November 2005

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2005 Ministry Synopsis

Since October 2004 we've had a busy year, especially this late summer and fall as hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma devastated several southern states and numerous folks from Strawberry have spent some weeks helping with feeding and recovery. These catastrophes at home caused most of us to forget that just last December we were also praying and helping support the people of Indonesia as they faced the Tsunami. We continue to focus on shared evangelism and mission projects and encourage our churches to help in these efforts. We anticipate much need in the weeks and months to come as more cleanup and recovery is orchestrated in the south.

Two overseas mission efforts had to be canceled because of our lack of interest. March's partnership to the Caribbean was to help some of our sister churches and their communities recover from the 2004 hurricane season. No one offered to go. In August we were unable to respond to the call for help from the Czech Republic. Some Baptist brethren there wanted us to send volunteers to renovate the basement of an old church into a youth center in order to reach teens for Christ. We had to tell them no.

There was another call, this time from Spain, looking for families in our area who might host a high school student for the month of July. This partnership would have helped the students with English and American culture, but more importantly, the visit would have given them a chance to live with a Christian family and experience lifestyle evangelism. Unfortunately, no homes in our churches were available.

The Green Mountain Baptist Association of Vermont asked for mission volunteers to assist them in May. There was some minor construction to be done, some evangelism and church planting needs, and a soup kitchen needing workers to prepare food for the hungry. We had sincerely expected a response from our churches since the cost would be minimal, and we could drive, but only two volunteers went.

CenterFest 2005

What a beautiful day the Lord did make for us at CenterFest. The temperature was prefect and the helping hands all arrived. Our booth was busy and our Baby Changing Station was also. This was our best year yet. The mothers were very appreciative of having a nice area with a changing table available. Our workers handed out lemonade, water, and the SBA Strawberry Sensations Recipe booklet. Matt and Patti and their helpers entertained young and old with the lively puppet shows. The gospel was proclaimed in words and songs.

Two churches sent large teams of youth and leaders. What an experience for them to show a servant attitude and God's Love to the crowds as they walked the streets of Bedford, wearing their "How May I Pray for You?" buttons. Many of our workers were with us in the past, some were there for the first time. Most of all they enjoyed doing their part while commenting, "The time went by so quickly."

The number one question I seemed to keep answering was—"Who are these Strawberry Baptist Churches?"

Note: Folks visiting our booth contributed $69.26 for Hurricane Disaster Relief.

Wedding Anniversaries

December 5 John & Esther Woodford (SBA)
December 28 John & Emma Napier (Timber Ridge)

Church Ministry Anniversary

December 1 John Napier (Pastor/Timber Ridge/1 year)

Statistical info from the

Two Hundred Twenty-ninth Annual Meeting
Strawberry Baptist Association

Monday, October 24, 2005

Theme: "Church...Light Your World"
Text: 1 Corinthians 12:21-26

Messengers registered 178
Guests/Visitors registered 19
Total attendance 197
Congregations represented 27

Congregations with full messenger representation: Flint Hill, Hunting Creek, Mentow, Quaker, Staunton, Thaxton, Timber Ridge, and Walnut Grove.

Heartfelt thanks to Timber Ridge for their gracious hospitality. From the personal greeting by the pastor as many messengers arrived, to the delicious meal provided by the church family, we could not have felt more welcome. Thanks also to Ellen Mitchell, Hertha Nichols, and Melinda Nichols for their invaluable help with registration.

Next year's meeting will be at Hunting Creek on Monday, October 30.

Being a Relevant Church

What kind of world is it that we really live in? Can my church become a difference-maker in that world? Those and other questions are the subject of a workshop, "Being a Relevant Church," sponsored by the Southwest Virginia Christian Leadership Network. Facilitated by John Chandler from the Virginia Baptist Mission Board, the workshop will be offered at Thaxton on November 15, from Noon until 2:00 p.m. (A sandwich bar will be provided free of charge.) To pre-register: e-mail or phone 540-777-3014

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

Women on Mission: A group of ladies from Sedalia will lead devotionals at Oakwood Manor in November. Diamond Hill will lead them in December. Pecks will host the November birthday party for residents of Bedford County Nursing Home; Mentow will host it in December.

WMU Dues ($2.00 for each member of Women on Mission and leaders for age-level organizations) are due now for the 2005-2006 year. Checks should be payable to Strawberry WMU and mailed to Mrs. Emily Morris, 2161 Penns Mill Rd., Big Island, VA 24526. Please mail by November 15. The following churches have already submitted their dues: Big Island, Diamond Hill, Flint Hill, Mentow, Mount Olivet, Norwood, Pecks, Quaker, and Timber Ridge.

