Church of the Brethren
Virlina District
3402 Plantation Road, NE
Roanoke, Virginia  24012
(800) 847-5462
(540) 362-1816
Virlina District

Church of the Brethren
Continuing the Work of Jesus.  Peacefully. Simply. Together.
Continuing the Work of Jesus. Peacefully. Simply. Together.

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The Forty-Eighth Virlina District Conference of the Church of the Brethren

Bonsack Baptist Church in Roanoke, Virginia

November 9-10, 2018. 

artwork DC 2018

“The Fruit of the Spirit” from Galatians 5:22 was the theme of the 2018 District Conference. Aggregate attendance on Saturday including youth and children was 389 persons.  This included 226 delegates (including 65 pastors) and 163 non-delegates from 75 congregations.  These participated in the worship, fellowship and spiritual discernment for the district under the leadership of Moderator Debbie Humphrey of the Roanoke, Ninth Street congregation.

Assisting in leadership during conference was Moderator-Elect Roy U. Turpin of the Pleasant Valley  congregation in Floyd County, Virginia, Pam Clark of the Peters Creek congregation who served as Clerk, Hannah Oakes of the Summerdean congregation who served as Timekeeper, and Daniel L. Rudy of the Roanoke, Ninth Street congregation who served as Parliamentarian.  Donita Keister, 2019 Moderator of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, preached Friday night on the conference theme. The president of Bethany Theological Seminary, the graduate school of theology of the Church of the Brethren, Jeff Carter, spoke both Friday night at the Ministers and Spouses dinner and during the Saturday morning worship. Members of the praise team on Friday evening were Paul and Karen Stutzman (Fraternity), Andy and Courtney Duffey (Antioch) and Aaron and Traci Lavinder (Germantown Brick). Attendees were blessed by many gifted musicians: Karen Stutzman, chorister on Friday (Fraternity), Dewey Williard, pianist on Friday (Fraternity), Grant Frederick, organist on Friday (Bonsack Baptist), Fonda Wilson, chorister on Saturday (Cloverdale) and Jan Messner (Lynchburg), pianist.

Saturday's business included the following:

Ballot Positions Filled:

  • Moderator-Elect – Cathy S. Huffman (Germantown Brick)
  • District Board – Christina “Chris” Monk (Copper Hill), Jeffery A. Wray (Fairview, Rocky Mount), Kaylee Nolen (Mount Hermon), Robin Lavinder (Germantown Brick), Stanley H. Hawkins (Duncan Chapel), Gayle M. Harms (Jones Chapel), Frances S. Beam (Concord, Living Faith), Michael G. Battle (Burks Fork), Sam St. John (Roanoke, Ninth Street), and Rudolph H. Taylor, III (Cloverdale).
  • Outdoor Ministries Committee – Trish M. Haskins (Fairview, Rocky Mount) and Ronald D. Rucker (Roanoke, Summerdean).
  • Standing Committee – Edward C. Woodard (Roanoke, Oak Grove).
  • Program and Arrangements – Andy Duffey (Antioch) and Heather Minter (Mount Hermon).
  • Nominating and Personnel – Amy Adams (Fraternity), Anne Mitchell (Lighthouse) and Karen Barnhart (Roanoke, Central).

The 2018 District Board Budget of $771,892.53 (including designated items of $500,000, but not including Camp Bethel) was approved.
Floyd, Iglesia Cristiana Nueva Vida (New Life Christian Church) was received as a congregation of the Church of the Brethren.

Other newsworthy items:

