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.


View our Events Calendar here! 

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The Virlina District Board - Church of the Brethren, Inc. has called Mary Sink St. John to serve as Director of District Conference, Nurture and Witness beginning on March 1, 2019. This new 2/3 time position replaces the former Associate District Executive Minister position.

Mary graduated from the Lord Botetourt High School in Daleville, Virginia in 1983 and from Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts Degree (English) in 1987. Mary is a member of the Ninth Street Church of the Brethren in Roanoke. She formerly served the district as the first full time Program Director at Camp Bethel (1991-96) and as Director of Children, Youth and Young Adult Ministries (2007-16). She has served denominationally on the Outdoor Ministries Association Steering Committee and on the national junior high youth conference team. Mary has coordinated the last three Virlina District bus trips to National Youth Conference. She is married to Frank St. John. They are the parents of three children, Sam, Maggie and Betsy.

FaithQuest Senior High Retreat - March 15-17, 2019

Senior High Youth are invited to attend FaithQuest – a retreat held every two years at Camp Bethel. 

You might be wondering…What is FaithQuest?  FaithQuest offers senior high youth an opportunity to explore their relationship with God while considering different spiritual practices, which symbols are sacred to us, and how to live in community with each other as Christians.  Our FaithQuest leaders this year include: Hannah Oakes (Summerdean), Mike Elmore (Roanoke, Oak Grove), Sam St. John (Roanoke, Ninth Street), Amber Harris (Fraternity), Tabby Patterson (Roanoke, First), John Reed, Sr. (Cloverdale), Patrick Sims (Topeco), Harmony Johnson (Copper Hill), Amy Beery (Bethany Theological Seminary), Christa Craighead (Monte Vista) and Carol Elmore (Roanoke, Oak Grove). 

When & Where:   March 15-17, 2019.  Check-in begins at 7:00 p.m. on Friday evening.  The retreat ends at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.  It will be at Camp Bethel in Heritage Lodge.  

Other details will be shared once there is a flyer and registration form ready.  The cost is $125 per youth.

Senior High FaithQuest Retreat Flyer and Form:  DOWNLOAD

Want to help out by praying for the youth and leaders who attend FaithQuest?  Sign up for a prayer slot here:


Brethren Disaster Ministries Still Seeking Volunteers in North Carolina, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico!

Brethren Disaster Ministries is sponsoring several weeks of clean-up help in St. Thomas (U.S. Virgin Islands) and Puerto Rico.  The Disaster Response Committee of the Virlina District will provide a total of $750.00 to help with airfare to and from St. Thomas and Puerto Rico if going in the upcoming months.  There is a limit to $150.00 per person.   Please do not hesitate to contact us about this opportunity!!  Volunteers from Virlina congregations can contact Ed or Susan McKimmy (540) 354-5345 if interested in going and if interested in applying for financial aid.

Brethren Disaster Ministries is not just for those who like to work in clean-up and construction. Children’s Disaster Services is another way to volunteer your time when disasters strike. Children often experience trauma and need nurturing individuals to care for them and play with them.  These volunteers need specific training, however.  If you are interested in receiving this training, please let Ed and Susan know at (540) 354-5345, so that a training session might be organized for people in our district.


As of November 14, 2018 we have received $15,881.00 from twenty-seven congregations, twenty-three households and the Southern Area Women's Fellowship. We will continue to receive offerings from our congregations to underwrite various efforts in response to the hurricanes that have devastated various parts of the United States and our local area. Please send your congregation’s check to us (Virlina District Resource Center – 3402 Plantation Road, NE, Roanoke, VA 24012) with the following inscription on the memo line: “Hurricanes Florence/Michael Offering – Account #33508.”


Achievement Sunday for Virlina District and Camp Bethel was held this year on Sunday, November 18. Thus far, we have received $3,769.00 from eleven congregations. The total of all funds received will be split between the district and camp budgets on an 80/20 basis. They will be reported as a part of the total outreach giving of participating congregations in the year-end 2018 report. If your congregation has not done so yet, please consider holding the offering on an upcoming Sunday.


The next class to be held at the Southern Center will be OLD TESTAMENT SURVEY, taught by Edward C. Woodard. The textbook for the class is: Reading the Old Testament, by Barry L. Bandstra (you may use 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th edition).

