RBC History 1876 - Present

All of the details concerning the beginning of Ringgold Baptist Church are not fully known. It is fairly certain, however, that the church was constituted in 1876 by a group of Baptists who had formerly attended Sandy Creek and other nearby Baptist churches.

For several years around the 1850s, Baptists in the area operated a school, the forerunner of Averett College, known as the Ringgold Academy. This school was located at what was later called Sam Taylor’s store, about two miles south of the Ringgold station. Among the instructors at the Ringgold Academy were two brothers, professors Sam and Jack Averett, who later served as presidents of the College and for whose family the college was named. When the academy was discontinued, the property was sold to William M. Vernon who gave a promissory note to the trustees. Later, the trustees sold this note to the Baptist people in the Ringgold area, who made temporary use of its abandoned buildings for their worship services.

Ringgold Baptist Church officially came into being in 1876 when this group, along with some members from County Line, began conducting services in the Old Norman House, located a few hundred yards south of the Ringgold rail station. Services were held there for two or three years prior to the erection of the first building. This house was later moved to another location and used as a school building for the conducting of a private school for the neighborhood. The former location of the Old Norman House, the actual birthplace of the Ringgold Baptist Church, is marked by a lone tombstone – the grave site of a little girl, Fannie McDowell, who was the daughter of the farmer who lived in the house.

In the early days, a singing school was conducted in the community for the purpose of training choir members. Several members became excellent singers and down through the years, many members of the church choir have
been descendants of those trained in this singing school. It is believed that much of the zeal and enthusiasm for singing that prevails in the congregation today can be attributed to the interest and accomplishments of these ancestors more than a century ago.


Around 1877, payment of the promissory note was requested in order to erect a building for the church. The edifice was constructed and on April 5, 1879, John Adams, the contractor, gave the building committee a receipt for $874.81, payment in full for the building and work done on the church. This first building was located in a grove of oaks on the rise in front of the present parsonage. Most of the lumber came from the plantation of W. E. Clark, sawed at his own mill, and only the heart of the lumber was used. A few years later, this structure was dismantled and moved to the corner of the Milton and Clark’s Mill roads in an effort to enlist some large families living in the Mountain Hill area. The same plans and lumber used for the first building were used for the second.

Two of the earliest pastors during this period were a Rev. Hite and Rev. Henry Petty. The members were never quite satisfied with the new location of their church. In the early 1890s, the next pastor, Dr. C. F. James, who was also president of Averett College, helped move the church back to Ringgold to its present location, once again using the same plans and lumber. The one acre of land on which the church is now situated was donated by Tom Bradley and in later years, the Howard Terry family donated additional property.

Almost from the beginning, the Women’s Missionary Union has played a key role in the life and prosperity of the church. Ringgold holds the distinction of organizing the first WMU in Pittsylvania County in 1894 under the direction of “Aunt” Rose Alderson and aided by her husband T. C., who served as pastor at the time.

Early in the 1900s, Rev. G. W. Reid became pastor and served until 1909. Rev. C. Almond Upchurch was pastor for about a year when S. J. Beeker accepted the call and served until 1914 at a salary of $150 per year. From 1914 to 1916, the pastor was W. S. Brooks. Rev. T. Ryland Sanford served from 1916 to 1919, Rev. H. T. Wright from 1919 to 1920, and Rev. J. D. Kesler from 1920 to 1923.
Minutes of the church business meetings from 1906 reveal that the church made a five dollar donation to help in the building of a church at Schoolfield, and another donation of $1.35 to the Weatherford Memorial Fund although $2.50 had been requested. An organ was purchased for the sum of $75 during this period, and the annual meeting of the Pittsylvania Baptist Association convened at Ringgold in 1907.

For many years the church business meetings were conducted on Saturday afternoons, after a preaching service. The roll of male members was called at each meeting and a committee appointed to contact all absent members. The committee reported at the next meeting and valid excuses were accepted, but fellowship was withdrawn from members having three unexcused absences.

The roll of female members was called only occasionally, and no disciplinary action was ever taken for female absences. New members were accepted into the fellowship of the church at these meetings, and the salary for the sexton was also collected. According to the records, fellowship was withdrawn from members for such offenses as non-attendance, non support of the church, and for unchristian conduct which included cursing and drinking.

From its very beginning the church has made contributions to both state and foreign missions and always sent delegates to meetings to the district association. A revival was held each year, usually in July, with two services daily, one in the morning and one in the evening.

In 1914, Rev. W. S. Brooks was called as pastor to serve one Sunday each month. For many years Ringgold was in a field with two other churches: Sandy Creek and Union Hill (now Glenwood Baptist Church). In 1915 a woodshed was built and the question of Sunday School rooms discussed, but the decision was made not to build. In 1917, when the roll was called, each member was asked to make a pledge for the financial support of the church, and this was the first form of an every-member canvas.

Some progressive steps were taken in 1919 when the pastor was called to serve two Sundays per month for a yearly salary of $600. On August 21, 1921, the church voted to conduct a prayer meeting twice a month. Rev. Charlie M. Robertson was called as pastor in 1923 and served for the next eight years. Up until this time, there had been no planned financial program.

In 1926, the envelope system was adopted and a finance committee was appointed to draw up an annual budget which totaled $1,663.80. On September 18, 1926, the church voted to organize a Baptist Young People’s Union, later known as the Training Union. Election of the Sunday School superintendent and the BYPU president by the church began in 1928.

1928 - 1969

On October 25, 1928, during a homecoming service, Otis Brantley Mylum was ordained to the Gospel ministry. On October 20, 1929, a motion was passed to build a brick building for the church 62 feet long, 42 feet wide, and 18 feet high with eight Sunday School rooms in the basement and two on the first floor, with a porch 10 feet wide, 42 feet long with four large Roman columns. Construction was to have begun in March 1930 but was postponed.

The same year J. T. Clements was made an honorary deacon, the only person ever to be so elected by the church. As years passed the membership grew steadily from 38 male members in 1911 to 73 in 1915. A total of 287 (135 male
and 152 female) was reported in 1928.

The custom of reading the constitution orally before the church once or twice a year was eventually abandoned, and the requirement of giving excuses for absences at business meetings was voted out in 1929. On March 13, 1932, the church voted to accept the bid of Charlie Flora to build a new frame church at a cost of $5,110. The building was completed and dedicated on August 7, 1932.

The old building was sold at auction for the sum of $70,and for the third time the building material was moved and now stands well preserved as a barn on the farm of the late O. H. Mylum. The balance due on the new building and equipment, when the church moved in, was $900. Due to the serious financial climate of the time, the roll was called and each member assessed his proportionate share of the debt.

In recent years the church has continued to grow under the able ministry of pastors: L. C. Hall, 1931-35; Jesse F. Colston, 1936-41; George L. Euting, 1942-46; Mott Cumby 1046-51; F. Bernard LeSueur, 1957-58; Ross L. Range,
1958-67; and Jim G. Henry, 1967-68. In 1940 the present building was brick veneered. In 1945, Larry N. Gravely donated property for a new parsonage. A comfortable, spacious brick home was subsequently erected. In 1948, a new church constitution was drafted and approved by the congregation.

During the 1950’s, additional Sunday School rooms were constructed in
basement and the interior of the church redecorated. Training Union, Vacation Bible School, Sunday night services, choir practice, and Wednesday evening
prayer meetings became established functions.

The Woman’s Missionary Union has played an important role in the life
and progress of the church. For a third of a century (from 1912 to 1945), the W.M.U. work took place under the able leadership of the late Janie Terry Adams.

The idea for a church library grew from a sermon preached by a Mr. Parker, and as a result, the Junior Training Union, under the leadership of Claire Wilson, agreed to bring a nickel each Sunday evening to be used in purchasing books for the library. The following year, one hundred dollars was left to the Ringgold Baptist church by the late Glenn Wiles. At the request of Mr. Parker, the deacons voted that this money be used for a library. Today, the library has hundreds of volumes and is undergoing additional expansion.

During this period, new pews were purchased for the sanctuary, an extension department organized, and the grounds landscaped. Rev. Ross L. Range assumed the pastorate in July 1958 and served most ably until February 1967. His eight-and-one-half year ministry was one of the longest pastorates in the history of the church and was a period when great progress was made.

In 1959, the church completed a two-story brick educational building which provided space for a fellowship hall, a well-equipped kitchen, an air-conditioned four room modern nursery, assembly areas, classrooms, and restroom facilities. In keeping with the church’s tradition, this addition came about through the generosity of its members. All lumber for the 30-room educational building was donated and Abner Foster, chairman of the Materials Committee, did the sawing. Roy Ford, a road contractor, did the grading that provided the church and parsonage with landscaped yard areas. The dedication service for the educational building was held August 2,1959, with 301 present for the Sunday School hour.

A scholarship fund was started for the purpose of providing financial assistance to students from the church who were preparing educationally for full-time Christian service. Ringgold has continued to maintain its strong affiliation with the Pittsylvania Baptist Association, the Baptist General Association of Virginia, and the Southern Baptist Convention. On October 19, 1960, the annual meeting of the district association convened here for the second time in the church’s history.

A new piano was purchased for the sanctuary in 1961 and the music program of the church was greatly enhanced with the purchase of a Hammond organ for $2,537. In 1962 stained glass windows were installed and the portico, with four large Roman columns, was added to the front of the building. During the 1960’s the church carried on a 15-minute weekly radio ministry over WDVA, a Danville radio station, spreading the Gospel over a large area.

In a note burning ceremony in January 1964, all indebtedness incurred from the erecting of the educational building was satisfied. That same year the
pews in the sanctuary were refinished. Two years later the sanctuary was
completely redecorated with a new wall finish of spray plastic; new light fixtures; carpeting, and the sanctuary air-conditioned. Financial support more than doubled during the ministry of Rev. Range from around $11,000 to $23,000 annually. Following his resignation in 1967, the parsonage was partially remodeled and redecorated, with a new roof added in 1968.

On April 13, 1967, the church extended a call to Rev. Jim G. Henry, a Tennessean, working in Berea, KY with the schools and pastor of the Kerby Knob Baptist church. The Henry’s (Sue and the 3M’s – Mona, Mark and Melody) moved to Ringgold on May 31, 1967. During his fifteen-month ministry in the church, the church experienced significant growth with 45 additions, 29 by baptism. Sunday School enrollment increased from 265 to 376 with the weekly average 235, and in August of 1968, achieved its goal of becoming a Standard Sunday School. Special mission offerings also increased to record highs. Additionally, 24% of regular tithes and offerings were given to world missions through the Cooperative Program. The church also supported the work of the associational mission program on a monthly budgeted basis.

In 1967, The Ringgold Baptist Reflector, a weekly paper, began publication during this time and was distributed to more than 400 homes. A Church Council was formed. Another highlight involved Sue Henry’s direction of the Christmas drama, “They That Sit in Darkness,” with more than 100 persons participating.

On June 30, 1968, Roy N. Ford, Jr., who had been licensed by the church in November 1961 to preach the Gospel, was duly ordained into the ministry. A month later, Rev. Henry announced his resignation and accepted a professorial appointment at Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond. The church had been sharing its pastor with Averett College during this period as he taught psychology classes there.

1969 - 1988

In 1969, Rev. John Groff began his ministry at Ringgold Baptist Church which proved to be the longest pastorate in the history of the church and a most fruitful one. In order to establish the property line of the land on which the parsonage garage stood, additional land was donated by Mr. and Mrs. John Gravely who had donated the original plot.

During an extended improvement program begun in 1971, the sanctuary floors
were refinished, the carpet cleaned and new cushioned pews installed. In 1972,
a third story was added to the Educational Building and air-conditioned; the
Social Hall was remodeled; and a new church roof replaced the old one. Other
improvements included hard surfacing the church parking lot; and new shrubbery for the parsonage.

In 1973, additional land was purchased on the north side of the church for the site of a new parsonage. The land was purchased from the J. H. Terry family for the sum of $4,500. One thousand dollars ($1000) was returned to the church as a memorial to their father, J. Howard Terry, to be used in the construction expenses of the new parsonage. Construction began in 1975 and was completed in 1976, the old parsonage was sold for the sum of twenty-two thousand dollars.

Again, the church launched an extensive interior remodeling program, giving the sanctuary a completely new appearance. Both the sanctuary and the choir loft were enlarged, and stained glass windows and wall-to-wall carpeting installed. As a final touch, a memorial window was installed above the baptistery in memory of Cornelia Marshall Terry, devoted and loyal WMU leader for many years.

The year 1976 marked the Church’s one hundredth Anniversary and was celebrated with special commemorative services and “dinner on the grounds.”
In 1987 the church completed the look of its current sanctuary with the addition of a new steeple. Rev. John Groff offered his resignation as pastor in December of 1988, concluding a faithful 19 year ministry.

1989 - 1999

Rev. Carl E. Burger accepted the call as Pastor on September 1, 1989. The J.O.Y. club (Just Older Youth), a ministry to senior adults, was organized in the same year. Under the leadership of Tom Clark, a tape-ministry was revised and resumed to shut-ins and incapacitated members.

Kathy Andrews was employed as choir director in 1991 and continues to serve
in that position. Ringgold also, for the first time, united with a number of area churches to celebrate a Community Thanksgiving Service at Kentuck church. This service continues yearly, alternating between the Kentuck and Ringgold churches.

During the morning worship hour, September 13, 1992 a note-burning ceremony was held recognizing the liquidation of the indebtedness incurred during the reconstruction of our sanctuary. In 1996 a new Ford Van was purchased for use by the church. In 1997, a scholarship fund in memory of Misty Adkins, was established and funded by voluntary contributions. The church also purchased a new computer system and a new sound system. A new church sign replaced one destroyed by hurricane force winds. 

At a called business meeting on November 9, 1997, the deacons presented a recommendation that the church purchase from Jay Terry the land and house located on the only land adjacent to the current church property at a purchase price of $150,000. In January of 1998 an affirmative vote was given and the transaction completed in February of 1998. 

2000 - 2001

On Sunday evening February 6, 2000, the Planning Committee conducted an open forum at the church to present a proposal for the plan of building a Family Life Center. A regular church business conference was held on Wednesday night, February 9th at which a secret ballot was taken. The final recommendation for the Family Life Center was approved with the contract going to the John W. Daniels Construction Company at a cost of just over $741,000.

Ground breaking for the Family Life Center was held on April 2nd, 2000 and although the weather was cool and windy and the ground hard, thehearts of the members were warm and excited about the building of a new facility to the glory of God’s work. Dedication of the new Family Life Center took place on Sunday, March 25th, 2001.

Contributing church historians include T. Ryland Dodson and Eva M. Mylum Walton.

2001 - 2013


This is an exciting time for Ringgold Baptist Church.

As you read from the past history submitted by Mrs. Eva Walton, the New Family Life Center was dedicated on Sunday, March 25, 2001, during a service at 3:00 pm. The speaker for the dedication was Rev. Alden Hicks, Mission Resource Consultant for the Virginia Baptist Resource Center, Richmond, VA. Also taking part in the service was Dr. Robert Putt, Associational Ministries Coordinator, and the Rev. Carl E. Burger, the Pastor of Ringgold Baptist. The cost to build and furnish the new addition was $820,000.

At this time we are busy moving in to our new classrooms (each class trying to decide how to decorate their room). Our Pastor, Rev. Carl Burger, has a beautiful new office and our Secretary, a spacious place to work.

Many meals and events will take place in the new fellowship hall. We give God the praise and the glory for this new addition to our church.

A reception was held the first of this year for Faye Yates and Penny Hudgins. They had been our faithful Custodians for fourteen years. They were recognized in a morning service and a reception in their honor was held after the evening worship service.

A recent report from the Treasurer’s Office of the Virginia Baptist Resource Centershows that Ringgold is 3rd in mission giving among Pittsylvania Baptist Association churches. We gave a total of $42,958.27 in 2000. Also recently in the Religious Herald, Ringgold was listed 83rd in the Top 100 Churches in the commonwealth of Virginia in giving to missions.

On February 25, 2001, we gave a special offering toward the purchase of a church building and land to house our Associational Hispanic Ministry.

Our church observed an Ash Wednesday Service which was very interesting.

A reception was given honoring Tracey Ewing for her many years of faithful service and beautiful music. Tracey started playing for the church when she was 12 years old. For about a year she played the organ and she recalls that she had to sit on the edge of the bench in order for her feet to reach the pedals. After that, she became our pianist.

Mrs. Elizabeth Scott was welcomed as our new pianist on September 9.

A new ministry of WMU began. This came about as a suggestion from our Pastor’s wife,Susan Burger. The WMU ladies of Ringgold Baptist Church will prepare a meal for the fami of deceased members. This will be done for a family of an active or non-active member. Susan Burger, Janice Fitts and Hazel Newton were selected to serve on the first Food Ministry Committee.

A heartfelt thanks to:

  • Tom Clark for constructing a portable lectern to be used in the Family Life Center,
  • Gene Morris for donating a fax machine to the church office, and
  • Keith and Laura Whitt and the staff of Wrenn-Yeatts Funeral Home for donating a clock and grill for the FLC.

Again we enjoyed our Annual Brunswick Stew. It is always delicious and throughout the years it has been a great time of fellowship as members come together with vegetables from their gardens and prepare them for the Stew. A big “Thank You” to Marvin McDowell and his sons, Ray and Mac, for preparing this stew each year.

