December 2010

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Here we are on the verge of another Christmas season. Many things make Christmas special. It has its own special sights and sounds and smells. But the magic of Christmas for me lies in the story of a God who loved us so much that He did more than simply tell us. He showed us. He became like us so that we could become like Him.

What kind of God loves His creation so much that He would leave His heaven and become a man—God in fragile form? What does it mean to know that God has walked where you walk, seen what you see, faced what you face? It means you never go alone. You never need wonder if God understands. You never have to feel like you are on your own. There is a reason they called his name “Emmanuel,” God with us.

Aren’t you glad your God has a human’s eye view of life? That isn’t just a Christmas truth. That’s for every day. Jesus, the one who walked in your shoes twenty centuries ago will still be walking with you next month, next year. In fact, He’ll never stop walking with you. Be careful to thank Him today for being the One who “will never fail you or forsake you”
(1 Chronicles 28:20).

The above thoughts are taken from an article written by Rev. Mark Beck and published in the December 1997 issue of the Strawberry Association newsletter.

CenterFest 2010

CenterFest 2010 was a success! Again! This is our ninth year of providing a Baby Care Station and giving water and lemonade to those who come by our tents.

Thank you! Thank you to those on the set-up team, the prayerwalkers, and those who served at the thirst quenching station and the baby care station. Approximately 40 people from the following churches were involved: Beaverdam, Bethlehem, Flint Hill, Hunting Creek, Mentow, Morgans, Mount Zion, Norwood, Palestine, Quaker, Thaxton, and Trinity.

Approximately 29 gallons of water and 31 gallons of lemonade were given to the thirsty. Our Baby Care Station was used and appreciated by dozens of moms and dads. It is the “nugget”” of our mission to be servants to those attending.

It was apparent that our Lord’’s love and light shown through our teams as they served each hour. We enjoyed the great weather, lots of thirsty people, and dozens of babies. The day was exciting and fun!

God has blessed this mission over the last nine years. “Go ye, therefore….” Join us as we serve in Bedford City on September 24, 2011.


Nov 1 Mike Grooms (Rainbow Forest)
Nov 22 Bryan Sheehan (Pecks)
Nov 23 Bill Vest (Retired)
Nov 28 Elmer Sellers (Retired)
Nov 29 Edward “Bish” Creel (Beaverdam)
Dec 19 Eldridge Cullum (Thaxton)
Dec 31 Charles Stinson (Retired)

Wedding Anniversaries

Nov 19 Bill & Marion Vest (Retired)
Dec 5 John & Esther Woodford (SBA)
Dec 22 Rick & Tracy Foster (Timber Ridge)

Church Ministry Anniversary

Nov 6 Todd Childers (Pastor/Norwood/5 yrs.)

In Sympathy

Christian sympathy is extended to Rev. Bill Mitchell, pastor of Mount Zion Church, at the death of his mother, Hortense Miller Mitchell, in Lynchburg on September 28, 2010.

We also offer sympathy to Meda Hicks, SBA secretary from 1965 to 1985, whose husband, Thomas Winston Hicks, 92, died Monday, October 18, 2010.

Click for ACP Summary


Focus on Our Family

Bedford’s Advent opportunities include: Saturday, December 11, Live Nativity on the front lawn of the church; Sunday, December 12, Children’s Christmas program “Once Upon a Night”; Sunday, December 19, 10:55 morning worship, Music Ministry Christmas Program; 6 p.m., churchwide Christmas Caroling; Friday, December 24, 7 p.m., Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion Service.

Bethlehem has hosted two special events recently. Family Fun Day on October 30 included hot dogs roasted over an open fire, guitar music, several games of horse shoes, and the event that highlighted the evening—a blow up slide that both adults and children enjoyed. This delightful evening concluded with a hayride down a country road. Pastor, Grant Harbridge, challenged us to invite our friends and set a goal of 101 in attendance on Friend Day, November 7. The church took the challenge and surpassed that goal by 60. We praise God for the 161 people who filled our sanctuary on November 7, and for the 7 people who trusted Christ as their Savior.

On December 19, Diamond Hill will present the cantata “The True Meaning of Christmas” at the 11 a.m. worship service. At 6 p.m. a Christmas play “It’s Just and Olde Fashioned Christmas” will be presented. You’re invited to come and join in this celebration of Jesus’ birth.

Mount Hermon celebrated its 223rd Anniversary with Homecoming on October 17, 2010. There were approximately 100 present. Rev. Eugene Campbell and Rev. Woody Elliott, were present. Rev. Campbell pastored from 1954 to 1959, and Rev. Elliott pastored in 1963—first pastorates for both. Also present was Fran Daniel, wife of the late Seaburn Daniel who pastored from 2000-2002.

Sunday, November 14, was a special day at Mt. Zion. An ordination service was held for deacon-elect David Hawkins. Those taking part were Rev. Todd Childers, pastor of Norwood and David’s son-in-law; Mt. Zion’s pastor, Rev. Bill Mitchell, and the deacons. David and his wife, Ann have been members of Mt. Zion for many years, and Mt. Zion is so blessed to have them. Following the morning worship service, lunch was served and everyone had a great time of fellowship

It’s that time of the year again, and as the temperature drops further and further, Norwood is preparing for another day of ministering to all those we know who need firewood for heating or cooking this winter. When God's people get together, as we have for the last 9+ years, to work for the benefit of others and not our own causes or churches, it really shows the love of God to the world around us. (James 1:27)

So, I’m asking, from one pastor to another, would you please ask your members and congregations to prayerfully consider helping out this year in cutting, splitting, and delivering firewood to the needy in our communities. In fact, I personally invite you to attend and participate as I have for the past 5 years as pastor or Norwood.