A Friday evening offering of $1,642.26 was received for the Brethren Disaster Ministries (BDM) and a Saturday offering of $2,148.00 to help offset conference expenses.
The District Board reorganized during the lunch hour.  Serving as chairpersons are: Tony R. Robertson – District Board, Zachary R. Hatcher, Vice Chair – District Board, Michael G. Battle – Commission on Ministry, Hannah M. Oakes – Commission on Nurture, Stacy W. Goff – Commission on Stewardship, and Roger G. Stultz – Commission on Witness. Samuel C. Foster will serve as Chair of the Outdoor Ministries Committee and David A. Bess will continue as Chair of the New Church Development Committee.    
Delegates heard the reports of the District Board, New Church Development Committee, Outdoor Ministries Committee and other institutions of the district and denomination, as well as reports from the district staff.    Among those representing the wider church were: Donita Keister (Annual Conference), Jeff Carter (Bethany Theological Seminary), Jean Bednar (Brethren Benefit Trust), Dewey M. Williard (Bridgewater College), Nancy McCrickard (Church of the Brethren, Inc.), Mark Hoover (Mutual Aid Assocation), George Barnhart (On Earth Peace) and Mary Ann Glover (Virginia Council of Churches).
Delegates also heard that twenty-eight congregations have been involved in PASTORAL PLACEMENT PROCESS in the year ending September 30. The following were in the pastoral placement process as of October 1: Bethel, Boones Mill, Eden-First, Jeters Chapel, Jones Chapel, Maple Grove, Masons Cove, Moneta-Lake Side, Newport News-Ivy Farms, Oak Grove South, Peters Creek, Red Hill, Saint Paul, Saunders Grove, Shelton, Smith Mountain Lake Community and Trinity.
We celebrated the graduation of two graduates from Christian Growth Institute this year: Donna G. Hornsby and Frank Roderick “Rod” Quinn.
We held a memorial service for those ministers, former district staff persons, spouses and family members, who have died since the last conference: Ernst Meier, Joyce Gayle Horton Spangler, Norman Luther Harsh, Christine (Chris) Eakin Bain, Owen G. Stultz, Bobby L. Phillips, Barbara Ann Peters, Diana Lynn Lovett, Flemmie Eileen Getz Stultz, Edna Foley Phillips, Elbert Lee Naff, Sr., Hazel Mae Fleeman Moyer, Robert “Bob” C. Pittman, Paul Robert White, Sr., Wayne Cody Garst and Myron Shipman Miller
Moderator Debbie Humphrey installed Roy Turpin as the 2019 Moderator and Cathy S. Huffman as the newly called Moderator-Elect. Brother Roy shared that the focus of the 2019 District Conference will be based on I Corinthians 1:18, “Don’t Hide the Cross.”
The Virlina District is one of twenty-four districts of the denomination and encompasses 93 congregations, fellowships and meeting points with 10,346 members located in Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina.    The Church of the Brethren is a denomination of 112,656 members in 1,026 congregations, fellowships and projects throughout the United States. Brethren are noted for an emphasis on peacemaking, reconciliation and service. Related denominations, formed through mission work, are found in Nigeria, India and other nations. Brethren began in Germany as a movement advocating adult profession of faith and baptism by immersion, separation of church and state, and an earnest desire to live out the teachings and example of Jesus Christ.

Location: Bonsack Baptist Church (Roanoke, VA)


By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  

- Galatians 5:22-23


~Theme~          ~Schedule~          ~Leadership~          ~Delegate Information~          ~Age Group Activities~          ~Information for Congregations~          ~Meal Reservations~

~Conference Choir Information~          ~Disaster Response Project~        ~Agenda & New Business~         ~About the Location~          ~Exhibits~            ~Wrap Up & Evaluation~

fruit artwork

~This year's theme~

Based on Galatians 5:22-23, this year's theme, chosen by Moderator Debbie Humphrey, is "The Fruit of the Spirit."  The conference logo was drawn by Betsy St. John, niece of the moderator and a member of the Roanoke, Ninth Street Church of the Brethren.

The moderator's article can be found here!




Ministers & Spouses Dinner:  Registration – 4:30 p.m.; Meal – 5:00 p.m.; Program by Jeff Carter; Childcare provided  (Reserve yours by October 26th)

All-Conference Registration, Hospitality & Exhibits: 5:00 p.m. – 6:50 p.m.

Hymn Singing and Worship: 7:00 p.m.; Preacher: Donita Keister, Moderator of the 2019 Annual Conference; Childcare provided.

Youth leave for Camp Bethel – 8:30 p.m.

Young Adult Ice Cream Social – 8:30 p.m.


Registration, Hospitality & Exhibits: Opens at 7:30 a.m.; Also during lunch and breaks.

Childcare, Children's Activities & Youth: Childcare (infant-preK): during worship and business; Children (K-5th): Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – end of business; Youth (6th-12th): Friday, 8:30 p.m. – end of business  (Register by October 26th!)