The Christmas Mailbox is in place once again for us to place our church family Christmas Cards in. This has been sponsored by the Ruth/T.E.L. Sunday School class for many years and has become an annual event. The postage for the cards goes to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.

The beautiful Christmas cantata, The Journey of Hope, was presented by our choir under the direction of Kathy Andrews.

Christmas Eve is a very special and meaningful time for our church family when we come together for the beautiful and inspirational Candlelight Christmas Eve Service.

This year we had 3 baptisms and 6 additions by letter.


Two of our young men, Denton Ireson and Edward Whitlow were ordained as Deacons in the first of our new year. In February, Denton Ireson was the speaker for Baptist Men’s Day.The day began with a breakfast cooked and served by the men.

A request was made of the Church asking if some would like to help with the purchase of furniture for the vestibule. One could give in memory of someone or just as a gift to RBC.

Our Church family helped with the collection of packs of seeds for the country of Liberia. With the joint efforts of many, we collected 305 packs for the project.

Missions is very important to our Church family. RBC has been recognized as the 3rd in the state of Virginia with an offering total of $22,423.32 for the year.

“Sweet Land of Liberty” was a cantata performed by our choir at RBC jointly with thechoir of Kentuck Baptist Church. Don Merricks, Director of Music at Kentuck, led the group. The program was very patriotic and well attended.

The Church year ended with 6 new members by baptism and 3 by letter.


The service of ordination was observed for Chester Holland Sneed, Jr. He would serve on the Deacon board for 3 years.

RBC has always been blessed with a very talented Choir. To show our appreciation for their faithfulness and hard work, a reception was held to honor them. It was attended by the Church family and many expressed their gratitude for the gift of music they have presented over the years.

New choir robes were given in loving memory of Elward and Patty Neal by their son, Calvin and his wife, Jean. His parents were faithful choir members for many years.

The Easter cantata presented this year was “Jesus Christ Is Lord.” It was a greatcelebration of worship and praise.

In order to better meet the needs of people outside the Church family, the RBC Benevolence Committee made the following guidelines for giving assistance. Those applying must live within a 5-mile radius of the Church. Also, an application would need to be filled out for the Committee to review. A decision to assist or deny would then be given.

A Finance Committee was established to allow more time for the Deacons to do a family ministry.

In July, our Church Secretary, Sharon Brown, gave a letter of resignation. Karen Law was then welcomed as her replacement.

One of our favorite annual events is the Ice Cream Supper we have as the summer months come to a close. It makes for another great time of fellowship and we have some good“ice cream makers” because RBC loves ice cream!

An open forum was called to discuss changing the By-Laws to allow fundraising. RBC has always found the membership to be most generous when groups had special needs. This was a well-attended meeting with a lot of interest. This proposal to make a change brought out the point that we would not be depending on God to look after our needs, but money-making projects. After much discussion, the decision was made to have fundraising.

Because of the generous gifts of some, a much-needed, updated computer, printer, and ACS software were purchased for the church office.

A member of our Church family, Nancy Adams, was given the position of Youth Director. In helping to raise funds, they presented a dinner theater. The play was “The Case ofthe Mysterious Benefactor.” What a great evening it was, with a delicious meal and then, greathumor and entertainment.

In the fall our Harvest Renewal Service was led by Rev. Don Davidson, Pastor of Mount Hermon Baptist Church.

For Christmas, our Choir presented the cantata, “Festival of Lights.” Their music always helps in preparing our hearts for the celebration of Jesus’ birth.

We had 2 additions to our Church by baptism this year.


Starting January1, the Church Secretary will be doing all the financial records on the church computer.

Keister Whitt III was ordained as a Deacon on February 1.

In September, David Foster was welcomed as our new Sunday School Director. He immediately began monthly meetings of the Sunday School teachers.

The Harvest Festival Revival was held November 7  10 with the Rev. James D. Newman.

This year we had 3 baptisms.


The year of 2005 began with the ordination of Roger Allen Ruis, Jr. Baptist Men’s Day was observed with Bobby Scearce being our morning speaker.

A first for us was a Community Gospel Sing. Other churches participating were Kentuck and Mount Tabor. The service was at RBC.

A proposal was made by Paula Ruis and accepted that a Young Couples’ Class beformed. It would come to be known as the New Friends Class.

In April, our Pastor of 16 years, Rev. Carl E. Burger, presented a letter of resignation. It was a sad day for this Church. At the same time we were thankful that the Lord had blessed us in such a marvelous way. Not only had he been a dedicated Pastor, but his wife, Susan, had also contributed to the ministry.

In his letter of resignation he stated that he would be entering a new season of life,commonly known as “retirement.” But even though he would be retiring from the pastorate, he would not be retiring from the ministry.

His last Sunday was August 7, 2005. The Church honored them with a reception that afternoon. It was well-attended by so many, not only from the Church, but also others in the Association. As an expression of appreciation, RBC gave Rev. Burger a bookcase.

A Pastor Search Committee was elected. Betty Jo Foster served as Chairperson. Others appointed were Steve Adkins, Jackie Anderson, Eddie Dodson (Vice-Chair), Dianne Donahoe, Nancy Snead (Secretary), and Sammy Tucker.

To honor his parents, Howard and Virginia Whitlow, H. F. and Jo Ann Whitlow gave a silver service to the Church. It would be used by the Church family on special occasions. Items donated for our use are as follows:

4 round silver trays
8 silver spreaders
8 silver bowls
1 silver candelabra with floral attachable bowl
A small engraved tray from the set is on display in the secretary outside the Secretary’s

Office in the Family Life Center.

In August, Rod Hale and John Tadlock were invited by the Pastor Search Committee and the Deacons to speak to our congregation. They would present the plans for the Intentional Interim Program. Mr. Hale works for the Baptist General Association helping churches in the region with Pastor Search Committees. Mr. Tadlock oversees the Intentional Interim Program.

It was through the sizable donation of someone that the Church was able to purchase a much-needed copy machine.

In October, RBC observed a Baptist Women’s Day. Betty Jo Foster spoke on “The Virtuous Woman” using Proverbs 31 as her scripture. Jackie Anderson gave a talk honoring EvaM. Walton, a truly virtuous woman who has served our Church for many years. Mrs. Walton was very surprised about this honor and that her family was in attendance.

For our Fall Revival Rev. John Groff, a former pastor, was our invited speaker. Each night a different Sunday School class was host to a covered-dish dinner before the service. It was a time of great food, fellowship, and spiritual renewal.

It was also in October that RBC was the host for the 217th Annual Fall Meeting for the Association.

The idea of having a “Family Fall Festival” originated during a Sunday School WorkersMeeting. It would serve as a strong outreach to the families of not only our Church, but also the community.

On December 14, 2005, our Pastor Search Committee Chairperson, Betty Jo Foster, at a called business meeting made a motion to call Rev. David Burgess to lead us in the Intentional Interim Program. The vote was taken by secret ballot and the motion was passed.

Our Church year ended with the welcoming of 9 by baptism and 6 by letter into our Church family.


Steven Todd Adkins was ordained as a Deacon on January 29.

We had a farewell luncheon for the Rev. Larry Farrell on Sunday, February 12. This was his last Sunday with us as a pulpit supply minister. Rev. Farrell had served us well.

On February 19, Rev. David Burgess joined us as our Intentional Interim Pastor. He and his wife Shirley were welcomed with a covered dish luncheon after the morning worship service. It would be a very busy time for the church as we started the Intentional Interim Program.

A Church Council meeting was held on March 5 to discuss the duties and goals of the all the committees.

On March 26, nominations for the Transition Team were made. Those elected to serve were: Susan Wilkerson, Jackie Anderson, Michael Shelton, Monica Sellers, Steve Adkins, Nancy Adams, Ronnie Emerson, Allen Ruis and Terri Motley.

At a called Business Meeting on May 21, a Counting Committee consisting of 12 members with a rotating schedule was established. Also 2 signatures would be needed on all checks.

Also at this meeting there was a recommendation from the Building and GroundsCommittee to purchase five 60” round tables and 40 chairs at a total cost of $3,287.30, and to remove 6 trees from the front lawn to make more parking space.

These recommendations were passed; however, in a Business Meeting that was held on June 14, the recommendation of removing the trees was brought to the floor again in old business.

Jackie Anderson had visited Mrs. Eva Walton sometime after the other Business Meeting and Mrs. Walton met her at the door voicing her deep concerns about removing the trees. She thought the trees added a lot of beauty and serenity to the church and she said no other church around had trees.

When Jackie told about Mrs. Walton’s concerns, David Foster got up and said if Mrs.Walton didn’t want the trees removed, he didn’t think we should do it. A motion was made immediately by Steve Adkins and a second by Brian Horne to rescind the original vote. The trees are still standing on our front lawn, and we have to admit they do add a lot of beauty.

Debbie Dixon was welcomed as our new Youth Director on June 7.

On June 11 we started recognizing the Sunday School classes. David Foster, our Sunday School Director, came up with the idea in hopes that it would create interest from those that were in our congregation, but not attending Sunday School. Before the morning worship service, a class member would give a brief description of their class, and this was done each Sunday until all classes had been represented. It was interesting to hear the many functions of our Sunday School.

Justin Barker did a playground project at the back of the church for his Eagle Scout Award. This project was completed in June. We congratulate Justin and thank him for this project.

Also, the baptistery pool was repainted. Thank you Sonny Wilkerson.

On July 2, there was a called Business Meeting from the Building and Grounds Committee with a recommendation to repair the choir loft and the permanent extension to the pulpit at a cost of $6,553.80. It was approved.

The Transition Team would be meeting every Monday night beginning July 17.

On July 30, surveys were sent out to members of the church designed to help the church determine their likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses. After the surveys were completed, they could be placed in a ballot box in the Family Life Center or brought to a “listening session” conducted by the Transition Team. People would also have the option of meeting with 2 members of the Team on a one-on-one basis to discuss their comments and suggestions.

In July, the Transition Team began looking for history on the church in pictures (old and new), newspaper articles, special events, and also pictures of loved ones you would like to remember.

This History Celebration came together on Sunday, September 31. It was a day of reflection, rediscovery, reunion, and refreshment of our church history. The walls along the Family Life Center were filled with our history. Also, people were most generous with memorabilia, pictures of loved ones, and special events that were made into a video and shown in the Family Life Center. In the Family Life Center foyer, another special video was being shown continuously of an interview with four very special members of Ringgold Baptist Church. Christine Wilkerson, Claire Wilson, Eva Walton, and Bernice Clark met one afternoon andshared wonderful stories they recalled from times past. They told of “heated” business meetings,special projects of the WMU, powerful revivals, and even some humorous stories about theSunbeams (children’s group). Jackie Anderson was on hand to ask a question or two and DonnaFavero did the video. It was inspiring because it made us realize just how faithful and dedicated our forefathers (and mothers) were to the growth of Ringgold Baptist Church. This History Celebration was truly enjoyed by all. Thanks to the Transition Team for the many hours that were put into this project.

On Saturday, October 1, Town Hall Meetings were started to decide the church’s visionand mission.

A Revival was held on October 22 - 26 with Glenn Bohannon on Monday and Tuesday, Jim White on Wednesday, and Cliff Hudgins on Thursday.

We hosted the Associational Minister’s Meeting on November 14.

On November 29, P.U.S.H. – “Pray Until Something Happens” was started and wouldmeet every Wednesday night. A Prayer Journal would be placed in the secretary by the ChurchSecretary’s Office for the church family to write prayer requests.

On December 31, Violet Barker started teaching the New Converts Class. This was a Bible study time that would last around 9 weeks.

This year there were 2 baptisms and 8 additions by letter.


The Church Council met on February 10 for yearly planning. All committee chairpersons were asked to attend.

To help with the ministry of the church, four teams were formed in February. The teams were: Visitation, Outreach, Handyman and Bereavement.

February 28 was the last day as Youth Director for Debbie Dixon.

A training session was held for the Counting Committee on April 15.

On May 20, it was decided that anyone who wanted to use the Family Life Center (member or non-member) must fill out a request form and submit it to the church office.

There was a special called Business Meeting on June 3 to vote on a new Youth Director, Katie Gaffner.

In July, the Casserole Team was formed in order to have an ongoing supply of food for sickness, family crisis, etc.

Leslie Nicomede was welcomed as our new pianist. Her first Sunday with us was July 29.

We observed Ringgold Volunteer Fire Department Appreciation Day with a covered dish luncheon following the morning worship service on August 5.

Sunday, August 12 was the last day for Rev. David Burgess as our Intentional Interim Pastor. A barbeque luncheon was served after the worship service.

At a Business Meeting on October 10, Doug Motley with the Building and Grounds Committee made a recommendation that the outside doors on the Family Life Center be replaced with glass doors at a cost of $2,681. The second recommendation was a maintenance proposal in the amount of $4,350 to make exterior and interior repairs to the parsonage. Both recommendations were passed.

On October 28, the church voted to call Dr. Steve Ellis as our full-time Pastor. This was done by secret ballot at the end of the worship service in a called Business Meeting. Dr. Ellis was welcomed to our pulpit on November 18. He came to us from the Westview Baptist Church in Shelby, North Carolina. Prior to this he lived most of his life (growing up and preaching) in Kentucky. He and his wife Jean have three children  Seth, Aaron and Devon Hope. A reception was held for the Ellis family on November 25.

Matt Foster has a deep concern and compassion for people and this year, he decided to start an annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner. The church family really rallied behind him in providing and preparing the food, supplying transportation, and making gift bags for each person attending. Also, they would have access to our Clothes Closet. This is an outreach for people that do not have family, for those who would not be able to have a Thanksgiving meal, truck drivers that may be coming through (fliers are placed at truck stops) and also meals are carried to dispatchers that are on duty for the day. Any leftovers are carried to the homeless shelter, Salvation Army, etc. We commend and thank Matt for the project.

On December 12, the church voted to give a 2-week paid vacation to all Church Staff after 48 months.

This year there were 8 baptisms and 5 additions by letter.


On February 10, Billy DeMott and Brian Horne were ordained as Deacons.

In a Business Meeting on February 13, the church voted to glaze the sanctuary stained glass windows at a cost of $13,150 with a 10-year warranty.

This year for the first time after our Sunrise Service, breakfast was served in the Family Life Center. This will become an annual event.

On April 9, Dianne Donahoe with the Building and Grounds Committee thanked Frank Horne and Bobby Gene Atkinson for putting the pull-down screen in the Family Life Center. It was also noted that a $5,000 donation had been given to help with the glazing of the windows.

Dr. Ellis started teaching the Bible Study  The Seven Churches of Revelation on Wednesday night, April 13.

The church voted on May 14 to purchase a new Roland organ and accessories. The church already had the funds to make this purchase. Ginger Collie has served faithfully as our organist for many years.

Our Youth began a Paintball Ministry.

We had a Miracle in May service. This was when Dr. Ellis challenged all church members to be in attendance for worship on Sunday, May 18. Our attendance was 288.

On June 11, a utility building was approved for the parsonage with a cost of between $2,500  $3,500. Also, new countertops had been installed in the parsonage.

The Youth (24 students and adults) went on a Mission Trip called Impact Virginia. Their destination was Bluefield, Virginia.

Tyler Motley presented a request to the church on July 8 to help finance the building of a Prayer Garden between the Sanctuary and the Family Life Center. This was an Eagle Scout project.

On August 10, Dr. Ellis told us to “put on our thinking caps” for ideas for a Christmas Parade float. The theme  Enchanted Christmas.

Karen Law’s last day as our Church Financial Secretary was Wednesday, August 13.

A revision of the Church Roll was completed.

Titles of “Music Director” and “Youth Director” were changed to “Minister of Music” and “Minister to Youth”.

Dr. Ellis presented a new logo for Ringgold Baptist Church:

On August 24, in a called Business Meeting, the church voted to purchase +/- 2 acres of land located beside the church from the Harold Terry family for $7,500.

In September, Dr. Ellis introduced us to September to Remember. During the month of September he preached sermons using object lessons and illustrations that really made you remember. It was a time of fun things and enjoyment. A huge, inflatable whale (55’ long) was constructed in the Family Life Center and moved to the front lawn of the church that certainly made passers-by take notice. That Sunday, Dr. Ellis’ sermon was Big Fish from Jonah 4:1-11. We also enjoyed 3 concerts during the month.

Our fall revival was held October 5  8 with evangelist Rev. Steve Mayle from Watertown, TN. He was a dynamic speaker and the revival was well attended.

On October 8, Jo Ann Holley was hired as our new Church Financial Secretary.

In the month of November, the Youth put an invitation to Ringgold Baptist Church services on 340+ pumpkins and placed them in a wagon in the front of the church. People passing by could stop and get a free pumpkin.

After the 2nd annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner, we received this letter:

You’ve touched my life in ways you may not even be aware of. Thank you so much for your ministry to truck drivers on Thanksgiving Day! My husband was disappointed at being away for the holiday. He called - crying  he was so touched by your thoughtful gift of care and food. Plus  it was delicious!

Thank you again, your kindness has meant so much.

Don and Danita Everett Tony, Wisconsin

On November 30, Dr. Ellis gave the State of the Union for our church. Where have we been?