These classes will be held on the following Saturdays: January 12, January 26, February 9 and February 23, 2019 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Coulson Church of the Brethren, 4127 Coulson Church Road, Hillsville, VA 24343-3682. Tuition for the class will be $75.00 (after January 1, $100.00) and students are responsible for purchasing the necessary textbooks.

For more information or to obtain an application please contact Sue Morris, Southern Center Co-ordinator by telephone at (540) 651-8331 and by e-mail at <>.  Make checks payable to VIRLINA DISTRICT and mail with registration form by January 1, 2019 to:  Sue Morris, P.O. Box 8, Copper Hill, VA 24079-0008.  CEU credit is available for ordained ministers taking the class. The audit fee is $25, the CEU fee is $25 and the CEU certificate fee is $10.


The next class to be held at the Roanoke Center will be NEW TESTAMENT SURVEY, taught by Bruce Huffman.  Textbooks and resources for the class are:  New Testament Story Fourth Edition (Paperback) by David L. Barr, and Church of the Brethren Annual Conference Paper, “The New Testament As Our Rule of Faith and Practice.”

The Sunday afternoon classes will be held on January 13, January 27, February 10 and February 24, 2019 from 2 - 6 p.m. at the District Resource Center, 3402 Plantation Road, NE, Roanoke, VA.  Tuition for the class will be $75.00 and students are responsible for purchasing the necessary textbooks.

For more information or to obtain an application please contact Gary Basham, Director of Ministry Formation.  Phone: (540) 890-3818, E-mail:  Make checks payable to VIRLINA DISTRICT and mail with registration form by January 3, 2019 to:  Gary Basham, 2526 Parkview Drive, Vinton, VA 24179-1612.  CEU credit is available for ordained ministers taking the class.


The Worship class will be offered by the Shenandoah Center of the Christian Growth Institute during the Winter Session. Beth Jarret, pastor of Harrisonburg, First Church of the Brethren in Harrisonburg, Virginia, will be the instructor.

The class dates are January 12,, February 23, and March 9, 2019. The texts are: “An Hour on Sunday: Creating Moments of Transformation and Wonder” by Nancy Beach; “Beyond the Worship Wars: Building Vital and Faithful Worship” by Thomas G. Long.

For more information or to obtain a registration form, please contact Sarah Long, Center Coordinator at (540) 908-0423 or <> or Tuition for the class is $75.00. Make checks payable to VIRLINA DISTRICT and mail to: Sarah Long, Shenandoah Center Coordinator, 205 South Willow Street, Apartment C, Harrisonburg, VA 22801-1937. CEU credit is available for ordained ministers who audit class sessions.


Pilgrimage XXIII will be held March 22-24, 2019, at Camp Bethel.  People from 60 congregations in our district have attended this event which is a spiritual retreat for adults of all ages.  It is for the young and old, for the new Christian and the one who has been a Christian for decades.  Pilgrimage is for everyone! No matter where a person is on his or her faith journey, it is always good to take another step and draw closer to God.  The basic structure of the weekend is the same each year with talks, small groups, fun times, inspiring worship services, and much more.  Yet God continues to work in wonderful ways through this ministry, and we give Him all praise and honor!  The only way to truly understand what Pilgrimage has to offer is to experience it.  Prayerfully consider if this is your year to attend.  If you would like more information, please contact Karen Haynes at (336) 765-5263 or <> or go to <>.


The Spring Volunteer Workday at Camp Bethel is Saturday, April 6. It begins with a free breakfast at 7:30am and includes a free lunch at 1:00 p.m. Your help is needed! Workday projects (rain or shine; indoor and outdoor) for all skill levels and all ages. RSVP for meals by April 1 by telephone to (540) 992-2940 or by electronic mail <CampBethelOffice@gmail. com>. For more information please go to <>


Awakening 2019 will take place at the Ninth Street Church of the Brethren (1103 Ninth Street, SE, Roanoke, Virginia) on April 7-10, 2018. Services begin each evening with a hymn sing at 6:45 p.m. and worship beginning at 7:00 p.m. The theme is "Resurrection!” Daniel L. Rudy, pastor of the Ninth Street Church, will be the featured speaker for this inspiring series of messages.