Hymn Singing and Worship: 8:15 a.m.; Preacher: Jeff Carter, President of Bethany Theological Seminary

Lunch: 12:00 – 1:15 p.m.; (Reserve yours by October 26th.)  District Board & Outdoor Ministries Committee reorganize during this time.)

Business Sessions: 9:10 a.m. - 12:00 noon & 1:20 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.  



Moderator: Deborah S. Humphrey (Roanoke, Ninth Street COB)

Moderator-Elect: Roy U. Turpin (Pleasant Valley COB)

Clerk: Pamela K. Clark (Peters Creek COB)

~Delegate Information~


Click here to download and print the delegate registration form and other information.  Please send a check made payable to Virlina District and the completed registration form to the Virlina District Resource Center.  Registration for delegates closes on September 28th!  Delegates will need to check in during registration times on the Friday or Saturday of conference.  This will be located in the foyer of the Community Life Center.  Delegates will receive their delegate packet at check-in.  Please note that the registration form for delegates does not automatically register one for meals. 


Booklets will be mailed to congregations in October.  Pastors or contact persons are asked to distribute the booklets to the delegates.  Delegates should bring their booklets to conference.  The 2017 District Conference Minutes will be published in the 2018 District Conference Booklet.  We will order books this year based on how many delegates register by the deadline.  A number of booklets will be reserved for non-delegates and office holders.  Parts of the booklet will also be available on here once those pages are finalized.


~Age Group Activities~

Click here for the Age Group Activities Flyer and Form!   Click here for the Age Group Activities Form only!

Childcare for Infants - Pre-K Children

Childcare will be available for infants and toddlers during Worship and Business Sessions: Friday (November 9) 6:45 - 8:30 p.m.; Saturday (November 10) 8:00 a.m. - 12:10 noon and 1:10 - 4:10 p.m. (or when business ends).  Please fill out the registration form and deliver or mail to the District Resource Center by October 26th.

Activities for Children: Kindergarten – 5th grade

The activities for children are Saturday, November 10, 8:00 a.m. - 4:10 p.m. (or when business ends).  Activities will include a Bible lesson, crafts, recreation, music, snack and an off-site trip to Camp Bethel for lunch and hiking.  Children will need to wear suitable clothing for outdoor play.  Booster/car seats will need to be left with the leaders.  A more detailed schedule will be available online and onsite.  The cost is $7.00  Please fill out the registration form and deliver or mail with payment to the District Resource Center by October 26th.

Activities for Junior and Senior High Youth: 6th – 12th grade

Junior and Senior High Youth are invited to attend an overnight trip to Camp Bethel following worship on Friday night (7 p.m.).  Vans will transport youth and advisors to Camp Bethel at 8:30 p.m. from Bonsack Baptist.  Participants will play games, do low ropes, go on a hike, and help rake leaves.  Breakfast and lunch are included.  Please bring appropriate clothes, shoes, gloves, a sleeping bag, toiletries, any other over-night belongings, a rake, and snacks to share if you wish.  Vans will leave Camp Bethel at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday to return to Bonsack Baptist by 3:00 p.m.  Youth who cannot make it to Bonsack Baptist by 8:30 p.m. on Friday can be checked-in at Camp at the Deerfield Gym Conference Room anytime after 9:00 p.m.  The cost is $20.00 per youth.  Please fill out the registration form and deliver or mail with payment to the District Resource Center by October 26th.

*If advisors plan to attend, please contact Sarah Stasik – (540) 525-5061.*

Young Adults Ice Cream Social

Join other young adults from around the district Friday evening following worship for an ice cream social. 


~Information for Congregations~


Registration for non-delegates will also take place in the foyer of the Community Life Center during the scheduled registration times.  Non-delegates do not have to pre-register unless it’s for the children’s and youth activities.


The Hospitality Area will be located in the café area outside the Roanoke Hall, and will be open while exhibits are open.

ALL FORMS ARE HERE!  (Click on the name of the form below to view, download and/or print each form.)

  1. District Conference information page/bulletin insert     blue 03
  2. Saturday Lunch Reservation Form for Delegates & Non-Delegates
  3. Age Group Activities Flyer & Registration Forms (Childcare, Children, Youth & Young Adults)
  4. Disaster Response Project Flyer


~Meal Reservations~

MINISTERS AND SPOUSES DINNER – Reservation required!