Where are we now? Where are we going?

Jo Ann Holley resigned her position as Church Financial Secretary on December 22. Laura Davis would become our interim Church Financial Secretary.

This year there were 5 baptisms and 15 additions by letter.


At the beginning of this year Lawrence Gilbert, Jr. was ordained as a Deacon.

There was a called Business Meeting on Wednesday, January 14, to consider a proposal to install a new sound system in the Sanctuary. The total contract price for the sound system was $26,794. Funds were already available for the project. It was approved.

On February 14, the Youth hosted a Senior Valentine Dinner.

Keith Barker introduced the G.R.O.W. (God Rewards Our Work) Ministry to us on March 9. Two session were held in March to explain what G.R.O.W. was all about and to get members to sign up to be on the teams. It is an outreach ministry that is done by sending cards, and letters, and making visits and phone calls. We thank and commend Keith for this tremendous outreach project.

A beautiful Easter cantata May We Never Lose the Wonder was presented by the combined choirs of Kentuck Baptist and Ringgold Baptist at the Kentuck Baptist Church on March 29 at 6 pm.

Also on April 9, we were invited to Kentuck Baptist Church for Joining Hands Joining Hearts. There were missionary speakers from Ireland and Mexico and also speakers in other areas of missions.

In a Business Meeting on April 15, Paula Ruis made a motion to name the Prayer Garden,The Eva Walton Memorial Prayer Garden. The motion carried.

Laura Davis was hired as our Church Financial Secretary on May 3 in a called Business Meeting.

May 4 was the starting date for the G.R.O.W. Ministry. It was divided up into 4 teams that would meet each month on the first Monday, second Monday, third Tuesday, and Fourth Thursday at 7p.m. Each team would have team leaders.

A Children’s Choir (preschool to 5th grade) was started on May 10 by Kim Dodson, Leslie Kendrick, and Ginger Collie.

On May 31, Tyler Chase Motley received the rank of Eagle Scout in the Eagle Scout Court of Honor. Following the ceremony and light refreshments at 3 pm, there was a dedication of the Eva Walton Memorial Prayer Garden at 4 pm. We congratulate Tyler and thank him for the beautiful Prayer Garden.

In a Business Meeting on June 9, Ray McDowell from the Building and Grounds Committee made a motion and it was approved to reseal and restripe the parking lot at a cost of $5,400.

Dr. Ellis and his wife Jean attended the annual Southern Baptist Convention in Louisville, Kentucky on June 21  23. 

On August 12, Katie Gaffner stated that the Youth Missions Trip to Charleston, South Carolina, was a huge success.

Adam Touchstone was hired as Minister to Children on August 30.

John Foster was elected as a Trustee to replace Denton Watson. Mr. Watson had been a faithful Trustee for many years.

On October 14, Sandra Dodson resigned her position as Treasurer after faithfully serving for 13 years.

Ryan Barker’s project for his Eagle Scout award was the creation of the Clothes Closetarea in the basement of the church. We congratulate Ryan and thank him for this project.

This year we had the formation of the first Praise Team.

The Acteens, under the leadership of Tammy Anderson and Susan Pritchard, were reorganized and have become quite active.

Also, Boy Scout Troop #357 was formed.

A steeple that had added so much beauty to our church when it was purchased in the spring of 1988, received a good pressure cleaning.

Our Nursery grew by leaps and bounds this year. There were 7 babies born into the church family.

On December 9, our church had its 2nd float in the annual Christmas Parade.

Sunday, December 13, the Ellis family hosted a Christmas Open House at the parsonage. It was so enjoyable, and we thank them for having us in their home.

The Adult Choir and R.A.G.S. (Ringgold Actors in God’s Service) presented the beautiful cantata, A Baby Changes Everything on Sunday morning, December 20.

In the evening service, the Children’s Choir gave an outstanding performance of Once Upon a Night.

This year, Dr. Ellis challenged the members to read through the entire Bible. Many responded, receiving a blessing from God and a gift from the church.

This year we had 9 baptisms and 17 additions by letter. It might be noted that the additions in 2009 were more than any other year in the past 32.


As the New Year of 2010 began, Dr. Ellis declared it as the “Year of the Family.”

We were all challenged to be more vigilant in reading God’s Word. Dr. Ellis provided a daily plan to read the Bible through. His plan would assist each of us in making this a personal reality.

Another “first” for the church family was the “Golden Calf Chili Cooking Contest.”There were lots of entries and the tasting could be described as somewhat mild to hot, hot, hot! Brian and Cheryl Horne were awarded the “Golden Calf” first place trophy.

Mary Adams invited the church family to a spaghetti luncheon to be served on February 14. It would be a fundraiser to help with her expenses for a medical mission trip to Jamaica. It was a great meal and those in attendance gave generously to her cause.

Beginning Feb. 17, we were given the option of choosing from three Bible studies for the Wednesday night service. The choices were Beth Moore’s A Woman’s Heart, led by Jean Ellis; In the Dust of the Rabbi with Dr. Steve Ellis; and Spiritual Outdoor Adventure with Steve Adkins and Michael Gaffner. Attendance was good for all three studies.

March 12 - 14 was the date for our “Spring Thaw Revival.” The invited speaker was Rev. Micheal Pardue. Special music each evening was provided by Aaron Stewart, Lee and Tracey Ewing, and Brandon Neal.

A new church directory was made. It was nice to have an updated list of members, their addresses, and phone numbers.

A new website with an on-line version of the church newsletter, “The Reflector,” was set up. It was a great way to make available our church information and activities to not only church family but to anyone.

On April 1, Dr. Ellis planned a traditional Passover Seder Meal to be held on Maundy Thursday. It would be a new experience for us and we were excited about the service. To be sure there would be enough seating, reservations were expected by all who would attend. Under Dr. Ellis’ direction, we were led through the meal, giving meaning to each dish plus thepreparation required. For the many who attended, it left a lasting memory.

On the weekend of April 24 - 25, we were the host for a reunion of “Horizon.” They area group of four friends that started singing together back in 1987. Our pastor, Dr. Ellis, was a part of this musical group that spanned seven years and produced two albums, dozens of original songs, and church and concert appearances in over a hundred locations spread across three states. Since they had been apart for fifteen years, our church was so blessed to have them. We enjoyed a concert on Saturday night and again on Sunday morning. It was a very spiritual time featuring uplifting music with wonderful harmony.

Katie Gaffner, our Minister to Youth, said, “We so often assume that the only thing a minister can do is preach.” This weekend, as Horizon came together, we caught a glimpse of anew side of our Dr. Ellis, the musician and song writer. And as a great addition, the entire Ellis family joined the group...each one playing instruments. We all agreed, they are a very talented family!

On May 8, the youth gave a luncheon for all mothers and their daughters. This event was to honor the mothers for Mothers’ Day. Approximately thirty people attended.

Dr. Ellis shared with us that the month of May was a very special time for him. May 5 marked his fortieth year as a Christian. And on May 12, 1985, he publicly surrendered to the call of full-time ministry.

Our youth presented a dinner theater play, “Who Done Stole the Bride.” It was held fortwo nights, May 21 & 22. They raised about $1,600 for the upcoming mission trip to Nashville, Tennessee. It was a delightful evening of great food and lots of laughter.

On June 9, Suzanne Emerson was asked to serve as WMU Director and Nancy Adams was asked to continue as the Sunday School Director.

Following the morning worship service on June 20, a circle of farewell prayers were made on behalf of our youth. The youth were leaving on their mission trip to Nashville, Tennessee. Their week-long stay kept them busy with helping to restore a lady’s house that hadbeen damaged by the flood. They also met with other youth groups for fellowship and worship during their trip.

Our J.O.Y. Club (Just Older Youth) celebrated its 20th anniversary on June 22. The first organizational meeting under the guidance of Susan Burger was held May 23, 1990. The first meeting was on June 27, 1990, with sixteen charter members. They now have a total of forty-six members.

President Marjorie Morris planned an enjoyable program for the anniversary. Candles were lit in memory of sixteen deceased members who had died over the last ten years.

Mrs. Christine Wilkerson, age ninety-five, the oldest and only active charter member was present. The highlight of the day was in recognition of Mrs. Wilkerson who had been such a faithful and dedicated member. She was always a big supporter of the J.O.Y. Club and had served as secretary for thirteen years.

In recognition of the importance of this day, flowers were placed in the church sanctuary on the following Sunday morning. A dogwood tree was later planted on the side of the church near the prayer garden.

Over the years, the J.O.Y. Club has enjoyed lots of good food, fellowship, fun bus tours, and doing many deeds of kindness for others, especially their senior friends.

The Building and Grounds Committee called for additional volunteers to assist in giving our church a spring cleaning. We not only gave attention to the church, but also to the grounds. Dr. Ellis gave a big praise of “well done” when all was completed.

July 4 was celebrated with a patriotic cantata by our adult choir who did a great job in their presentation. The sanctuary was decorated in red, white, and blue . . . thanks to Suzanne and Ronnie Emerson. “God Bless the U.S.A.” brought the congregation to their feet with thanks and pride in our country!

Gene Morris was elected as a trustee to replace Bobby Scearce who had served faithfully for many years.

The Acteens, under the leadership of Tammy Anderson and Susan Pritchard, asked everyone to share their favorite recipes. Their goal was to put together a cookbook that wouldshare our “great RBC cook recipes” and help the Acteens raise money for certain projects they had planned. The book would be called “Heavenly Delights” and would be dedicated to the memory of Mrs. Eva M. Walton.

The Vacation Bible School theme this year was “Saddle Ridge Ranch.” To make thingsmore authentic, they needed a covered wagon. Kathy Andrews expressed her appreciation to the following people who made this possible: Bobby Wilkerson, Wilma & Hump Newton, Paula &Allen Ruis, and Kenneth Holly. The wagon gave a “finishing touch” to the western décor.

Ringgold Actors for God (R.A.G.S.) were called to reorganize. Led by Kathy Andrews, they would again bring skits or give readings as an emphasis and added expression of faith to the worship hour.

On August 11, Keith Barker spoke on behalf of the G.R.O.W. Team. He shared that in the past sixteen months, the team had sent 2,075 cards, 332 letters, made 249 visits, and 581 phone calls. On many occasions when visits were made, food was provided by the Casserole Committee. Keith expressed thanks for all who had helped to support the team.

The Eva Walton Circle presented the idea of planning some type of event that would introduce all the ministries that Ringgold Baptist Church offered. Under the very capabledirection of Tammy Anderson and Susan Pritchard, the “Hands and Feet Ministry Fair” was created. All circles, as well as Sunday School classes plus other departments, were asked to participate.

On Sunday afternoon the Family Life Center was opened to not only our church family but also prospective members. As one made their way around the room, you visited displays set up by each Circle, some Sunday School classes, Children’s Ministry, Music Department, Joy Club, and the G.R.O.W. team. Each group had members present to tell of their ministry and pass out light refreshments and literature. It was well attended and very informative. This was also a time to view the renovation of the children’s wing of the church.

On Sunday, September 5, Dr. Ellis began having two morning worship services. The 8:30 a.m. service would be called “Straight Up Worship.” The second service was held at the regular time, 10:30 a.m. This was being done on a trial basis for one month. On October 11, we converted back to our regular schedule.

A Youth/Children’s Guidance Committee was appointed. The committee would consist of at least four members and would function to provide support and guidance to this ministry. The committee would also work with the Minister to Youth and the Minister to Children in implementing and organizing activities for these groups.

The Pittsylvania Baptist Association asked that the member churches participate in a Pulpit Exchange Day on October 17. Rev. Rick Markham from Calvary Baptist on Edgewood Drive in Danville, Virginia, was our speaker. Dr. Ellis spoke at Mill Creek Baptist Church in Chatham, Virginia.

Again this year, RBC held the October Fall Festival. It was a great success! A lot of prospective names were collected for follow-up contacts. The number in attendance was about four hundred.

On November 7, we had an “Old Time Religion Day.” Everyone was asked toparticipate by wearing vintage clothing from the past. It was a great time of fellowship as wewent down “memory lane.”

It was also in November that we were chosen as the host church for the Pittsylvania Baptist Association’s annual fall meeting. This is our sixth time in one hundred thirty-four yearsof the church’s history to serve as host. Great effort was given by many, not only by theBuilding and Grounds Committee, but also by members of the Social Committee. They offered a very well-planned meal including all the trimmings. Our guests were most gracious with their compliments. Dr. Ellis was truly grateful to all who made it such a huge success.

As our church year came to an end, Dr. Ellis presented his “State of the Union Address.”This report gives us a summary of the year via a power point presentation. We had the opportunity to see both our growths and our short falls. The report was first given in 2008.

Our church year ended with six baptisms. Five people transferred into RBC by letter.


Brandon Neal, a very talented musician and grandson of Calvin and Jean Neal, joined us for the morning worship service on January 20. In conjunction with his visit, the Eva Walton WMU Circle hosted a luncheon in the Family Life Center directly after the service. This luncheon was held to help raise funds for Brandon and his family as they prepared for the relocation to Bonaire in the Caribbean Netherlands and for their missionary work with Trans World Radio.

Also on February 20, the “Festival of Tables” was a beautiful sight to behold! Donationsof $1,890.00 were received to support Brandon Neal and his family on their mission trip. A luncheon of spaghetti, salad, and dessert was served.

The air conditioner for the Family Life Center kitchen had to be replaced at a cost of $2, 938.00.

We enjoyed the second “Golden Calf Chili Cook-Off” on March 5 with Jeannie Adkins taking the first place prize this year . . . the “Golden Calf” trophy.

Dr. Steve Ellis and his wife, Jean, went on ten-day tour of Israel. On Sunday night, March 13, they shared the highlights of their trip with us via video and personal accounts. It was extremely interesting and a blessing for those in attendance!

On March 20, we had “Wildcat Sunday.” To honor the Dan River High School basketball team and their coach, Jacob Gruse, for having a very successful season, our Social Committee prepared a delicious breakfast for them. It was enjoyed by all who attended. The team member and some of their families attended our worship service. Dr. Ellis’ sermon made references to sports and playing on a team.

This was also the last day (March 20) for Adam Touchstone to continue as our Minister to Children. Adam had led the children in many Bible studies and activities during his time at RBC. He named the group “Clubhouse Kids.” Also, the children’s wing was renovated whileAdam was here. Many members of our congregation helped with this project. We will always remember Adam and his big smile.

On March 27, the Acteens sponsored “Make, Bake, and Partake.” Folks prepared recipes from the Acteen’s successful cookbook, Heavenly Delights. This was a fundraising meal to help them with upcoming projects.

Serving in the role of chairman for the Constitution Committee, Doug Motley, presented to the church the revised Constitution on April 13. It was noted that for the most part changes were made for ease of reading and grammatical corrections. This revision was the result of many meetings and a lot of hard work from the committee on behalf of our church.

This year on Friday, April 22, Dr. Ellis added a Community Good Friday Service. It was well received. Many churches in our area participated.

A spring revival was held on May 1 - 5 with Rev. Steve Mayle from Watertown,Tennessee. All services were well attended and people were blessed through God’s Word.

On May 22, a farewell reception was held for Katie Gaffner, our Minister to Youth. Her resignation would be effective as of June 5. Katie was very talented and energetic. She did an extraordinary job with our youth! There is one thing for sure and certain, members of our congregation will never forget her candy cane fundraiser. We will truly miss Katie, her husband, Michael, and all of the little Gaffners.

Dr. Ellis began teaching a Bible study series on the book of Revelation on Wednesday, June 1.

On June 20 - 25, our youth and chaperones went on a “Power Plant” mission trip toAtlanta, Georgia.

Nancy Adams, our Sunday School director, planned a contest between our Sunday School classes. The three classes with the highest percent of attendance would receive freetickets to “Spirit Night” at the Danville Braves game on July 8. A hotdog supper was provided atthe Family Life Center before the game. It turned out to be a very fun night of relaxation and fellowship.

The vacation Bible School theme for this year was, “Big Apple Adventure.”

On July 24, Aaron Evans was hired as our new Minister to Youth. We welcomed him and his wife, Joy, as they came to lead the youth of our church.

The Acteens announced a huge success with the sale of their church cookbook, Heavenly Delights. They collected orders for the second printing.

In August, the heating/cooling system affecting the nursery, choir room, and basement area was replaced with a heat pump. The job was priced at $4,658.72.

Saturday, October 8, was a very special day in the life and mission service of the Pittsylvania Baptist Association. It was on this day that we engaged in “Operation In-As-Much.”This project had been in the making for over a year.

The Association Ministries coordinator stated that someone once said, “You can get a lot accomplished if you don’t worry about who gets the credit.” However, he wanted to give well- deserved thanks to the Tag Team and Cluster Leaders that had worked so hard on the project. The churches in the Association were divided into clusters, each cluster having a leader. Dr. Ellis was the cluster leader of the churches in our area.

Operation In-As-Much” was a great success. Over 1,700 Pittsylvania Baptists (allwearing red t-shirts to identify them as workers in the program) engaged their community in acts of service. Over 140 projects were attempted . . . some large, some small, but all important to the people being served. A home roof was replaced, porches were repaired, and windows and storm doors were replaced. The project was funded through a $4,856.00 special offering by participating churches plus a $ 10,000.00 grant from the Danville Regional Foundation

At Ringgold Baptist, Dr. Ellis appointed Suzanne Emerson and Steve Adkins to be Cluster Representatives and they in turn did an amazing job of planning and organizing. RBC had 96 people of all ages to participate. Suzanne Emerson said, “The weather was beautiful, but the spirit of giving and receiving was even more beautiful throughout the day.”