We usually manage well with the turnout of men and women to help split and load the trucks, but have run short on people with trucks to keep the wood flowing away from the work station. If there are any people who have trucks and wouldn't mind delivering and unloading, then we should be set for another blessed wood ministry on Saturday, December 11.

We start at 8:00 a.m. (some get there earlier), and around 12 Noon, we break for lunch (soup, chili beans, cornbread, etc.—enough to warm us up to keep going for a few more hours).

Stopping time depends on delivery to all those on our list or whenever you need to leave.

Last year (using 4 to 5 trucks) we delivered over 40 full truck loads by 2 or 3 p.m.

The whole wood operation is conducted on the hill directly behind Norwood Baptist Church. We are located at 1045 Random Way, Forest, VA 24551 (off route 221, directly across from Casaloma sub-division). Please call Austin Hull at 586-1961 if you have any questions or would like to volunteer.

Thanks to those that helped in our joint efforts last December from your churches, and we welcome your help again! May the Lord richly bless you for helping others to stay warm this winter!

Palestine will be hosting a Red Cross Blood Drive on Thursday, December 2, 2-7 p.m. The children of Palestine will present a Christmas play, “Star of Wonder,” on Sunday, December 12, 7 p.m. There will be a dessert fellowship following the play.

Two Hundred Thirty-fourth SBA Annual Meeting
Theme: Forgetting the Past...Focusing on the Future”
Text: Philippians 3:12-14

We offer our gratitude to the Rev. Dr. David Henderson and the congregation of Bedford Baptist Church for graciously hosting our 234th Annual Meeting. The facilities were excellent, and the youth did an outstanding job serving the delicious meal.

Some highlights of the evening included the Music Camp Ministry presentation by Laura Mallory (and helpers); the CenterFest Ministry presentation by Rita Calhoun; special music by Bedford Baptist’s Joyful Singers and by the associational choir (directed by Susan Batten-Bell accompanied by Carol Spencer); and the message by Rev. Jackie Carver.

Ministers new to Strawberry were introduced: Edward “Bish” Creel, Interim Pastor at Beaverdam; Grant Harbridge, Pastor at Bethlehem; Carey Snellings, Pastor at Hunting Creek; Kyle Dooley, bivocational Interim Pastor at Flint Hill; Greg Soult, beginning as Pastor at Mentow on November 14; Rev. Troy Mays, bivocational Pastor at Mountain View.

It was announced that Pecks received certificates from the International Mission Board for being the Top Per Capita Giving Church as well as the Top Giving Church to the 2009 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering in Strawberry Association. Rev “Bish” Creel accepted a certificate from the North American Mission Board recognizing Beaverdam as the Top Per Capita Giving Church as well as the Top Giving Church to the 2009 Annie Armstrong Easter Offering in the Association.

Registration: 141 messengers; 22 guests/visitors; 163 total attendance; 22 churches represented, with 10 having full messenger representation—Bedford (12), Diamond Hill (4), Flint Hill (10); Hunting Creek (9); Mentow (8); Morgans (12); Mount Zion (8); Norwood (7); Quaker (7); Shady Grove (5). Thanks to Ellen Mitchell, Hertha Nichols, and Melinda Nichols for assistance with registration.

We thank the associational WMU for donating a video projector which provided visual enhancement to several reports given during the meeting.

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

Women on Mission: Beaverdam will lead weekly 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.

Main Street United Methodist Church in Bedford is a drop off location for shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. National Collection Week is November 15-22, 2010, and collection hours in Bedford are: Monday, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.; Tuesday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Wednesday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Thursday, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.; Friday, 2 p.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Sunday, 9-11 a.m.; and Monday, Not Collecting.

On October 27, 2010, at Trinity Church, Strawberry WMU hosted a dinner for ministers (and their spouses) in the Association. The meal was catered by the Liberty Station. Several WMU Directors from the local churches helped to make the evening a success. They decorated the tables with fall arrangements and provided the delicious desserts.

Rod Miller was the Emcee for the evening. He planned some pen and paper games with an ice breaker, word search and prizes. In addition to door prizes, each minister received a loaf of homemade bread.

The entertainment for the evening was when pastors shared some of their most memorable experiences, including bloopers in bulletin or newsletters, funerals or weddings, and hospital or nursing home visits, deacons or committee meetings.

Child Care was provided for those who needed it. This was well organized with a meal, games, and crafts.

The 24 in attendance included several retirees as well as current ministers from nine churches.

Thanks to all who helped to make this such a successful evening.

Bedford Community Christmas Station is in need of volunteers Thursday and Friday, December 9 and 10, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., and Saturday, December 11, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., to accompany clients as they shop for NEW toys, clothing, household items and food for their family members. To volunteer, contact Karen Hughes at 540.875.8854. Your involvement will help make Christmas a joyful time for our low-income neighbors!!

Dues ($2.00 for each member of Women on Mission and leaders of age-level organizations) are due now for the 2010-2011 year. Checks should be payable to Strawberry WMU and mailed to Phyllis McDaniel, 2460 Hawkins Ridge Rd., Goode, VA 24556.

Proposed New Structure

The Self-Study Team presented a Proposed new Structure as well as a Proposed Constitution and Bylaws to be voted on at the 2011 Annual Meeting. Following a question and answer time, on recommendation of the Self-Study Team, the body authorized the Nominating Committee to form a Transition Team to work alongside our current Structure. The Transition Team will be made up of Regional Representatives and Ministry Coordinators who will work with the Administrative Team to implement the new Structure.

Click for December Calendar


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.

Give thanks to the Lord, proclaim his greatness; tell the nations what he has done.
Psalm 105:1

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, November 17.

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Strawberry Baptist Association
163 West Main, Bedford, VA 24523
Tel.: (540) 586-8345
FAX: (540) 586-4246

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Updated 11/30/2010
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