The Ministers and Spouses Dinner will be held on Friday, November 9 in the Roanoke Hall at Bonsack Baptist.  Registration will begin at 4:30 p.m. and dinner will be served at 5:00 p.m.  The cost will be $15.00 per person.  Free childcare will be provided for all ages during the dinner and program.  Chanticleer Catering of Roanoke will cater the dinner.  Following dinner, Jeff Carter, President of Bethany Theological Seminary, will have the program.  Reserve yours by October 26thCLICK HERE FOR THE FORM.  

LUNCH ON SATURDAY – Reservation required!

There will be a buffet lunch of sandwiches (turkey, baked ham, buffalo chicken, chicken salad, vegetarian wrap – or gluten free turkey and cheese roll-ups), mixed greens salad, pasta salad, cabbage slaw, mixed fruit, cookies, chips and beverages (lemonade and water).  The lunch is catered by Chanticleer Catering and the cost is $10.00 per person.  Reservations forms have been sent to congregations by mail or email.  Meal tickets will be distributed on Friday evening and Saturday morning at the meal ticket table in the registration area.  The deadline for lunch reservations is October 26th.  CLICK HERE FOR THE FORM.


~Conference Choir Information~

There will be no choir this year.  Instead, there will be a praise band during the Friday evening worship service.


~Disaster Response Project~

Congregations are invited to send the following kits to District Conference.  Please follow these instructions only.  No exceptions or additions are allowed because of shipping regulations.  More information as well as extra instructions can be found on the CWS website:

School Kits

  • One pair of blunt scissors removed from the package (rounded tip, only)
  • Three 70-count bound notebooks or notebooks totaling 200-210 pages (no loose-leaf or filler paper)
  • One 30-centimeter / 12” ruler
  • One hand-held pencil sharpener removed from the package
  • One large eraser (no pencil cap erasers)
  • Six new, unsharpened pencils with erasers removed from the package
  • One box of 24 crayons (only 24)
  • One 12”x14” to 14”x17” finished size cotton or lightweight canvas bag (solid color or kid-friendly fabric) with cloth handles (no reusable shopping bags, backpacks, or bags with logos)

All items must be packed inside of the cloth bag. To purchase an affordable bag, visit: This bag is designed especially for these kits, and cost about $1.69 each.  Or, download the school bag pattern and make your own:

Each bag is valued at: $15.00

Processing fee: $2.00 per kit

Please assemble the bags and bring them in a box or larger container to district conference.  We ask that you also provide the processing fee per kit.  Congregations can write a check made payable to Church World Service and bring that with the bags in a sealed envelope.  Or, processing fees can be paid online at the CWS page.  We will take care of delivering the kits.

Financial contributions can also be donated to Brethren Disaster Ministries for trips and situations that routinely pop up.  Congregations or individuals wishing to donate money can send checks made payable to the Virlina District (“BDM” in the memo line) and we will send one check to them after district conference.



~Conference Agenda & Business~

Click the following title to view and download the New Business Items for this year's conference: New Business Items 

Click the following title to view and download the Agenda: 2018 Virlina District Conference Agenda

~About the Location~


From I-81, take Exit 150-A.  Stay on Route 220 Alternate / Cloverdale Road for five miles. Bonsack Baptist is on the left.

From Route 460, take Route 220 Alternate / Cloverdale Road and the church will be on the right before the next stop light.  If traveling west on 460 from Bedford/Lynchburg, this will be a right turn.  If traveling east on 460 from Roanoke, this will be a left turn.

To use Google Maps, follow this link: Google Maps directions to Bonsack Baptist


Bonsack Baptist has plenty of parking in front of the Sanctuary and the Community Life Center (to the left of the Sanctuary).  All spaces are accessible from the first or second Cloverdale Road entrance.  Parking volunteers will be present to greet and direct you to the right place.


Camp Bethel, 328 Bethel Road, Fincastle, Virginia -  (540) 992-2940;

Quality Inn, 3139 Lee Highway South, Troutville, VA 24175, (540) 992-5335  UPDATED NUMBER!!!  (To get the group rate of $72.00 per night, let the hotel know that you are part of the "Virlina District" group.  We have double rooms and king rooms available.)