“Operation In-As-Much” activities at Ringgold Baptist Church were as follows:

  • The Food Ministry at Piggly Wiggly and Food Lion yielded 1,869 pounds of cannedfood and cash donations of $214.32 for God’s Store House.
  • Approximately 300 pounds of pet food and treats were delivered to the Humane Society.
  • 380 notes were written to the Virginia National Guard soldiers presently serving in Afghanistan. These were written by the R.B.C. Scout Troop 372
    (Steve Adkins, Scout Master). Their table was set up at the River Festival in Danville.
  • 19 of our men and women worked at the playground of Kentuck Elementary School spreading mulch under the playground equipment, scraping and painting the swing sets and slides, painting two sets of bleachers, removing old crossties, trimming trees, clearing a fence line, planting a flower garden,

    raking, weed eating, and moving dirt.

  • Dozens and dozens of cookies were baked, bagged, and delivered to shut-ins at home and in health-care facilities in the Danville area.
  • The Danville Cancer Association received over 50 chemo-hats that had been crocheted.
  • 1,600 pounds of paper were shredded, designated as the Community Shred Day
  • Visitors at R.B.C. visited our “Clothes Closet.”
  • The Laundromat and carwash ministry at Cain Creek blessed many with free services, and witnessing opportunities occurred.
  • Approximately 85 delicious bag lunches were prepared at Ringgold Baptist Church. and delivered to the workers on site.

Putting “hands and feet” to work in our community showing God’s love was the essence of the idea behind this project. All the workers received a blessing by witnessing and helpingothers. A second “Operation In-As-Much” is planned for 2013.

On Sunday night, October 9, members of the church went as a group to see the movie,“Courageous” at the Danville Stadium. Approximately 25 from our church attended. Later,Steve Adkins taught the “Courageous Bible Study” on Sunday evenings.

Dr. Ellis taught a class for new members from September 11 - October 23. He entitled it,“Ringgold 101.” It was for children and their parents. He had approximately eight children enrolled. The subject matter consisted of the following titles:

  • What it means to be a Christian.”
  • “What it means to be a Baptist “.”
  • “What it means to be a member of Ringgold.”
  • “Using your talents and abilities for Him.”

Once again, we were so privileged and excited to have the remarkably talented Larry Reynolds and Roger West join the “Ellis Family Band” for Horizon Reunion II on Saturday night and Sunday morning (November 5 and 6). This year, Mr. Jim Pool, a very talented bass singer, was able to be part of the special get-together. We were truly blessed by their testimonies and beautiful music.

A very special November event, our annual Thanksgiving Meal that has been held for the past four years, was again offered. The tables were decorated and set with our finest china.Under Matt Foster’s leadership, the church members are asked to help with donations of turkey,dressing, vegetables, and desserts. Lucy Adkins has been a tremendous help to Matt in every way. Lucy has a great talent for planning and preparing meals.

Hazel Newton, from the very beginning, has prepared gift bags for the guests, along with help from Ellen DeMott and Lucy Adkins. Also, Sunday School classes and individuals in the church have been most generous with their donations. This year Hazel and the recipients were really blessed when Jeannie Adkins donated 100 stocking caps and 100 scarves that she had knitted and crocheted during the summer, even doing it on vacation. Hazel is also a great seamstress so she even makes the bags with remnants that are given to her from upholstery shops, etc.

Many of those who attend the dinner struggle economically and enjoy selecting items from our clothes closet. Matt and his mother, Diane, spent lots of time getting the clothes closet in order for this event.

Many volunteers of all ages show up each year to help with transportation, cooking, and cleaning. All of the workers seem to be so excited, and they all receive such a blessing by seeing the fruits of their efforts enjoyed by each guest and visitor. A big “Thank You” to everyone for ajob well done.

In Dr. Ellis’ “State of the Union,” Kathy Andrews was honored for twenty years of service as our Minister of Music. She was presented with a bouquet of red roses for her outstanding job. Appreciation for her many years of faithful service and beautiful music was given.

On December 11, we again enjoyed “Christmas Open House with the Ellis Family” heldat the parsonage. Thanks were given for a very enjoyable time of fellowship.

The beautiful cantata, “Journey of Faith” was presented by the adult choir on Sunday, December 18. That evening, the children’s choir did a great job presenting the musical, “CensusTime in Bethlehem.”

This year, 2011, we had 3 baptisms and 3 additions by letter to our church membership.


The year 2012 was christened by Dr. Ellis as “The Year of Possibilities.”

Dr. Ellis suggested that the Sunday School class that was host for the Wednesday night family dinner would also provide a 15-minute devotion. On January 11, the Ruth/TEL class did a great job of hosting and Betty Jo Foster gave a very inspiring devotion.

A Special Events Committee was created. This committee will be coming up with ideasfor things to do on special days, such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day, etc. that will enhance our worship services. Their work will also include special events that take place at the church such as the Fall Festival and High School Graduation Recognition.

The Youth, in preparation for the upcoming remodeling of their downstairs area had to temporarily relocate to the library. The Library Committee, along with the help of the youth, started a major transformation of the library. Members of the congregation were asked to make donations of beneficial Christian books and movies.

“The Ringgold Reflector” will be seeing improvements and enhancements in celebrationof its 45th birthday this year, and we have started doing a video recording of the services for our shut-in ministry, along with making the services available online.

Jeannie Adkins created a knitting and crocheting ministry that was given the name“Loopy Ministry” by Laura Davis. Their first meeting was January 26. Jeannie said that when she first came to help with the Thanksgiving Community Dinner that she began to wonder what she could do to contribute to the gift bags that were given to the guests. After knitting and crocheting 100 caps and 100 scarves for the bags in 2011, she decided it would be a good thingto have some help. Thus the “Loopy” ministry was born. Also, Tony Adkins and DianneDonahoe had made 50 chemo hats for the Danville Cancer Association when we participated in the Pittsylvania Baptist Association “Operation In As Much.” 

The “Loopy Ministry” hopes tocraft and donate many caps, scarves, afghans, and shawls for our Thanksgiving gift bags, our shut-ins at home and in nursing homes, and cancer patients. It will also be a great time for members to learn to knit and crochet and also a time of fellowship. Thank you Jeannie for this ministry.

Another great talent that Jeannie has and puts to good use is decorating the tables in the Family Life Center for holidays, special meals, and other occasions.

Following our tradition, Baptist Men’s Day was observed on Sunday, January 29, with abreakfast at 8 a.m. and inspiring messages brought by Aaron Evans for the morning service and Avery Dalton for the evening service. Also, on this Sunday, our youth sponsored a spaghetti lunch as a fundraiser for their Summer Mission Trip.

Scout Sunday, a yearly event, was held on February 5. Boy Scout Troop 372 and Cub Scout Pack 372, along with their parents, were welcomed to our church.

At the business meeting on February 8, Aaron Evans, Minister to Youth, gave a report on youth activities and funds being raised for upcoming mission trips. He stated that the average meeting attendance was 15 on Junior High Night and 19 on Senior High Night. Under new business, it was decided not to have a family night dinner on the Wednesday night that we have a business meeting.

On February 12, Tommy Strader and David Pritchard were ordained as deacons.

There was a called business meeting on February 15 to hear recommendations concerning the crafting of a new pulpit podium. Steve Adkins, Chairman of the Board of Deacons, presided. After much discussion, the motion did not carry and the meeting was adjourned.

The Ringgold Baptist Church “Wire” (the new e-mail ministry of our church) was made available in March.

On March 25, we celebrated “Wildcat Sunday” to recognize and congratulate the DanRiver High School basketball team, coaches, and cheerleaders, along with their families, for an amazing season! A church-wide luncheon followed the morning worship service.

On Palm Sunday (April 1), our adult choir and special cast presented a beautiful EasterCantata, “Joy Came in the Morning.”

Our youth hosted a “Fine Dining Missions Banquet” on April 22. During the banquet,the details and vision of the youth’s upcoming mission trip to Washington, DC were shared. All proceeds went to the Ringgold Baptist Church mission fund.

The month of May was really special in our church. We want to thank the Special Events Committee for the fine video presentation of pictures that were made on Mother’s Day (May 13)and Memorial Day (May 27). Also, on Memorial Day, we remembered those that had lost their lives while serving our country and our loved ones that had passed on. The church purchased white flowers in memory of our loved ones; and during the service, family members walked to the table in front of the church and placed the flowers in a vase. Jennifer Gregory does an amazing job in creating our beautiful videos for special occasions at our church.

Our youth went for a weekend retreat to Chincoteaque, Virginia. Our Minister to Youth, Aaron Evans, said it was a great time of fellowship and preparation for the upcoming mission trip to Washington, DC, in July.

On June 3, our service format was changed on Sunday night. A very talented group of young adults, college and high school age musicians and singers were a part of this major overhaul. It was called “Alive at 5.” Dr. Ellis did a series of sermons on the Parables of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke.

In a business meeting on June 6, a handout was presented showing the remodeling plans for the music suite. Funds were already available for the project. Some of the money had come from a life insurance policy that was left to the church by Bruce Dodson. Since Bruce had always been such a faithful choir member and loved to sing for the glory of God, this seemed to be a very appropriate way to use his donation. The church voted to move forward with the renovations.

Our Vacation Bible School, “Amazing Wonders,” that was held on June 11-15 was a great success. Thank you Donna Gibson, VBS Director, and all the teachers and workers for a job well done.

Effective July 1, Tammy Anderson became our new Director of WMU.

Our youth’s summer mission trip to Washington, DC, was July 15-21. Their main mission was to help a church (Living Word) with Vacation Bible School. As the youth and chaperones shared their week with our congregation, their experiences were very inspiring. One of our youth made a profession of faith while on the trip and three more made that important decision after they returned home.

On August 18, a Women’s Conference (“All Aboard the Faith Cruise”) was held at FaithMemorial Baptist Church. A number of women from Ringgold Baptist Church attended. The speakers, including our own Jean Ellis, did a wonderful job. Faith Memorial was such a great host and everyone was truly blessed and inspired.

The Hudgins Memorial Class hosted a breakfast on September 2 to begin the new Sunday School year. This became a tradition for our church on the first Sunday of each quarter. Different Sunday School classes are assigned a Sunday morning to provide basic preparations for the meal. Suzanne Emerson and Michael Shelton are the new co-directors of our Sunday School.

We entered into 40 Days of Prayer and Invitation Challenge in conjunction with our upcoming revival. Members were urged to wear one of the black and white (darkness into light) wristbands that would symbolize our commitment to those days of prayer and invitation. Our revival was held October 7-11 with Evangelist Steve Mayle.

October 21 was an exciting time for Ringgold Baptist Church. We had the dedication ofour music suite. An enormous “Thank You” was given to David Dodson, contractor for the job, and to all individuals whose time, talents, and generosity helped to make this project a reality. The dedication service was well attended. We enjoyed a spaghetti dinner in the Family Life Center after the dedication.

Sunday, November 4, was also a very special time for us. Aaron J. Evans was ordained as a minister of the Gospel. To be able to be a part of this service was truly a joy.

On Veterans’ Day (November 11), the Dan River High School JROTC Color Guard,under the leadership of Ronnie Emerson, was a part of our morning worship service. At this service, we also had a dedication and commissioning of the “Loopy” Ministry project. Aaron Evans delivered the message for the evening service, which was followed by a reception honoring Aaron and his wife, Joy.

On November 12, the Joy Club and invited friends visited the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina. While there, we took a tour giving us an insight from Rev. Graham’searly ministry days up to the present time. On the premises is Billy Grahams home place opened for visitors. At the edge of the grounds is a cemetery where Ruth Graham is buried, a very reverent place. Harriett Jones is now the president of the Joy Club. She is doing a great job.

On Tuesday, November 20, the annual community Thanksgiving service was held at Ringgold Baptist Church. The Rev. Anthony Pass, Pastor of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, delivered the sermon. The service was well attended.

There was called business meeting after the morning worship service on November 25 to vote on Miriam Dobbins for Minister to Children and Laura Webster for Minister to Youth. Both positions received a unanimous vote of approval.

A beautiful Christmas Cantata (“Changed by a Baby Boy”) was presented by our adult choir on Sunday, December 16. They did a great job.

This year we had 8 baptisms and 1 addition by letter.


Dr. Ellis labeled the year of 2013 “The Year of New Horizons.”

In the morning service, on January 20, Michael W. Gauldin and Robert W. Anderson were ordained as deacons. At 5 p.m. we had the 2013 committee organizational meetings and at 6 p.m. the 2013 church calendar planning session.

Baptist Men’s Day was observed on January 27, starting with breakfast at 8 a.m. Dr. Joey Faucette was the speaker for the morning service, and Rev. Aaron Evans spoke at the evening service.

On Sunday, February 3, we had a church-wide covered dish luncheon to honor Laura Webster, our Minster to Youth, and Miriam Dobbins, our Minister to Children. Laura was already engaged with the youth and was having very good attendance. Miriam had begun in January; and parents, grandparents, and children were thrilled to have such an outstanding leader.

In the business meeting on February 13, Miriam Dobbins shared that the former“Clubhouse Kids” would now be called “Children’s Worship.”

Susan Wilkerson, representing the Building and Grounds Committee, presented a quote on two new renovation projects for the church  hallway between the sanctuary and new music suite at $3,375 and the youth area in the church basement (labor and materials) at $5,929.82. Both projects were approved. Dara Johnson, representing the Personnel Committee, read a letter of resignation from Kathy Andrews, Minister of Music.

Kathy served as Minister of Music here at Ringgold Baptist Church for 22 years. Her strong talent of music gave great inspiration to our worship service. Our choir was often referred to as one of the best in the association. Her abilities were just as strong with the forming of a Children’s Choir, helping in Vacation Bible School, and many other musical or church projects.Kathy often gave her testimony of her faith in Christ. She was a faithful servant and will be missed. Art Johnson became our interim Minister of Music.

The youth had charge of the morning worship service on February 24. It was called“Unmasked” – Expect the Unexpected.

In the morning worship service, we observed Scout Sunday. Boy Scout Troop 372 and Cub Scout Pack 372, along with their leaders and parents, were welcomed.

On Palm Sunday, March 24, the children of Ringgold Baptist Church presented Palms and Praise at the beginning of the worship hour. It was very impressive. The Maundy Thursday Service was observed on March 28 at 7 p.m. Easter Sunday, March 31, began with the SunriseService at 7 p.m., followed by breakfast in the Family Life Center. Dr. Ellis’ sermon for the morning worship was “The Day Death Lost His Grip” (Mark 16:1-6).

Dr. Ellis made an announcement from the pulpit in March, and also in the April Newsletter, that he was resigning as Pastor of Ringgold Baptist Church and moving to Wilmington, North Carolina, in a couple of months. His wife, Jean, had been employed as Manager of the Lifeway store in Danville, and her regional director had asked her to open and manage a new Lifeway store in Wilmington, North Carolina. Dr. Ellis said that they were convinced that this was part of a greater plan that God had for his family. Jean would be going to Wilmington on April 14, and he would join her after Devon Hope’s high school graduation on May 25.

The youth hosted a spaghetti dinner on April 6 to raise funds for their summer mission trip.

In the business meeting on April 10, the Building and Grounds Committee reported that the main floor hallway had been painted and carpeted. Keith Barker, Chair of the Deacons, gave an update on the selection of the Interim Pastor. He explained that according to the church constitution, the Deacon Board would interview and secure the Interim Pastor and would then recommend that individual to the church for approval.

On Sunday, April 28, the Ringgold Baptist Church Children in Action (Grades K-5) led the call to worship.

The Nominating Committee was tasked by the Board of Deacons to organize the process to be used for selecting the Pastor Search Committee. Names for the prospective Pastor Search Committee should be submitted in writing (and signed by the one nominating that person) to a member of the Nominating Committee or the church office. Before submitting a name, th person should be sure that the nominee met the required qualifications and was willing to serve. The 15 names receiving the most recommendations would be presented to the church membership to be voted on at the June 12 business meeting. The Pastor Search Committee would consist of seven members with two alternates.

The Senior Spring Fling was held on May 19 and enjoyed by all. We thank the Eva Walton WMU Circle for hosting this event each year.

On May 22, the deacons voted to recommend to the church Rev. Lewis Wall to be the Interim Pastor. His first Sunday with us would be June 2.

Sunday, May 26, was the last Sunday for Dr. Ellis. His sermon was titled Things I’ll Remember, Things I’ll Forget” (Job 11:13-20). Following the worship service, there was a farewell luncheon honoring the Ellis family. Dr. Ellis served as pastor of Ringgold Baptist Church from October 2007 until May 2013. Pastor Steve was a brilliant teacher whose love of history and Greek scholarship produced interesting and informative Bible Studies. He prepared power point presentations as well as compiled study guides on the subjects. Dr. Ellis had the ability to preach sermons derived from the least familiar of scripture passages. He was exceptionally creative in his “September to Remember” sermons, often employing the use of props and visual aids to reinforce the message. Dr. Ellis had a vision for church growth at Ringgold. Under his leadership, G.R.O.W. outreach teams were formed and the Children’s and Youth areas were remodeled. We extend a big and heartfelt “Thank You” to the entire Ellis family for their service and dedication to God and our church family.