If your church is collecting items for the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women, Lois Stevens is making arrangements to have them delivered. If you want to avoid the cost of shipping your items, please contact Lois by Friday, November 11.

Larry Ross Ministries

Larry Ross recently resigned Mount Zion to begin a new ministry as a vocational evangelist. The church called him as interim pastor beginning October 1 and will conduct a November 6 commissioning service sending him out as their missionary evangelist. To learn more about Larry Ross Evangelistic Ministries, visit his website at Larry and his wife, Janet, are also available for revival and worship music. You may contact him at 540-587-8962 or

Click for November Calendar

From Esther

Some thoughts from Esther on completion of two decades of service in the SBA office. It hardly seems possible that 20 years have passed since a good friend said she knew of the perfect job for me and encouraged me to apply for associational secretary for Strawberry.

Have you ever felt as though you are stumbling along in your Christian walk, not really knowing where you fit in God's plan? As I look back, I see His use of experiences and people in equipping me for service as your Administrative Assistant. It's such a blessing to know that you're right where God wants you to be!

Way back when I first began working for Strawberry, the work week was three days; now it's four. Then, I used a typewriter and the dreaded mimeograph machine (some of you don't even know what I'm talking about!) for a lot of the work that went out of the office. Now, it's a computer, Risograph (which I understand is obsolete), and a photocopier. Then, we printed 429 newsletters a month; now, it's 965. Then, information (sometimes in long hand) for the Annual Reports was given to a printer for typesetting. Later, material went to the printer camera-ready. Now, the Annuals are done in house from start to finish. (We've even added some color photographs.) Then the cost for the Annuals was over $2000; later, approximately $875. Now, the cost is just under $300.

In carrying out my responsibilities, I have enjoyed getting to know many wonderful people and serving alongside them in various ministry opportunities. Mrs. Meda Hicks who served as secretary for 20 years prior to my service continues to be a source of support. (I don't call on her as much now as I did in the early years, but I know she's still willing to help any way she can.) Rev. Seaburn Daniel always seemed confident in my ability and allowed me a great deal of freedom in carrying out my duties. Now, Steve Manuel serves as Director of Missions, and he, too, is willing to let me serve with a minimum of supervision. (He still has a problem with some of the software programs I use, but he's being patient with this old lady who can't seem to navigate the software he prefers!)

Focus on Our Family

Mentow will host Palestine Baptist and Huddleston United Methodist churches for the annual Huddleston Community Thanksgiving service on Sunday, November 20, 7 p.m. Rev. Jackie Carver of Palestine will bring the message. A pie/cake fellowship will follow the service.

North Bedford is hosting a reception on Sunday, December 4, 2005, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., in the church fellowship hall to celebrate Charles and Irene Stinson's 35 years of ministry at North Bedford as well as to honor Charles on his retirement on December 31, 2005. Everyone is invited to attend. Please come and share this very special occasion with Charles and Irene.

Shady Grove's November calendar includes a service honoring veterans on November 13. The church will share a Family Thanksgiving Dinner on November 16 as well as wrap up their shoebox ministry for Operation Christmas Child. Awanas meet every Wednesday night at 6:30 along with prayer meeting which begins at 7:00.


December 12 Eldridge Cullum (Thaxton)
December 23 David Williamson (Hunting Creek)
December 24 Tim Mathia (Mentow)
December 31 Charles Stinson (North Bedford)

In Sympathy

On October 12, we learned that Rev. Joe Prince passed away following a lengthy illness. Joe served as interim pastor in a number of Strawberry churches during his retirement years. Please keep his wife Willodene in your prayers as she walks through this valley. May she know the strength of her Lord as she mourns the loss of her husband of almost 64 years.

True liberation is freeing people from the bonds that have prevented them from giving their gifts to others. —Henri Nouwen

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 December newsletter should be written and in the association office by Monday, November 21.

Archived Newsletters
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January 2002 - February 2002 - March 2002 - April 2002 - May 2002 - June 2002
July 2002 - August 2002 - September 2002 - October 2002 - November 2002 - December 2002
January 2003 - February 2003 - March 2003 - April 2003 - May 2003 - June 2003
July 2003 - August 2003 - September 2003 - October 2003 - November 2003 - December 2003
January 2004 - February 2004 - March 2004 - April 2004 - May 2004 - June 2004
July 2004 - August 2004 - September 2004 - October 2004 - November 2004 - December 2004
January 2005 - February 2005 - March 2005 - April 2005 - May 2005 - June 2005
July 2005 - August 2005 - September 2005 - October 2005

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

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Updated 10/28/2005
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