    Sunday – Acts 9:36-43 – “Tabitha, Get Up!”
    Monday – Ezekiel 37:1-14 – “Dry Bones and Holy Marrow”
    Tuesday – I Corinthians 15:12-32 – “Resurrection Faith”
    Wednesday – Colossians 3:1-17 – “The Marks of a Resurrected Life”</p>

In addition to the evening services, Bible Studies will be held by Tabitha Hartman Rudy each morning, Monday through Wednesday, from 9:00 until 11:00 a.m. The study on Monday will be held at the Vinton Church, on Tuesday at the Masons Cove Church and on Wednesday at the Roanoke-First Church. Each of these will feature a light breakfast at 8:30 a.m. prior to the study.


Our 18th Annual SOUNDS OF THE MOUNTAINS FESTIVAL, a Storytelling and Music Festival, will be held on April 12-13, 2019. This event features excellent and nationally known performers, Donald Davis, Josh Goforth, Bil Lepp, and Gayle Ross, plus food, exhibits, and a Friday campfire. Help spread the word and recruit festival sponsors. Tickets, schedule, and sponsor information at <>.


Ministry and Mission Day in Virlina will be held at the Summerdean Church of the Brethren located at 6604 Plantation Road, N.E. in Roanoke, Virginia on Saturday, May 4, 2019. It will be a day of worship, workshops, food, fellowship, and the Annual Conference Briefing. Registration will start at 8:30 a.m. Hymn sing and worship begin at 9:00 a.m. with the message by Roy U. Turpin, the 2019 Virlina District Conference Moderator. The worship theme will be “Don’t Hide the Cross!” with scripture focus from 1 Corinthians 1:18.

Following worship, attendees will have the opportunity to pick from several workshops: "Ministry Approaches for New Populations” – This will provide tools for congregations in reaching those who live close but may be relationally distant. This will be presented by the Josh Brockway of the Discipleship Ministries staff of the Church of the Brethren.

“Dementia and Spirituality” – This is a presentation on forms of dementia and the differing characteristics of each type. There will be sharing on how congregations can be welcoming and affirming to families and individuals with dementia who are dealing with this progressive challenge. Ways to provide support and care for the person with dementia and caregivers in the family will be explored. It will be presented by Heddie Sumner, RN, BSN, Educator E-HEADLINER Page 3 on Dementia, Caregiving and Disabilities.

“Wearing the Striped Shirt: Serving as a Congregational Moderator” – There is little or no training for persons who serve as congregational moderators. This workshop provides some basics for leading a meeting and understanding simple parliamentary procedure. It will be presented by David K. Shumate, District Executive Minister, and others.

Each workshop will be offered twice and provides 0.1 CEU for ordained ministers. Lunch will be provided with information about the menu and cost posted as soon as it is available. Following lunch, the Annual Conference Delegate Briefing will take place. It will be led by the Standing Committee Delegates of the Virlina District and 2019 Annual Conference Moderator, Donita Keister. The Delegate Briefing will begin at 1:30 p.m. and conclude by 3:00 p.m. Mark your calendars and come to Ministry and Mission Day in Virlina on May 4, 2019.


Kingdom Building – An Evangelism Conference will be held on May 31 – June 1, 2019. Moderator Elect for the 2020 Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, Paul Mundey, will be the keynote speaker. Brother Mundey was formerly the pastor of the Frederick Church in Mid-Atlantic District and was denominational staff for evangelism and church growth. He was instrumental in the design and implementation of the “Passing on the Promise” process in the late 1980’s.

The preliminary schedule of this event is as follows:
Friday, May 31
            3 – 6 p.m.                Pre-Session for Leaders           “The Person I Must Become”
            7 - 9 p.m.                 Session One                             “Announcing the Reign of God”
Saturday, June 1
           9 a.m. – 12 p.m        Session Two                              “One Size Doesn’t Fit All”
           1 p.m. – 3 p.m.         Session Three                            “If Jesus Be Lifted Up”

Sponsored by the Good News Team of the Virlina District Board – Commission on Witness, this event will be held at the Rocky Mount, First Church of the Brethren located at 405 Tanyard Road in Rocky Mount, Virginia. Early registration, received by May 10, will be $15 (groups registering five persons will get the sixth person free). From May 11 until the event, registration will be $20. For ordained ministers seeking Continuing Education credit, add $10. This event provides 1.0 CEU from the Christian Growth Institute. Save the date and watch for more information in district publications and on our website.