The Nominating Committee met on May 28 to tally the recommendations received for the Pastor Search Committee. The top 15 names would be voted on in the business meeting on June 12. Everyone would vote for nine (9) people with the top seven to become the Pastor Search Committee and the next top two (2) to become alternates.

At the business meeting on June 12, the following were voted on and approved: 

Rev. Lewis E. Wall  Interim Pastor

Daniel Wolfe  Minister of Music (Beginning July 1)

Suzanne Emerson and Michael Shelton  Co-Directors of Sunday School

Pastor Search Committee:

  • David Foster
  • Susan Pritchard
  • Tommy Strader
  • Dianne Donahoe
  • Bonnie McDarmont
  • Ray McDowell
  • Tonya Barker
  • Alternates: Jeanne Adkins and Keith Hudgins

On Monday, June 17, Miriam Dobbins, our Minister to Children, passed away at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC, after a brief illness. This was really a sad time for our church. Suzanne Emerson wrote a “Tribute to Miriam Dobbins” in the church newsletter inJuly; an excerpt of that tribute is listed below.

“In the short time that Ms. Miriam was with us at Ringgold she made a tremendous impact upon the lives of our children and any adult who had the privilege to work withher and assist her with the children’s programs. You could not talk with Ms. Miriam orbe around her without feeling her love for children and her desire that they come to know Jesus. She also felt that children needed to learn about local and world missions and beactively involved whenever possible.”

On Sunday, June 30, we had a covered dish luncheon after the morning worship service to welcome Rev. Lewis Wall and his wife Janine to our church family. This was also Art Johnson’s last Sunday as Interim Minister of Music. We thank him for a job well done. For the evening service, Brandon and Laura Neal, on a six-week furlough, shared their experiences serving on the mission field in Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean.

On Sunday, July 14, we had a Commissioning Service for the Pastor Search Committee. Dianne Donahoe had been selected as chair of this committee.

On July 15  20, our youth went to a camp at Plumtree, North Carolina. This was a mission-based camp, emphasizing a vision for the community.

Vacation Bible School with the theme “Colossal Coastal World” was held July 22-26 with an average of 85 children and 55 workers. Thank you, Donna Gibson, Vacation Bible School Director, and all the workers for a great job.

In a called business meeting on July 31, the Building and Grounds Committee gave a report on fixing the roof on the rental house at a cost of $4,850. This project was approved. Michael Gregory was to be placed on the church payroll to cut grass at the parsonage.

After the evening service on August 11, we enjoyed the annual ice cream social.

At the business meeting on August 14, the Sunday School report reflected an increase inattendance over last year. The new Sunday School group “Pairs and Spares,” under the direction of Sammy McCormick and Jeanne Adkins, had shown strong growth since its inception in June. The Pre-K Class for three and four year olds was restarted on July 28 and was continuing to grow in attendance and participation. This was a goal of Ms. Miriam. 

A recommendation was given by the Building and Grounds Committee to replace the four columns on the front porch of the church. Cap and base would cost $2,360. It was also recommended that the light fixture on the roof in the steeple be replaced at a cost of $1,200. These projects were approved. The Pastor Search Committee gave an update report. Tony Brooks, a field strategist for the Southside Region of VBGA, had met with them on July 29 and was very helpful in training for the pastor search process. He emphasized that the process should not be rushed.

On August 18, the Pastor Search Committee distributed surveys that would give the committee insight in selecting a new Pastor. The surveys were to be returned by September 1.

Dr. Ken Ellison was the speaker for the evening service on August 25. He shared his life experiences serving as a Southern Baptist Foreign Missionary in Indonesia for 40 years and his recent mission trip to Malaysia.

In a called business meeting on September 4, 

Madison Norris was approved to be the new Minister to Children. Her first Sunday would be September 8. Since the passing of our beloved Miriam Dobbins, the Children/Youth Guidance Council, along with the parents of the children, had kept the program going. A big thank you to all who helped with this program.

Also, in this meeting, a letter of resignation was read from Laura Webster, the Minister to Youth. Her last Sunday would be August 31. We thank Laura for her time spent with us and what she accomplished with our youth during that time.

In the morning worship service on September 8, the Special Events Committee had a presentation for our grandparents with lots of great family pictures.

On Sunday, September 29, at the 5 p.m. service, the children’s choir, under the directionof Ginger Collie, presented the musical “Down by the Creek Bank” in loving memory of Miriam Dobbins. They did a great job, and it was enjoyed by all.

At the beginning of the worship service on October 6, Tammy Fielder, a coordinator for the Operation Christmas Child (Piedmont Area Team), gave a special presentation about her trip to Uganda and emphasized how much the shoeboxes meant to children around the globe.

On October 6 at 5 p.m., a town hall meeting was held in the sanctuary for the purpose of educating the membership on the differences between the Southern Baptist Convention and our other two state conventions - The Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia and the Baptist General Assembly of Virginia. A representative from each convention was present to explain the operation of each. Time was also made available for questions and answers. An information packet from each convention was made available to church members prior to the meeting.

On this same Sunday, the youth, along with Madison and Steven Norris, were joined by Pastor Lewis Wall for a basketball fun game in the afternoon. The youth also started a video Bible study on Wednesday nights called “God’s Holy Days, Jesus in the Feast.”

Renovations of the youth area in the church basement have been completed.

On Saturday, October 12, Ringgold Baptist Church, along with hundreds of churches and thousands of volunteers across the country, shared the love of Christ with people in theirrespective communities through a project called “Operation Inasmuch.” Ringgold Baptist Church had 60 plus volunteers who participated in many different projects. Church members baked cookies for our shut-ins, and others made donations to support the “Operation Inasmuch”project..

William “Bill” Baker was the speaker for our morning worship service on Sunday,October 13. He spoke on behalf of Gideons International. Following the worship service, we observed World Hunger Day with a luncheon of beans, rice, and cornbread. Donations of $636 were collected to support our Backpack Buddies ministry project.

Backpack Buddies is an outreach ministry of Ringgold Baptist Church and Kentuck Baptist Church that provides weekend meals to children who are in need of food. Individual bags of non-perishable food are delivered to Kentuck Elementary School and Dan River MiddleSchool each Friday to be sent home in the child’s backpack to provide food over the weekend. The bags contain nutritious, kid-friendly items that are easy to prepare for three meals per day on Saturday and Sunday, plus juices and snacks. Each church committed to serve a maximum of twenty-five children (total of 50 children) per week. Church members are asked to donate money to support one child for 9 months and/or to give donations to support the program, which will be collected every 5th Sunday.

In the business meeting on October 16, the church membership voted to remain with the Baptist General Assembly of Virginia (BGAV).

On October 19, we enjoyed the delicious fall stew that the “McDowell Brothers” prepare for us each year.

Jackie Anderson presented a very interesting drama of Fanny Crosby’s life at the 5 p.m. worship service on October 20.

Our annual Fall Festival was held on October 26. The youth decorated and helped with the many activities. Approximately 120 children and adults attended from throughout our community.

Sunday, November 3, was our Baby Dedication Service, committing five of our babies to the Lord.

Baptist Women’s Day of Prayer was observed on Monday, November 4. Different WMU circles prepared a meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with a short devotional; and church members, along with their guests, were invited to attend. Approximately 49 people participated throughout the day.

At a called business meeting on November 6, Mike Shelton stated that much of the Ringgold Baptist Church’s website was out of date and that potential pastors and members look at this to learn about our church. He recommended that Brad McDarmont be hired to update our website. Brad provided a quote of $2,500. This was approved.

On Sunday, November 10, we had the dedication and commissioning of the Loopy Ministry Project. Crocheted hats, scarves, and blankets, which were crocheted by church members, were presented and will be given to needy persons who attend our annual Thanksgiving lunch at Ringgold Baptist Church.

The dedication and commissioning service for Operation Christmas Child was on Sunday, November 17. Ringgold Baptist Church had prepared 234 shoe boxes for this project. Children from within the church brought the boxes down the aisle to the pulpit where they were stacked to illustrate the commitment to this project from the church membership.

In a called business meeting on November 24, Ginger Collie, representing the Music Committee, presented two recommendations: (1) To purchase a Yamaha digital piano in the amount of $1,000 and (2) To purchase a set of risers in the amount of $1,334. The recommendations were approved. Michael Gregory was hired as a church handyman to mow the parsonage yard and to do odd jobs in and around the church. It was voted on and approved for Madison Norris, Minister to Children, to also be the Minister to Youth and to be an assistant to the church secretary.

On Tuesday, November 26, Kentuck Baptist Church hosted the annual Community Thanksgiving Service. Our interim pastor, Rev. Lewis Wall, preached the sermon “An Attitude of Gratitude.”

Our annual community Thanksgiving Dinner was held on Thursday, November 28. Once again, it was a big success with everyone receiving a blessing (volunteers attending and guests).

The Ruth/TEL Sunday School class again sponsored the “Lottie Moon Christmas Card Mailbox” whereby church members are asked to donate money they would normally spend on stamps for Christmas cards to the Lottie Moon mission offering and put members’ Christmas cards in the designated mailbox at the church. The Ruth/TEL Sunday School class meets on an annual basis for breakfast and sorts all cards by members and Sunday School class and distributes them in the classes prior to Christmas Day.

On December 7 and/or December 14, a total of 43 church volunteers went to the Operation Christmas Child Processing Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, to inspect and pack shoe boxes to be sent to needy children around the world.

We had Christmas caroling for our homebound shut-ins and nursing home residents on December 15 at 4 p.m.

On Sunday, December 22, during the worship hour, the adult choir, under the direction of Dan Wolfe, presented the beautiful cantata “Go, Tell It!” Betty Jo Foster was the narrator. For the evening service, we had the children’s Christmas musical, under the direction of GingerCollie and Leslie Blair (pianist). It was a great production.

The annual Christmas Eve Candlelight Service was inspirational and set the tone for a beautiful Christmas.

In 2013, we had one (1) baptism.

**Church History (2001  2013) Written by Dora Dunn and Jackie Anderson


            From the “Deacon’s Dialogue” in the January church newsletter, a big “Thank you” was sent out to our interim pastor, Rev. Lewis Wall, our staff, and all members who have supported or served in any capacity within our church and community on behalf of our Heavenly Father.”  It stated, “By your dedication and personal sacrifice, you have demonstrated that Ringgold Baptist Church can be labeled as a church unified in serving God.”  Pastor Wall made the comment that Ringgold Baptist has a “bright future.”

            On January 5 at 5 p.m. following devotions, we had the commissioning of the 2015 committees. 

            Brian Foster was ordained as a deacon on Sunday, January 19.

            Following the morning worship service on February 2, there was a church–wide “Soup (er) Bowl Lunch” hosted by the RBC youth.  Donations were accepted to help support the youth’s summer mission trip.

            On Valentine’s Day, the Special Events Committee hosted a family pizza and movie night (“The Ultimate Life”).  Our youth provided child care during the movie.

            We observed Scout Sunday on February 16.  Boy Scout Troop 372 and Cub Scout Pack 372, along with their leaders, were in attendance for our worship service.

            On February 23, our Baptist Men’s Day began with a breakfast at 8 a.m.  William (Bill) Baker was our speaker for the morning worship service.

            Daniel Wolfe, our Minister of Music, was granted a six-week leave of absence; and we welcomed Art Johnson as our Interim Music Director to serve in Dan’s absence.

            Our hearts became very heavy and sad at the end of February when Rev. Lewis Wall became ill. Our church family was much in prayer for his recovery.

            Tony Brooks, Field Strategist/Sunday School Specialist for the Virginia Baptist Mission Board, was our speaker for the morning worship service on March 9.  After a covered dish luncheon, Mr. Brooks shared information on “Growing an Engaged Sunday School.”

            Rebecca Hughes, Chair of the Library Committee, announced the grand opening of our newly renovated church library on March 30.  A big “Thank You” goes out to Rebecca and this committee for their diligent work and time spent on this project.  Our library is well equipped with adult and children’s books, DVDs, CDs, audio books, and reference materials.

            Our Sunday School report for April stated that although we had more snow and cold weather in our area than in previous years, our Sunday School attendance had remained steady with an average of 110.5 in February and 107 in March, with an average of 24 visitors each month.

            Easter Sunday, April 20, Dr. Joey Faucette was the speaker for our Sunrise Service.  This was followed by breakfast in the Family Life Center.  For our worship service, the Expressions of Faith presented “Arise My Love.”  Our adult and children’s choirs, under the direction of Daniel Wolfe, presented our Easter Cantata, “Hosanna.”  They all did a beautiful job.

On Monday, April 21, at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary of Ringgold Baptist Church, Brian Poteat, Scoutmaster, and Steve Adkins, assistant Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 372, were awarded for their completion of Wood Badge with a beading ceremony.  Wood Badge is the highest rank that can be earned for an adult scout leader. Nancy Sparks Adams received the “Scouter of the Year” award for the Dan River District.

            Dr. Joey Faucette was our speaker for “Wildcat Sunday” observed on April 27.  The Dan River High School Basketball team had a very successful season, and their coaches, families, and friends were welcomed to our worship service, followed by a covered dish luncheon.  After the evening worship service, the senior adults were treated to a delightful meal.  The Eva Walton WMU Circle has been hosting the Senior Spring Fling for many years, and it is always an enjoyable time for fun and fellowship.

            We had several members attend a leadership conference for Sunday School teachers and deacons at Eagle Eyrie on May 3.

            Our Spring Revival services were held on May 4-7 with Dr. Ken Ellison, who was a long-time friend of Pastor Wall.

            May 8 marked a very sad time for our church in the passing of our beloved interim pastor, Rev. Lewis Hall, who had been ill for several months.  Rev. Wall was the very pastor needed at Ringgold Baptist Church during our transition.  Although serving Ringgold Baptist Church for a short time, his impact was great.  He was a gentle, compassionate, caring, and loving leader for our fractured congregation.  The love of the Lord showed through him, and he was truly loved by all.  Rev. Wall felt at home at Ringgold Baptist Church whether with the youth or the elderly, and he joined in many activities of our church.

            Rev. Cliff Hudgins preached on Mother’s Day, May 11.  Graduation Sunday was held on May 18.  Later that day, the Memorial Service for Rev. Wall was held at Roxboro Baptist Church in Roxboro, North Carolina.  This was Rev. Wall’s home church.  He had pastored that church for many years and was named Pastor Emeritus by them. His ministry spanned over sixty years. Many members of Ringgold Baptist Church attended his memorial service.  

On Memorial Day, May 25, a video presentation of those departed members whom we held dear was shown.  Tony Brooks from the Baptist General Assembly of Virginia was our speaker.

A memorial service for Rev. Lewis Wall was held at Ringgold Baptist Church on June 1.  A video presentation titled “A Ministry and Life Well-Lived” was shown. His wife Janine was the featured speaker.  It was a time of remembrance and healing for our broken hearts. As stated by his wife, Janine, “He saw a challenge here, a place where he could use his gifts of encouragement, reconciliation, selflessness, and love for all to redirect the energies and potential of this church for the good of Christ’s kingdom work.”

            Once again, the Lord looked after our church as he sent a special person to lead us until our new pastor was selected.  Dr. Joey Faucette was called as interim pastor and began his tenure on June 8.

            The Youth group went on a mission trip to Ridgecrest, North Carolina, from June 9 to June 13. While there, they served at a church that was building a community park and an elementary school that had a community garden.

            At a June business meeting, Madison Norris, Youth Minister, reported that “X-fuge on Mission” at Ridgecrest was a huge success.  Also Dianne Donahoe, chair of the Pastor Search Committee, reported that they are now working with one candidate.

            On June 22, the youth group presented a video of their mission trip.  As of June 29, they have a new name: “Amplify Student Ministry.”

            Dr. Faucette continued to lead us through the month of July.  The highlight of the month was Vacation Bible School, “Arrow Island Adventure.”

            On August 10, the ice cream social was enjoyed by all who attended.

            It was reported at a business meeting that the Backpack Buddies ministry has been a big success as our members have responded well with donations.  Five hundred four individual bags were packed over a 28-week period.

            There was an increase in meetings and activity as we prepared for a new pastor.  On Wednesday, August 13, the Pastor Search Committee held an informational meeting to review the candidate’s experience, education, and comments from people who have known and worked with him for many years.  All of those comments were extremely positive. Also presented was a detailed schedule for the weekend visit by the pastoral candidate.

            On Friday, August 15, a dinner was held for the candidate, his wife, the deacons, the Pastor Search Committee, and spouses.  On Saturday, August 16, the candidate had the opportunity to meet with church staff, senior adults, mission groups, and the children/youth and their parents on an hourly rotation.  The culmination of this busy day was a visit to Bubba’s Ice Cream by the candidate and the youth director and youth.

            The pastoral candidate met with the Sunday School teachers and directors followed by a trial sermon on Sunday, August 17.  A covered dish luncheon, following the trial sermon, provided the candidate an opportunity to meet and have fellowship with the entire church.  After lunch, a meeting was held in the sanctuary for the candidate to share his personal testimony and call into the ministry.  A question and answer period followed.

