetary donation to the “Clean Hands/Pure Heart Homeless Shelter” in Lynchburg.

WMU Sponsored Quilting Classes

The week of August 1-6 was like a beehive of activity for 6 days at Bedford Baptist Church with 4 adults and 10 young ladies, ages 7-18, sewing, pressing, cutting, and standing in line to do all of the above! Everyone was working, talking, asking questions, sewing, ripping out, sewing, ripping out, sharing, sewing, ripping out, and waiting for assistance. (You get the picture.)

Everyone was having so much fun that the class schedule expanded from 2 hours to 4 hours and from 5 days to 6 days. By the end of the week everyone finished a reversible quilt of 4 blocks with sashing, border, and binding.

There were seven instructors (including one young man with lots of talent), 14 sewing machines, and lots and lots of fabric. We also had plenty of homemade refreshments and drinks. Every day a Bible verse was put on the board and different persons had something for Show and Tell. Several quilts were displayed that were over 100 years old. Other sewing projects were introduced that would make for great classes in the future.

There is a lot of talent, old and young, in SBA. You will get to see and meet some of it at our Annual SBA meeting in October.

Alma Hunt Offering
for Virginia Missions

free to live
Offering goal: $1,167,500
Week of emphasis: September 11-18, 2011

Women’s Get-Away
November 4-5 and 5-6, 2011, Eagle Eyrie

Ordinary Life...
Extraordinary God

It’s a beautiful exchange

WMUV Annual Meeting between sessions
Saturday, November 5, 1:00-3:30 p.m.

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.

“There is no real excellence in all this world which can be separated from right living."
—David Starr Jordan

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, September 21.

The SBA office has a Risograph 6300 (purchased in 2000) and a Konica 7050 (donated to the association in 2004) to give away to anyone interested. Both were used when acquired and have been in storage for the past two years.

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

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Updated 8/30/2011
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