Everyone is invited and encouraged to participate in an event. In preparation, please: pray for the church and the Spirit’s guidance as we move through this process; visit the Compelling Vision website at, and read about the Compelling Vision process (especially if you were not at Annual Conference and are unfamiliar with it); reflect on scriptures that inform our ministry and life together as the body of Christ; and bring a Bible and, if possible, a smart phone, tablet, or laptop to the event. 

Church of the Brethren Workcamps

The Church of the Brethren Workcamp Office is excited to release the 2019 workcamp dates and locations! A total of 18 different workcamps will be offered for junior high, senior high, young adult, and we are able participants. To view the full schedule, which includes the dates, location, cost, and description of each workcamp, visit Registration will open on January 17, 2019 at 7:00pm (central time). Please encourage the youth and young adults of your congregation to attend a workcamp this summer. If you have any questions or would like a 2019 workcamp brochure mailed to you, contact the Workcamp Office at

bridgewater college's church travel team available!

The mission of the Bridgewater College Church Travel Team Program is to strengthen the church/college relationship and prepare students for future church leadership. This mission is carried out through student Church Travel Teams that provide fresh and energetic leadership for worship services, Sunday school classes and other events in local congregations.

For many years, Bridgewater College students have generously given of their time and talents to provide leadership in Church of the Brethren congregations. These Church Travel Teams provide significant ministry experience for our students and a valuable service to the congregations that host them.  

If you have hosted a Bridgewater College Church Travel Team in the past, we hope you will do so again. If not, we encourage you to have a team of our talented and dedicated students serve your congregation!  Please feel free to contact Chaplain Robbie Miller any time at and our Student Church Travel Team Coordinator Christa Craighead (after August 28) at with any questions you may have.

The form to request a team can be accessed here: BW Church Travel Team Request Form


Who can go on a trip?  What is a disaster response trip like?  Do I need to be a skilled carpenter or electrician to go?  How can I help children?  The Disaster Response Committee welcomes the opportunity to speak to congregations who want to learn more about Brethren Disaster Ministries.  Contact Virlina's Co-Coordinators, Ed and Susan Mckimmy, by phone (540)354-5345 or e-mail <> to schedule a presentation for your congregation.


The District Resource Center has a large volume of printed resources, including books and periodicals.  We need volunteers to record which resources we have so we can make them more easily accessible for others to borrow.  This would be a great project for youth who are looking for community service or volunteer hours.  Call the office or email Tabitha if you are interested: 95400 362-1816 or <>.


Did you know that the District Resource Center can run background checks for church employees and volunteers?  Completing background checks for those persons who work with minors or volunteer regularly is a good practice to start and maintain.  Congregations looking to hire new staff who will be interacting with minors, operating church vehicles, or managing funds, need to seriously consider having a background check run on applicants.  Each check costs only $15.00.  To learn more or request an authorization form for a background check, contact the office (540) 362-1816.

upcoming credentialing services

We endeavor to schedule ordination services in order that the maximum number of our ordained ministers are able to take part. Rod Quinn with be ordained on January 27th, 2109 at 4 p.m. at the Blue Ridge Church of the Brethren.  Zach Hatcher will be ordained as well but is in the process of resceduling.



Congregational Employment Opportunities

Troutville Church of the Brethren is looking to hire an Administrative Assistant to work 32-40 hours a month. Must be able to use Microsoft word and willing to learn other programs as needed. For information and a job description contact the office at (540) 992-1571.

A part-time position is available for a Director of Music who will work with Adults, Youth and Children at Ninth Street Church of the Brethren.  If you have any questions regarding the position, please contact Rosemary Palmer, Nurture Commission Chairperson at (540) 890-4718.  To apply, please submit a resume to the church office, either by e-mail to <> or by US Mail at 1103 Ninth Street SE, Roanoke, VA 24013.

Ferrum Church of the Brethren is seeking a pianist to play on Sunday and special services. If interested contact Vetta Bayse at (540) 427-0505 or by e-mail at <>.

The Smith Mountain Lake Community Church of the Brethren is seeking a music director. Please contact Chris Updike at for further details.