            At the August 20 business meeting, there was a discussion of upgrades to the parsonage needed in preparation for calling a new pastor.  After the August 24 worship service, the Pastor Search Committee held a called business meeting to have a secret ballot vote to call the candidate as our pastor.  After the vote, it was announced that the Reverend Duane Caldwell received 93% YES votes to be called as our new pastor.  He is currently pastor at a church in Old Fort, North Carolina, where he has served for 12 years.  A graduate of North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Science degree, Rev. Caldwell received his Master of Divinity degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.  He has 21 years of experience as a pastor.  He and his wife Dena have two sons and six grandchildren. The church was informed by the RBC Wire that Rev. Duane Caldwell accepted our call to serve and will begin in October.

            On August 27 at a called business meeting, the Building and Grounds Committee reported on the repairs and updates needed for the parsonage.  After discussion, the church voted to repair the roof and flooring first, at a cost of $21,877.60.  Additional repairs would be done as money was available.

            At a September 24 called business meeting, an additional $6,305 was approved for further repairs on the parsonage.  Many volunteers from the congregation helped in painting the parsonage, and some Sunday School classes donated money toward paint.

            On Friday, September 19, we had a covered dish dinner followed by a gospel concert by the “Boogie Swamp Rhythm Section.”

            A new church was born in Ruckersville, Virginia, on Sunday, September 1.  Gateway  church had their first worship service with 71 people in attendance.  Aaron Evans, the Lead Pastor, was ordained as a minister at Ringgold Baptist Church in November of 2012.  Our church supports them with a donation of $2,000 each year. 

            Christine Bennett Wilkerson celebrated her 100thbirthday on September 24.  We enjoyed a big birthday party (Hawaiian theme) given in honor of Christine by her family.  Flowers were also placed in the sanctuary in her honor for the Sunday morning worship service.  Christine has been a very faithful member of our church for many years and a loving friend to everyone.

            The WMU provided a bean, rice, and corn bread luncheon recognizing World Hunger Day on October 12. Donations of $450 went to the Backpack Buddies Ministry Project.

            On Wednesday evening, October 15, Dr. Joey Faucette concluded his ministry with us as Interim Pastor.  Thank you, Dr. Joey, for sharing the gospel, loving us, and preparing us for a new pastor.

            The annual Brunswick Stew, prepared by Mac and Ray McDowell, on October 18 was delicious.

            A Sunday that we had been looking forward to was October 19 when Rev. Duane Caldwell delivered his first sermon as our new pastor.  His sermon was entitled “Running the Race” from Hebrews 12:1.

            Ringgold Baptist Church has been much in prayer for Rev. Caldwell’s wife, Dena, who was diagnosed with breast cancer the week after he was called to be our pastor.

            Our annual Fall Festival for the children of the church and community was held on Saturday, November 1.  Despite the rainy night, it was a big success, thanks to Madison Norris, the youth, and volunteers.

            The WMU hosted breakfast, lunch, and dinner for anyone who wanted to participate in the Baptist Women’s World Day of Prayer on November 3.  Throughout the day, 55 women attended.

            On November 23, we had the dedication and commissioning of Operation Christmas Child boxes.

            Ringgold Baptist Church hosted the annual Community Thanksgiving Service for the area churches on November 25.  Rev. Allen Mahan, pastor of Kentuck Baptist Church, delivered the sermon.  Daniel Wolfe, our Minister of Music, had a very impressive music program which included the combined choirs of Ringgold and Kentuck, members of the Danville Symphony Orchestra, and members of the College Park Baptist church hand bell choir.

            Our annual community Thanksgiving Day meal was a big success.  Many volunteers from Ringgold Baptist Church and the surrounding community spent Thanksgiving day making this day special for so many people that otherwise would not have had a meal or fellowship.  The guests also had access to our clothes closet and received a gift bag with devotional books, socks, toiletry items, hats, and scarves handmade by members of our church.  A very nice article entitled “Warm Meals Served with Warm Hearts” appeared in the Danville Register and Bee on Saturday, November 29, 2014.

            Our church had 38 volunteers who went to the distribution center in Charlotte, North Carolina, on December 6 and December 13 to help pack the Operation Christmas Child boxes.  Our church contributed 212 boxes.

            Our Christmas season began with the church decorated beautifully and the Lottie Moon Christmas mailbox sponsored by the Ruth/TEL Sunday School class.  On December 21, our choir, directed by Daniel Wolfe, presented a beautiful cantata entitled “The First Noel.”  It was narrated by Madison Norris.  At 5 p.m. that day the Children’s Choir and Amplify Youth presented a play called “The First Leon.”  The music was directed by Ginger Collie and the play by Dara Johnson.  Everyone did a great job.

            We had Christmas caroling for the shut-ins and nursing home residents on December 23; and on December 24, the annual Christmas Eve Candlelight Service was held.  This service always sets the tone for a holy and beautiful Christmas.

            This year we had 9 new members (3 baptisms, with another person making a profession of faith on December 21 who will be baptized in 2015).  There were 5 additions by letter.

(Church History 2014 – Written by Lucy Adkins, Dora Dunn, and Melody Walley)


We give God the praise and glory for sending the Rev. Duane Caldwell to be our pastor.  We are so blessed to have this great man of God to lead our church. Pastor Duane is a perfect fit for us in every way.

All church committees met on Sunday, January 11, at 5 p.m. to elect a chairperson and to discuss the ministry of serving the church.

On January 18 at 5 p.m., we began a study using “Lifeway Bible Study Through the Book of Deuteronomy.”  At 6 p.m. we had the church-wide Calendar Planning.

Baptist Men’s Day was observed on February 8 starting with a breakfast at 7:30 a.m.  Rev. Caldwell’s sermon for the morning worship service was “Knowing Who’s the Boss” (Ephesions 1:19-23).

Boy Scout Sunday was observed on Sunday morning, February 15, with Boy Scout Troop 372 and Cub Scout Pack 372, along with their leaders, in attendance for our worship service.

Beginning on March 17, members were to come together in the sanctuary each Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. to pray for the upcoming Spring Revival.

Three fundraisers were held to help the youth with their summer mission trip.  The youth hosted a pancake breakfast on January 11 with donations of $532.  They also hosted a Soup(er) Bowl Lunch on February 1, with donations of $510.  A spaghetti lunch was held by the WMU on March 22 with donations of $1,200.

Our Easter celebration on March 29 (Palm Sunday) began with the adult choir presenting a beautiful Easter Cantata, “Salvation’s Story” directed by Daniel Wolfe and worship leader, Madison Norris. Maundy Thursday was observed with a covered dish dinner and communion at 7 p.m. on April 2.

Easter Sunday, April 5, started with the sunrise service at 6:45 a.m., followed by breakfast in the Family Life Center.  For the worship service, the very inspiring “Arise My Love” was presented by the Expressions of Faith.  Rev. Caldwell’s message was “Christ is Risen Indeed” (1 Corinthians 15:1-8).

On April 12 at 5 p.m., we had a vision night which was a time spent looking at our future plans, goals, and dreams for Ringgold Baptist Church.

In a business meeting on April 15, the Building and Grounds Committee reported that a coil unit had been replaced in the ice machine in the Family Life Center at a cost of $1,167.57.  Rev. Caldwell and the deacons recommended that Ringgold Baptist Church change to a “Custom Giving Plan” for the Cooperative Mission giving.  Seventy-two percent of our giving will remain the same while twenty-eight percent will be going to missions (including six Southern Baptist Seminaries) instead of more liberal causes.  A motion was made to accept the recommendation,  and it was carried by a unanimous vote.

Our Spring Revival was held April 19-22 with the Dr. Randy Helms as guest speaker.  Dr. Helms is Senior Pastor of Forestbrook Baptist Church in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  His wife of 35 years was the former Ivy Poole (daughter of Don and Jo Anne Poole) and was a member of Ringgold Baptist Church when she was growing up.

Friday, April 24, at 6:30 p.m., we were entertained by the Booger Swamp Rhythm Section in concert.

May 2015 was a month filled with special recognitions beginning May 3 with the Eva Walton Circle hosting the annual Spring Fling lunch for senior adults.  On May 10, we honored our mothers, and on May 17 we recognized graduates of the church in the morning worship service, including a special video presentation featuring the graduates.  On May 24, our Memorial Day video paid tribute to those of our church family who lost their lives in service to our country in the United States military. On May 31, there was an Eagle Scout Court of Honor held for Evan Robert Adkins with a reception following the ceremony.

In June, we began the process of developing our new church directory by scheduling appointments to have photos taken of each family.  June 7 was Dan River High School Wildcat Sunday with the baseball team and their families invited to be our special guests for worship followed by a covered dish lunch.  There was also a commissioning ceremony for our youth mission trip to Charleston, South Carolina, in the June 7 worship service.  On June 14, the Amplify Student Ministry led the morning worship, sharing experiences of their mission trip themed “Alive and Free.”  Nine youth and three leaders traveled to Charleston, South Carolina, on June 8-12.

It was reported in the June 10 business meeting that the church had purchased a new Cub Cadet lawn mower for the parsonage and replaced the heating/cooling unit serving the third floor Sunday School area.  David Foster presented a new Personnel Handbook with guidelines and job descriptions for church employees.  The recommendation from the Personnel Committee was that the new Personnel Handbook be approved, and this was passed by unanimous vote.  In discussion of the fate of the vacant rental house owned by the church, the Building and Grounds Committee reported a minimum remodel of the house would cost ten to fifteen thousand dollars.  An estimation for demolition of the house, well house, and two storage buildings was $4,800.  While there are members of our church whose families had lived there and hold sentimental feelings for their former home, it is not economically feasible to continue to maintain the house as a rental property.  The motion was made to tear down the buildings and approved with only two dissenting votes.  Diane Foster and Brian Horne were elected co-directors of Sunday School for 2015-2016 to begin serving July 1.  We are grateful to outgoing Sunday School co-directors Suzanne Emerson and Mike Shelton for their faithful service for the last three years.

Our Vacation Bible School, whose theme was “MOVE,” was held July 13-17 with Madison Norris and Jennifer Gregory serving as co-directors.  Average attendance was 70 children per night.  VBS offerings of either money or school supplies were divided between local schools and the North American Mission Board.

Pastor Duane Caldwell started a New Believers Sunday School class geared toward children in grades 1-6 who had recently accepted Christ as Savior of their lives.  The four-week study ran from August 2-23.

Our annual End-of-Summer/Back-to School Ice Cream Social was held following the evening Bible Study on August 9.

In the business meeting held August 12, John Foster, Chairman of the Building and Grounds Committee, reported that the demolition of the rental property had been successfully completed.

Beginning September 1, members of the church were asked to meet each Tuesday at 6 p.m. to pray in preparation for our upcoming Fall Revival.

The Fall Revival was held from September 20-23. Steve Freeman, Staff Evangelist for Colonial Heights Baptist Church, was the inspiring, uplifting speaker. Although small in stature, he was a dynamic speaker and an excellent pianist, singer, and songwriter.

Worship service DVDs of all morning services, including the Fall Revival, are available.

October was a busy month at Ringgold Baptist church, beginning with the WMU World Hunger Day.  The annual beans and rice luncheon was held on October 11, and the proceeds of over six hundred dollars were given to God’s Storehouse.

Mac McDowell and Billy Demott voluntarily re-seeded the area where the rental house had been located.

The congregation was blessed to have Pastor Caldwell’s father as a Gideon speaker on October 18.  

Our annual Brunswick stew, prepared by the McDowell family, was held on October 17 with delicious desserts supplied by the Joy Club.  This eagerly awaited event each year is a tasty way to celebrate fall.  Thank you McDowell family.

Following the services on Sunday, October 25, a church-wide covered dish luncheon was held to honor and thank the pastor and ministerial staff for their faithful service.

Finally, October ended with a fabulous Fall Festival organized by Madison Norris, Minister to Youth and Children.  Dinner, games, and “Trunk or Treat” were enjoyed by all who participated.

In November, the Baptist Women’s World Day of Prayer was observed for the sixth year.  Forty-eight women were served breakfast, lunch, or dinner hosted by the WMU circles.  Devotions were given by Madison Norris, Ruth Scearce, and the Acteens.

An awe-inspiring program for Veteran’s Day was planned and presented by Suzanne and Ronnie Emerson and the Dan River High School ROTC.  Thank you to all our veterans.

On November 22, there was a commissioning program for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.  Our church prepared 266 shoeboxes.

The Community Thanksgiving Service was held on November 24 at Kentuck Baptist Church with our own Pastor Duane Caldwell speaking.  The combined choirs from both churches provided beautiful music.

On Thanksgiving Day, our church hosted the annual Thanksgiving Day meal.  This church-wide project is spearheaded by Matt Foster, who sent out a big thank you to all who provided food, served, helped with transportation, donated clothing, or made lap blankets.  All efforts contributed to the success of the program.  Not only were people served at the church, but food was also delivered to truck drivers at Pilot service station and to the security guard at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, who said he was all alone and would have just had Ramen noodles.  Slices of pies were taken to workers at Piggly-Wiggly who had to work all day. Matt stated, “If we can touch one person, that is all that matters.”  The church thanks Matt for his tireless efforts year after year.

The Christmas season is celebrated all of December beginning with the Lottie Moon Christmas mailboxes sponsored by the Ruth/T.E.L. Sunday School class.  Christmas caroling was on December 13 to brighten the holiday for the shut-ins.

The Operation Christmas Child shoebox drive successfully culminated in early December.  A group of forty-one volunteers traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina, to work at the OCC processing center.  A big thank you goes out to Paula Ruis for her leadership each year and also to her husband Allen Ruis who represented Ringgold Baptist Church at the regional collection center.

To church members’ delight, the new pictorial directories arrived in mid-December.

The Christmas cantata, “Breath of Heaven,” was presented by the adult choir and directed by Daniel Wolfe.  Janine Wall graciously filled in as pianist in the absence of Leslie Blair who was on maternity leave.

The children’s choir presented “Children’s Celebration of Christmas” in the evening service.  The program was directed by Ginger Collie, narrated by Madison Norris, and accompanied by Sharon Slayton playing the piano.

The Christmas Eve candlelight and communion service was held on December 24.

Marvin McDowell, Jr. (Mac) was ordained as a deacon on December 27.

In 2015, we had 21 new members in our church, 5 by letter of transfer from another church and 16 by profession of faith and baptism.  We lost five members who went on to be with the Lord.

(Church History 2015 – Written by Dora Dunn, Toni Adkins, and Melody Walley)   


           Ringgold Baptist Church had a blessed year in 2016.  Under the leadership of a caring and dedicated pastor and deacon board, Ringgold Baptist Church continues to serve God and the community at large.  At Ringgold Baptist Church there are worship services, Bible study, Sunday School, and activities for all ages throughout the year.  The supportive and active staff members contribute to the success of the numerous activities and organizations.  A special blessing and praise is that Dena, Rev. Caldwell’s wife, finished her chemotherapy treatments and is feeling much better.  It is a joy to have her back in attendance and teaching a Sunday School class.

            There are opportunities for all to serve in the church.  The church’s organization is made up of numerous committees such as Constitution, Finance, Personnel, Building and Grounds, along with Social Committee and others.  These committees are led by church members in conducting the various jobs of the church.

            The year began with organizational meetings of the various committees for committee members to discuss and plan for the coming year.  Each committee was tasked with writing a committee description detailing the duties of that committee.  A Policies and Procedures Manual would be prepared by the Constitution Committee to serve as a guideline for incoming committee members.  The manual would also help those asked to serve on committees to have a reference to see if it fit their interests.

            There is a new organization called the Brotherhood , formed to further serve our community through outreach.  In April a men’s breakfast was held at the church.  Randy Johnson of God’s Pit Crew spoke and shared how our men could be a part of the many ministry opportunities at his organization.  In June the Brotherhood collected items at Wal Mart for Blessing Buckets.  David Foster announced in October that they would be working on a project to build a deck on a home for a family in Java, Virginia.  This project was a part of the God’s Pit Crew ministry and was completed in December.

            A large and important part of our church is the Women’s Missionary Union.  Throughout the year, the congregation participates in monthly churchwide mission projects led by the WMU.  The emphasis is on missions at the local, state, national, and international levels.  At the June business meeting, Suzanne Emerson was elected WMU Director.

            The JOY (Just Older Youth) Club meets monthly for fun and fellowship.  This senior citizen group collects canned goods for God’s Storehouse and collects used postage stamps for our veterans.  They also highlight a shut-in of the month whom they recognize with greeting cards from the congregation.  At each meeting, there is a program and  a meal.

            Our youth and children’s department, led by Madison Norris, Minister to Youth and Children, enjoyed an active year.  On January 3 a family dinner was hosted by the Amplify Student Ministry (Youth’s 7-12 grades’ new name) for the students and parents in that group.  A meeting hosted by the Transient Student Ministry was held on January 6 to discuss plans for 2016.

            After the worship service on February 7, the Amplify Student Ministry hosted the third annual Soup(er) Bowl lunch.  Donations of $810 were collected to help sponsor the youth’s summer mission trip. On February 17, the youth attended Winter Jam in Greensboro, North Carolina.      