The below map shows the Community Life Center and Sanctuary, where all of our conference meetings and meals will be held.  The following picture is the exterior of the main entrance to the Community Life Center.  This is where registration and check-in will be.  Please use this entrance!

map of Bonsack Baptist   

bonsack baptist clc


The Exhibit Area will be in the main gathering area between the sanctuary and the Roanoke Hall, in the Community Life Center of the church building.  It will be open Friday, from 5:00 p.m. – 6:50 p.m. and following worship, and from 7:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. on Saturday.  Exhibits may be set up after 1:00 p.m. on Friday and should be removed by 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.  To reserve table space, fill out this form:  2018 Exhibit Form

Contact the District Resource Center with questions.


~Wrap Up & Evaluation~

Submit an evaluation through this form:  2018 Evaluation Form

2018 Statistics:

Friday, November 9, 2018

Worship Attendance:            231

Offering Received:       $1,642.26

Ministers & Spouses Dinner:  82 headcount, 90 registered

Youth Outing:                     38 children, 7 advisors

Nursery & Workers:             7 children, 2 workers

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Children’s Program:             13

Offering Received:       $2,148.00

Congregations Represented:  75

Pastors Attending:               65

Delegates Registered:          161

Non-Delegates Registered:    150

Total – Pastors, Delegates, Non-Delegates Registered:      376

To view previous District Conference pages, click here.


Did you know that our district runs on volunteers?  Each committee, comission and task team is comprised of Virlina members whose gifts and skills far outweigh those of the district ministers.  That's why it's so important that we receive nominations from around the district.  We seek to find people who not only have a passion to serve, but have experiences and knowledge that then help do the ministry and work of the district. 

2018 Ballot Positions: Moderator-Elect (non-clergy), Standing Committee Delegate, District Conference Program and Arrangements Committee, Nominating and Personnel (Areas 3, 5 and 6), District Board (Areas 2, 3, 4, 6 and at large).



Look over the areas and which congregations fall in each.  Certain offices are broken down by area.

1. Franklin County: Antioch, Bethany, Bethlehem, Boones Chapel (Snow Creek), Boones Mill, Cedar Bluff, Fairview (Rocky Mount), Ferrum, Germantown Brick, Henry Fork, Moneta - Lake Side Fellowship, Monte Vista, Nineveh, Oak Grove (South), Rocky Mount - First, Smith Mountain Lake.

2. Martinsville: Bassett, Collinsville, Danville - Emmanuel, Jones Chapel, Mount Hermon, New Bethel, New Hope, Schoolfield, Smith River.

3. North Carolina: Concord - Living Faith, Eden - First, Fraternity, Maple Grove, Shelton, Durham - Peace Covenant.

4. Floyd County: Beaver Creek, Burks Fork, Copper Hill, Duncan Chapel, Fairview (Floyd), Floyd - Iglesia Cristiana Renacer Fellowship, Laurel Branch, Parkway, Pleasant Valley, Red Oak Grove, Stonewall, Topeco, White Rock.

5. Roanoke County: Green Hill, Lighthouse, Masons Cove, Mount Union, Peters Creek, Poages Mill, Red Hill, Roanoke - Iglesia Cristiana Renacer, Roanoke - Oak Grove, Roanoke - Summerdean, Vinton.

6. Roanoke City: Roanoke - Central, Roanoke - First, Roanoke - Hollins Road, Roanoke - Ninth Street, Roanoke - Williamson Road.

7. New River Valley: Blacksburg - Iglesia del Buen Pastor Fellowship, Christiansburg, Coulson, Crab Orchard, Good Shepherd (Blacksburg), Hiwassee, Oakvale, Olean, Pleasant View, Pulaski - First, Saint Paul, Smith Chapel, Spruce Run.

8. Eastern Virginia: Bethel, Hopewell, Lynchburg, New Covenant, Newport News - Ivy Farms, Wakefield Chapel, West Richmond, Virginia Beach - Christian Church Uniting.

9. Botetourt County: Blue Ridge, Cloverdale, Daleville, Jeters Chapel, Mount Bethel, Mount Joy, PleasantDale, Saunders Grove, Selma, Trinity, Troutville (including New Bethel).


Not familiar with what each office does?  Look over the descriptions HERE.


Nominate people!!  Try to give us each person's whole name as well as her/his congregation.  If you know more information, that's also helpful!  Note: this form will open in a new window.