            In addition to hosting the Easter Egg Hunt in March, the Amplify Student Ministry held two fundraisers: the pancake breakfast and a babysitting night.  On April 10, a spaghetti luncheon was held after the morning worship service, hosted by the youth and the WMU, raising $1,306 from donations.  The youth participated in the Bridge to Bridge 5K race for Danville Cancer Association. They saw a move, “God is Not Dead,” and held a Midnight Madness party.

            In June the youth attended their summer mission trip called Centrifuge.   On June 26, they reported to the congregation about their experiences.     The Transit Student Ministry fifth and sixth graders went on a camping trip to Eagle Eyrie from June 27 to July 1.  On July 3, they shared their experiences with the church.

            On August 20, The Amplify Student Ministry group hosted a car wash, hot dog lunch, and bake sale at the Ringgold Volunteer Fire Department.  The donations went toward next summer’s trip to Puerto Rico. The youth had a service project in September.  It was to deep clean the youth room at church.

            In October, the annual Fall Festival was celebrated with the church stew prepared by the McDowell family.  Desserts were prepared by the JOY Club members.  The youth provided hot dogs, popcorn, face painting, games, hayrides, bounce house, and more for many youth and community members who attended.

            The youth groups held a Ringgold Baptist Church tee shirt fundraiser in November.  They also helped pack Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. They celebrated December with a Christmas party for the Transient Youth Ministry members and a trip to Winterfest in Lynchburg for the Amplify Student Ministry members.

            A year full of service, fun, adventure, ministry, and learning was enjoyed by the youth and children. Thanks to Madison Norris for her diligence, energy, and planning.

            Some church members share their talents and gifts through the music program.  In August, the choir, directed by Dan Wolfe, held their first Ringgold Baptist Church “wing ding.”  All current and potential choir members were invited to a meal and a great time of fellowship.  Everyone was invited to join the choir practice that night.

            A special recognition of Ginger Collie, organist, was held during the morning worship service on August 7.  Ginger has been the organist at Ringgold Baptist Church for twenty years.  She has directed the children’s choir, sang in the adult choir, and filled in for the pianist when she was not available.

            Ringgold Baptist Church held two revivals in 2016.  In March, the sanctuary was open each Tuesday for members to come and pray for the upcoming revival.  Our spring revival was held on April 17-20 with evangelist Steve Freeman of Colonial Heights Baptist Church.  The fall revival was held September 25-28 with Dr. Randy Helms, Senior Pastor at Forestbrook Baptist Church in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

            Baptist Men’s Day was held on January 31.  The speakers were Dustin Haberer, Robbie Richardson, and David Burgess.  The children’s message was given by R. J. Richardson.

            During the morning worship service on February 7, Scout Sunday, Boy Scout Troop 372 and Cub Scout Pack 372 and their leaders were recognized.  On February 28, we held a Baby Dedication service.  The four babies dedicated were Noah James Long, Bennett Preston McDarmont, Eli Petty Blair, and Leighton Elizabeth Horne.

            A Special Events Committee plans and/or organizes many programs enjoyed by the congregation. Examples are the special Mother’s Day video presentation in May and the Father’s Day video in June.  

This committee also helped organize the May 15 recognition of our graduates during the morning worship service.  The special speaker was our Minister of Youth and Children, Madison Norris.  A video presentation included pictures of each graduate, the school awards they received degrees earned, and future plans.  Following the worship service, a covered dish luncheon honored the graduates and their families.  Each graduate had a table reserved for his/her family to enjoy lunch and to display memorabilia of his/their school years.

On June 5, Ringgold Baptist Church welcomed James and Tracey Watson as our guest speakers during the morning worship service. They shared plans for their upcoming missionary work in India.  Rev. Caldwell had the privilege of leading them to Christ and baptizing them in a previous church he pastored.

            The annual ice cream social was held following the evening service on August 7. Also in August the General Policies/Procedures Manual was approved by the church as presented by Betty Jo Foster, chair of the Constitution Committee.  It was noted that much hard work had been put into this manual, and a big thanks was extended to this committee.

On November 6, a Veteran’s Day presentation (under the direction of Ronnie Emerson) was held to show honor, respect, and gratitude to all veterans.  Thanks to Ronnie and the Dan River High School ROTC for an inspiring program.

A memorial service was held on November 20 to remember and honor the lives of our loved ones who are now deceased.

Brian Horne announced that a vacancy had been created on the Trustee Board due to the death of Wallace Collie.  The deacons recommended Bobby Scearce to fill this position.

Special calendar events are celebrated throughout the year.  As part of our Easter celebration, a Maundy Thursday service was held on March 24 with a covered dish dinner followed by communion.  On Sunday, March 27, a 7 a.m. Easter Sunrise service was held, followed by a covered dish breakfast.  After Sunday School, we observed an Easter worship service.

Summer months welcomed Vacation Bible School held in July and directed by Madison Norris.  VBS averaged 65 children and 55 workers per night.  Dinner was provided each night by the Social Committee.  The week’s collection of $530 was divided between Operation Christmas Child and the Claire Parker Foundation.

On November 13, our church commissioned 265 boxes for Operation Christmas Child.  Special thanks to Paula Ruis for her diligent and enthusiastic work in coordinating this important project.  Also thanks to Allen Ruis who volunteered one week at the Pittsylvania Baptist Association office to receive and pack the boxes to be delivered to the Charlotte or Boone, North Carolina, distribution centers.  The Pittsylvania Baptist Association received 8,905 boxes.  On December 3, forty volunteers from Ringgold Baptist Church went to Charlotte, North Carolina, to prepare the boxes for shipment.

November is all about Thanksgiving.  Ringgold Baptist Church hosted the annual community Thanksgiving service on Sunday evening, November 20.  In addition to sharing an inspiring time of community worship, praise, and fellowship, the church welcomed and recognized our first responders and law enforcement officers who serve our community.  The music was outstanding with the combined choirs of Ringgold Baptist Church and Kentuck Baptist Church, who were accompanied by members of the Danville Symphony Orchestra.  A big thank you to Dan Wolfe, Minister of Music, and Cari Mahan, choir director at Kentuck Baptist Church.  A reception in the Family Life Center followed the service.

Our big event in November is the Community Thanksgiving Meal, which was held on November 24.  As usual, many church members contributed food and helped serve the invited guests from Danville and the surrounding area.

Our church was beautifully decorated for the Christmas season.  Rev. Caldwell used the children’s message each Sunday to explain the Advent wreath, allowing each child to light a candle for each Sunday of Advent.  The Christmas cantata, “Come Let Us Adore,” was presented by the choir on December 18, accompanied by Leslie Blair and narrated by Dustin Haberer.  This was under the direction of Dan Wolfe, Minister of Music.  At three o’clock that day, the churchwide Christmas caroling was held at the nursing homes and homes of our shut-ins, followed by a reception at 6 p.m.at the church.  On December 24 at 4:30 p.m. the candlelight communion service was held.  Christmas Day was on Sunday, and we had special music by our pastor and his wife Dena.

As we close out the year, we reflect back on all the many blessings the Lord has provided.  One of those blessings is our pastor and his wife.  The church celebrated his sixtieth birthday at our Family night dinner in March.  His parents from Claremont, North Carolina, joined us for this special occasion.

In July our deacon team discussed just how good it is when things are going smoothly.  They provided a top-ten list of what our pastor does for Ringgold Baptist Church..  These top ten items were listed in the July newsletter and are as follows:

  1. He is easily approachable and easy to talk to
  2. He loves everyone equally and doesn’t show favoritism.
  3. He respects the church staff, yet constantly seeks to improve their ministry.
  4. He serves his church faithfully.
  5. He is ordinary.  That is, he doesn’t put on airs and treats his congregation as equals.
  6. He is an excellent teacher and seeks every opportunity to share his knowledge.
  7. He treats his deacons as teammates; not as subordinates nor as a board of directors.
  8. He’s always there and drops whatever he is doing when someone needs a pastor.
  9. He’s righteous, leading by example a life pleasing to God.
  10. He loves his wife.  His example of marriage is one we should all emulate.

Our pastor’s attitude and dedication seems to be reflected in the members of our church. On Pastor Appreciation Day in October, the church held a covered dish luncheon to honor him and all of our ministerial team.  

            Indeed a blessed year!

            In 2016, we added 14 new members with 6 baptisms and 1 to be baptized in 2017.  There were 7 additions by letter of statement.  The church lost and heaven gained 7 long-time members  -- Gone but not forgotten!

(Church History 2016 – Written by Toni Adkins, Dora Dunn, and Melody Walley)    


             Pastor Duane Caldwell reminded us in our first newsletter of the year that we needed to understand that there are the same amount of seconds, minutes, hours, and days in 2017 as there were in 2016, and the Lord should never have to ask us if we have some time.  When Jesus died on the cross, He put aside everything to ensure us eternal life. We should be more than grateful to do service for the Lord, to witness, and to tell anyone we can about Jesus. He had more than enough time for us. The least we could do is have time for Him.  

            The Co-Director of our Sunday School, Diane Foster, encouraged everyone in the monthly Sunday School report to get involved in a Sunday School class, stating that the study of God’s word helps prepare us for the trials and temptations we face on a daily basis.  

            Suzanne Emerson, our WMU Director, asked that we support God’s Pit Crew by helping to fill a “Blessing Bucket” to help the people who are left homeless from weather related disasters.  In 2016 God’s Pit Crew distributed over 15,000 “Blessing Buckets” to those affected. Ringgold Baptist Church met its goal of 50 “Blessing Buckets.”

            Madison Norris, Minister to Children and Youth, began a new series of study called “Be Near” with the Amplify and Transient groups.  They learned how we can get close to God, stay close to God, and determine if we are really as dedicated as we think.  “Love!” was the theme for the Ringgold Baptist Church kids.  They defined love as “choosing to treat others the way you want to be treated.”

            On January 15 at 5 p.m. we had the 2017 organization meeting for all of our church committees. 

            Art Johnson and Robbie Richardson were ordained as deacons in our morning worship service on January 22.  

            On February 5, we observed Baptist Men’s Day.  Our speakers were Landon Horne, Allen Ruis, and Bobby Scearce.  This was also our Sunday for Boy Scout Recognitions.  Boy Scout Troup 372 and Cub Scout Troop 372, along with their leaders, were present for the worship service.

            In our business meeting on February 8, the Building and Grounds Committee recommended that we remove the existing HVAC unit and replace it with two LP gas furnaces plus a 5-ton AC unit replacing the old AC unit for a cost of $26,580.  This recommendation was approved.

            On March 11, we had to say goodbye to two of our very faithful members, Allen and Paula Ruis. Allen retired from the State Police force, and they chose to pursue a long-time dream to travel in an RV around the country to visit and work in our nation’s national parks.  We will miss them tremendously, but we were assured that they would come back for visits and that wherever their travels took them, Ringgold Baptist Church would always be home and dear to their hearts.

            The WMU made a donation to Samaritan’s Purse for 1,050 Gospel Booklets, which will be given to children who receive an Operation Christmas Child shoebox around the world. These Gospel Booklets were given in honor of the 15 years that Paula and Allen have passionately worked with Operation Christmas Child at Ringgold Baptist Church, the Pittsylvania Baptist Association, and the processing centers in Charlotte and Boone, North Carolina. The Eva Walton Circle hosted a farewell reception for Paula and Allen on March 5.

            At our business meeting on April 12, a “Thank You” went out to Curtis Lewis for painting the baptistry. Brian Horne, representing the Building and Grounds Committee, announced that the project on the heating/air system had been completed and the bills had been paid.

            On April 14 at 7 p.m., Ginger Collie directed the Good Friday Drama, “Have You Seen My Son?”  On Saturday, April 15, we had the community Easter Egg Hunt, which began with a free pancake breakfast.

            On Easter Sunday, April 16, at 6:30 a.m., we had the Sunrise Service followed by breakfast in the Family Life Center.  Our adult choir, under the direction of Dan Wolfe, presented the Easter Cantata, “The Song Everlasting” in three sections (April 2 – “Ministry,” April 9 – “Humility,” and April 16 – “Victory”).  Pastor Duane’s sermon on Easter was “The Victory of Christ” from 1 Corinthians 15:20-26.

            On Sunday, April 23, Hazel Newton was honored by the WMU.  Hazel and her family moved to the Ringgold area and started attending Ringgold Baptist Church in 1968.  Immediately she became involved in the mission programs of the church and has continued to be actively involved until just recently when her own health and family issues caused her to slow down. 

            In 1976, Hazel became WMU Director at Ringgold Baptist Church and served in that capacity for 16 years until 1992.  Then she served as co-director with Mary Edna Sellers for another 13 years.  In the 49 years that Hazel has been a member of Ringgold Baptist Church, she always kept her focus on missions and served her church and community in so many ways.  Over a hundred people attended the lunch in honor of Hazel, including Mary Edna Sellers and Rev. Carl and Susan Burger.

            Our spring revival was April 30 – May 3 with evangelist Steve Freeman of Colonial Heights Baptist Church.

            On May 7 during the morning worship service, we had the Baby and Child Dedication.  The children dedicated were Lizzie Kaye McDarmont, Kellam Pierce Wallace, and Nolan Bailey Wallace.

            On Mother’s Day, May 14, we had “Muffins for Mom” (muffins, coffee, and juice at 8:30 a.m.) to honor and remember the special “Moms and Women” in our lives.  Flowers were placed in the sanctuary in loving memory of Bernice Clark by her family. Bernice spent a lifetime of loving and giving to her family, her church, and her community.  Pastor Duane’s sermon, “A Home a Mother Wants to Stay In,” was taken from Colossians 3:12-15.

            On Sunday, May 21, we had a special video presentation for our graduates.  Lunch was served in honor of the graduates after our morning worship service.

            On Memorial Day, there was a presentation of colors by the Dan River JROTC.  At the end of the service, the Memorial Wreath was removed and placed at the church marquee. 

            In our business meeting on June 14, the Brotherhood Committee reported that they had completed two projects in the community.  Representing the Building and Grounds Committee, Mac McDowell made a motion to accept a bid of $2,800 to clean, paint, and seal our steeple.  The motion passed.

            From the WMU report, the Eva Walton Circle had participated in the Engage Ministry in Danville by baking cookies and carrying four dozen to each Danville fire department station, the Lifesaving Crew, Ringgold Volunteer Fire Department, and the police station.  A thank you note was delivered also to indicate appreciation for their daily service.

            On Father’s Day, donuts, coffee and juice were served to remember and honor the special “Dads and Men” in our lives.  Pastor Duane’s sermon, “A Father’s Example” was taken from Genesis 35:1-15.

            Five of our sixth and seventh graders attended camp at Ridgecrest June 17-21. We had a number of fundraisers to raise money for our Youth Mission Trip to Puerto Rico:

  •  Soup(er) Bowl Sunday on February 5, was hosted by the youth with donations of $850.
  •  Amplify Student Ministry hosted a pancake breakfast on March 5 with donations of $1,500.
  •  Spaghetti lunch sponsored by the WMU on April 23 with donations of $1,500
  •  Wendy’s Spirit night for Missions with donations of $145
  •  Dustin Haberer donated $1 for every meal purchased at Nana Karen’s during the month of May.

            During the morning worship service on July 2, we had prayer and the commissioning for our youth mission team trip to Puerto Rico, which occurred July 8-15.  Five of our youth and four chaperones took the message of Jesus Christ to Puerto Rico.  While there, they held a Vacation Bible School.  We had a Mission Trip Recap on Sunday, July 23, where each member of the team told about his/her experience in Puerto Rico.

            Our Vacation Bible School (Gadgets and Gizmos), directed by Madison Norris and Lauren Horne, was held July 24-28.  There was an average of 63 children per night.  Donations of $718.32 were collected for God’s Pit Crew.

            On July 30, we observed Wildcat Sunday honoring the State Champions of the Dan River High School baseball team and State Champion members of the Dan River High School Track Team. There was a spaghetti luncheon following the morning worship service.

            The Baby Bottle Boomerang sponsored by the WMU was a huge success this year with donations totaling $952.53.  This ministry shares the gospel of Jesus and upholds the sanctity of human life.

            On August 6 at 5 p.m., a special time of praise and worship was held.  The “New Song Community Choir” was our musical guest. Our annual ice cream social followed this event.

            In our business meeting on August 9, Brian Horne from the Building and Grounds Committee, reported that the outside handrails had been repaired and painted by Garrett Hughes, Mac McDowell, and Billy DeMott.

            On Wednesday, August 16, at 6:30 p.m., Dan Wolfe, Minister of Music, had the Annual Choral Roundup.  This event was for all choir members and anyone interested in joining the choir. There was a choir practice and a delicious meal catered by our very talented chef, Dustin Haberer.

            A very impressive service, “Sunday of Hope Presentation” was held on August 20 during the morning worship service.  Special recognition was given to anyone in the church family who had fought cancer and beat it, who is currently fighting cancer, or who lost the battle to cancer. A special thanks to Jennifer Gregory and Bobra Robinson for coordinating this event.

            Leslie Blair has been our pianist for 10 years, and Ringgold Baptist Church is so blessed to have her.  In the August Reflector, Leslie reciprocated her love for her church family stating that she played for God and played for us.  She said one of her favorite memories from the church was when some of the members came caroling on her doorstep when she was only a few days away from delivering Eli.  She said that she was overwhelmed and would never forget that display of love.  She also said that Ringgold Baptist Church was a model of generosity and love for others, that it had been a pleasure to serve us for 10 years, and that she hoped to serve for many more.  Leslie, you are the greatest and we pray and hope so too.  We love and appreciate you so much.  

Our Sunday School report in August was titled “Nursery Blessings!”  It stated that on the past Sunday, there were toddlers galore in our nursery.  Good News!

It was announced in August that the Misty Adkins Scholarship for 2017 was presented to Sarah Sparks, who will be attending Liberty University in the fall.

The debt for our Family Life Center was paid off in August.  On Sunday, September 10, the Trustees of our church (Jimmy Morris, John Foster, and Bobby Scearce) held the Note Burning Ceremony in the sanctuary.

Our Fall Revival was held September 24-27 with Dr. Buddy Pigg as our evangelist.  Dr. Pigg is from Matthews, North Carolina, and pastor of Mt. Harmony Baptist church.  He was a former pastor of Pastor Duane and his wife Dena.

September 27 was the last official day for Laura Davis, our administrative secretary.  Laura has been our secretary for eight years and has done a great job. Laura always had a smile on her face and was more than willing to help on the telephone or in person in her office. We wish her well in her new endeavors.

Sunday, October 8, was Global Hunger Relief Day. We had our annual beans, rice, and cornbread lunch to remember those in our world who are starving.  Donations of $610 went to our Backpack Buddies Ministry.

Ringgold Baptist Church had 70 volunteers to participate in Operation Inasmuch on Saturday, October 14.  Activities included collection of food at Food Lion and Piggly Wiggly for God’s Storehouse and serving customers at a local laundromat by giving out laundry packets of detergent, dryer sheets, and quarters. In addition, baby items were collected for Transition Pregnancy Solutions.

On that same day, we had the Fall Festival from 5:30 – 8 p.m..  This was organized and directed by Madison Norris, the youth, and other volunteers. Ray and Mac McDowell prepared the annual stew, and the Joy Club provided desserts.  We also had hot dogs, popcorn, games, a bounce house, face painting, photo booth, hay rides, cake walk, prizes and more.  A good time was had by all!

Thirty-nine Blessing Bags were donated to God’s Pit Crew for children in disaster areas.  Each two-gallon Ziploc bag contained  a stuffed animal, coloring books, crayons, stickers, a New Testament, and a personal note.  This was headed up by the WMU.

Twenty-five volunteers packed bags for the Backpack Buddies ministry, which provides weekend meals to children at Kentuck Elementary School and Dan River Middle School.  Ringgold Baptist Church and Kentuck Baptist Church prepared these bags for 30 students throughout the school year.  Also, volunteers form the church went to Kentuck Elementary School each Tuesday and Wednesday to help children during their breakfast and lunch times.

On Sunday, October 29, at 11:30 a.m., the church was called into a business meeting for the purpose of hiring a new administrative secretary.  The chairperson of the Personnel Committee, Dianne Donahoe, recommended the hiring of Cheryl Hogg.  The recommendation was approved by the church membership present.  The new church office hours will by Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

A parent Sunday School class was taught by Madison Norris during the month of October entitled, “It’s Just a Phase.”

The Eva Walton Circle sponsored the Baptist Women’s Day of Prayer on November 6.  A prayer breakfast for church members, friends, family, co-workers, and the community was held at 6:45 a.m.  About fifteen people were in attendance.

“Celebrate” came to Ringgold Baptist Church on Sunday, November 12, at 5 p.m.  “Celebrate” is a local, newly-formed Praise and Worship band with approximately 15 musicians and singers, including our very own Dan Wolfe.  This performance was the group’s first appearance to a congregation.  It was a special night of music and worship for all in attendance.  They did a great job.

November 13 was the starting date for our new Administrative Secretary, Cheryl Hogg.  Cheryl, we welcome you to our church staff.

Kentuck Baptist Church hosted the annual Community Thanksgiving Service on Sunday, November 19, at 7 p.m.  Seventy-two pounds of food and $552 were collected for God’s Storehouse.

Our annual Community Thanksgiving Luncheon held on November 23 was a big success as usual.  A big “thank You” goes to Matt Foster, Jeannie Adkins, Katie Reynolds, and the many volunteers who helped to make this occasion so special.  The guests are always very appreciative of their meal and gift bags they receive.

In our business meeting on December 13, Dianne Donahoe from the Personnel Committee presented the recommendation of changing Madison Norris’ employment for Ringgold Baptist Church from three part-time positions to one full-time position as Minister to Children and Youth. The recommendation was approved.

The Christmas season is such a special time for us at Ringgold Baptist Church.  The sanctuary is always beautifully decorated.  Members are placing lots and lots of Christmas cards in the Lottie Moon Christmas mailbox, sponsored by the Ruth-TEL Sunday School class.  Money donations that would be used for  postage goes to the Lottie Moon Christmas offering. 

When we have the Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Commissioning, it is such a joy to see our children and youth bringing all of the boxes down the aisle and placing them at the alter in our sanctuary.  This year we had 245 boxes, and our church also served as a drop-off center for other local churches and community people.  Seventy-six boxes were dropped off to be shipped.  A special “Thank You” to Bobra Robinson in her first year as the Operation Christmas Child Coordinator for her diligent and enthusiastic work with this project.  She did an amazing job.

Each Sunday in December during the Children’s Sermon, Pastor Duane explained to the children the meaning of the Advent Candles and then let one of the children light the candle during the worship service.

The beautiful Christmas Cantata, “Celebrate the Season” was presented by the adult choir on Sunday, December 17.  It was directed by Dan Wolfe, narrated by Ronnie Emerson, and accompanied by Leslie Blair.  At 5 p.m. that night, we had the Children’s Christmas program, “For God So Loved,” directed by Madison Norris, Ginger Collie, and Leslie Blair.  They did a great job.  Following the program, there was a birthday party for Jesus in the Family Life Center.  Everyone was invited to attend.

Churchwide Christmas caroling took place on Wednesday, December 20, for members who are homebound and in nursing homes.

Pastor Duane’s sermon on Christmas Eve was “No Room in the Inn” from Luke 2:1-7.  At 5 p.m. we had the Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion Service.  Pastor Duane’s sermon was “While Shepherds Watched Their Flock” from Luke 2:8-16.  Scripture was read by eight-year-old Lincoln Horne.

In 2017 we added four new members.  We had a baptismal service on January 29 for a candidate that made a profession of faith in December 2016. 

This year we gained two new members by letter and in December, two by a profession of faith, who will be baptized in 2018.

The church lost and heaven gained eleven of our members this year.  We will miss them greatly, and our prayers are with their families.

(Church History 2017 – Written by Toni Adkins, Dora Dunn, and Melody Walley)


            In the Ringgold Reflectorfor January, Pastor Duane Caldwell said that his prayer for each of us in the New Year was to grow to be more like Jesus.  One of the ways to do that is by praying more: but as we pray, we need to pray as Jesus did when He prayed, “Not my will, but your will be done.”  The Father always knows best, so in our prayers we should try asking God what He wants for our church, our families, and for us personally.  Pastor Duane said he guaranteed what God wants for us is a lot better than what we think we need.

            On January 14, we had a very successful organizational meeting of all the committees in our church. A light dinner catered by Dustin Haberer was served, and each committee was to elect a chairperson, vice-chair, and secretary.  Committees were also to review the duties/responsibilities and forms used by each committee.  This meeting is coordinated by the Constitution Committee.

            Each year, we really look forward to our Baptist Men’s Day which was held on January 28.  The day began with breakfast for all the men and boys of the church.  During the morning worship service, our men and boys filled the choir for the special music.  Our speakers were Chris Bass, Mike Gauldin, and Art Johnson.  Each gave his testimony from the heart and did a great job. Pastor Duane said he never knows ahead of time why he chooses certain men to speak; but after they have spoken, he always knows the reason they were chosen.

            Scout Recognition was observed on Sunday, February 4.  Boy Scout Troop 372 and Cub Scout Pack 372, along with their leaders, were present for the morning worship service.

            On Sunday, March 4, there was an ingathering for the Annie Armstrong offering for North American Missions.  Ringgold’s goal was $2500.  The amount given through March 18 was $2706 with donations continuing through the month of March.

            Easter worship opportunities scheduled in March included a Palm Sunday Cantata “The Weeping Tree” on March 25, a Maundy Thursday dinner followed by the observance of the Lord’s Supper on March 29, and an Easter Sunrise Service followed by breakfast and Easter worship service on April 1.  Church services were cancelled on March 25 due to snow, so “The Weeping Tree” was presented in the morning worship service on Easter Sunday.  Our annual community Easter egg hunt was held on Saturday, March 31, with 25 children attending.

            There have been several fund raisers held to support the youth in their mission trip to Greenville, SC in July.  Madison Norris reported at the April business meeting that $850 was raised at the February 4 “Souper Bowl” lunch.  There was tremendous support of the Youth Mission Pancake Breakfast on March 18, and there was a spaghetti lunch on April 15 where $1733 in donations were given to support the mission trip.

            Churchwide mission support for the Blessing Bucket Ministry of God’s Pit Crew took place in April. This year, instead of individuals filling the buckets, monetary donations were collected.  This allowed God’s Pit Crew to buy the items needed in bulk making the money go further.  “Blessing Bucket” envelopes were distributed in the church bulletins on April 8.  The church goal was $1500, which would fill approximately 50 buckets.  The goal was surpassed with $2400 collected.

            There was over $1000 donated on the 5thSunday (April 29) to support the Backpack Ministry.

            On Sunday, April 15, Keith Barker announced that wi-fi service had been installed throughout the church premises.  This would allow those who use their cellphone or laptop as Bibles, as well as Sunday School teachers, to have access to wi-fi all day on Sundays and Wednesdays. A new ministry of the church began on this date as well.  Tagan Edwards, one of our youngest members, was hospitalized at Boston Children’s Hospital in Boston, MA.  Her father, Tommy Rowland, asked if we could stream the church service live on Facebook so the family could take part in the worship service at Ringgold Baptist Church. From this has grown a highly successful ministry with many viewers joining us in worship each week.  Sadly, Tagan passed away on April 21.  This eight-year-old with her trademark hair bow, contagious smile, and unwavering faith in Jesus stole our hearts and will certainly be missed.

            On Sunday, April 22, at 5 p.m. the group “Captivate” from Liberty University led in a special music service.

            The casserole ministry of the church has been revived, with Dena Caldwell serving as the coordinator of this ministry.

            As the pastor wrote in the May Reflector, there are needs all around us.  He said, “I am proud to be a part of a church who sees the needs around us and helps.”  He was referring to many of the activities we support with money or supplies.  He mentioned the love offerings collected to help the Tagan Edwards family during her hospital stays and many other needs.

            Pastor Duane further stated how blessed and thankful he and Dena are to be called to serve at Ringgold Baptist Church, “A church that is truly in tune with Jesus and His call for us to ‘love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves.’”  Ringgold Baptist Church is blessed to have a loving, caring, and giving pastor and his wife.

            On May 15, a video honoring all mothers was shown during the worship service.  We also honored our graduates on May 20, and special music was provided by two members of the Dan River High School chorus (Kahlil Farmer and De’Asia White).

            Our Memorial Day service featured patriotic hymns, and we were honored to have Mr. Stephen Wright as our guest speaker.  The JOY Club reported that a group of twenty-seven enjoyed a trip to the Barn Dinner Theater in Greensboro, NC, in May.          

            The churchwide WMU project for May and June was the Baby Bottle Boomerang.  Bottles were distributed on Mother’s Day and collected on Father’s Day, with $651.76 collected for the Transition Pregnancy Solutions Center (formerly called Little Life).

            The Agape Sunday School class hosted the Family Night dinner and provided devotions in May.  A series of sermons on the “Sermon on the Mount” began in June with a study of the Beatitudes.  The Wednesday night Bible study was on the book of Revelations.

            The Eva Walton Circle hosted the Spring Fling luncheon on June 3.  Good food and fellowship were enjoyed by all. Word was received from the Ramblin’ Ruis’s (Allen and Paula Ruis) that they arrived at the Yellowstone campsite to begin their work for the summer.

            On June 17, the fathers were recognized followed by the Father’s Day video.

            A fish fry was enjoyed by the JOY Club in June  The fish were caught and prepared by some of the talented fishermen in the church.  

            At the June Business meeting, the Nominating Committee presented for vote the new Director and Co-Director of the Sunday School, Art and Dara Johnson. They were unanimously approved.  In addition, Betty Jo Foster was approved to be the WMU Director, with Suzanne Emerson serving as the Assistant WMU Director.

            The youth and children distributed free water bottles to walkers on the River Walk Trail in Danville in June.  A visible presence in our community demonstrates their learning the joys of service to others.  Some of the youth enjoyed devotions and meals with Madison on Wednesdays.  They also enjoyed a day at the ball park to see the Danville Braves game on June 19.  Madison Norris reminded the church of preparations for Vacation Bible School coming in July.

            A shout out to our groundskeeper, Doug Motley, and property maintenance person, Curtis Lewis, for their dedicated work in the upkeep of the church and grounds.

            We began July with a patriotic worship service on July 1.  The Choir presented a medley of “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and “America the Beautiful,” accompanied by the children enthusiastically waving American Flags as the choir sang.

            On July 8 our youth mission team led the morning worship service.  Team members shared their experiences as well as a video presentation of the trip to XFUGE on Mission in Greenville, SC.  The youth led the congregation in praise and worship music, served as ushers, and presented the childrens’ sermon during the worship service.

            On July 15, Dianne Donahoe, chairperson of the Personnel Committee, recognized our Minister of Music, Dan Wolfe, for five years of service to our church.  Katie Williams of the Scholarship Committee presented the Misty Adkins Scholarship to Lauren Richardson and Owen Gregory.

            July 15 through 20 was the “best week of the summer” as we held our annual Vacation Bible School. The theme for the week was “AMPED – Live Fully Alive in Christ.”  It was a fun-willed week where kids learned about God and His Great Love for them. Attending were 80 children and 65 workers.

            A new church website was launched in July as well as eGiving, Text Giving, and Realm, our new membership community database.  There was a brochure in the bulletin on July 22 explaining the process of online giving for those who choose to take advantage of this convenience.

            At the August 8 business meeting, Brian Horne of the Nominating Committee, presented for approval the nominees for 2018-19 Sunday School teachers and officers.  They were approved as presented.

            A training session for volunteers at Kentuck Elementary School was held on August 8.  These volunteers serve in the morning breakfast program and at lunch to assist students with their meals and to provide a friendly, welcome presence.

            After a July break, the choir started up again on August 12.  Dan Wolfe, Minister of Music, reminded everyone of the performance of the New Song Community Choir on August 19 at 5 p.m.   It was an evening of worship and praise through song enjoyed by our church members and guests.  

            The WMU sponsored a churchwide project of collecting school supplies for children at Kentuck Elementary School, Dan River Middle School, and Dan River High School.  All church members were asked to participate, along with purchasing items for the upcoming Operation Christmas Child project.

            The Joy Club members played bingo at their August meeting, with unique prizes for the winners. Afterwards they enjoyed a chicken luncheon.  As summer came to a close and school started, the youth and children had great end-of-summer fun.  The K-5 group had a cookout with their families on August 26 after the morning worship service.  At 5 p.m. that night, the Amplify Youth (grades 6-12) had a family cookout.

            On September 9, Gerald Caldwell, Pastor Duane’s father, was our guest speaker and shared how God’s Word is being distributed the world over through the work of the Gideon International.  The offering for the Gideon Ministry was over $769, which will supply 535 Testaments worldwide.  Also, on this Sunday, Madison Norris, our Minister to Children and Youth, was given special recognition for her five years of service with us.  Madison does a great job.

            The Joy Club enjoyed a three-day trip to the Ark in Kentucky from September 24 to September 26. 

            Our fall revival that was scheduled for September 30 through October 3 had to be cancelled. Our visiting evangelist, Rev. Randal Helms, was unable to come due to flooding of his community in Myrtle Beach, which was caused by Hurricane Florence.  It will be rescheduled in the spring of 2019.

            Ringgold Baptist Church met its goal of $2,000 for the Alma Hunt State Mission Offering.  The fifth Sunday love offering for the Backpack Ministry was $939.  

            The October edition of the Ringgold Reflector contained the exciting news that 12 new members were welcomed into our church.  October was a busy month with missions and outreach opportunities.  On October 7, the Operation Christmas Child boxes were distributed.  Filled boxes were to be returned to the church by November 18.  Our church was a collection site for OCC.  The annual trip to the OCC processing center was planned for December 9.

            In the October 10 business meeting, Bobby Gene Atkinson of the Finance Committee, presented a “Designated Giving Policy” recommendation for Ringgold Baptist Church.  A copy of the policy was available for those in attendance to review. Bobby Gene also suggested plans for an Endowment Fund to be drawn up to be presented to the church at the next business meeting. Examples of planned giving may include: leaving a gift for the church through a will, establishing a charitable remainder trust, creating a gift annuity, or designating the church as beneficiary of a life insurance policy.  Both motions were approved.

            Ringgold Baptist Church participated in Operation InAsMuch on Saturday, October 13. Twenty-three individuals volunteered at Food Lion and/or Piggly Wiggly from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. to collect non-perishable items to be donated to God’s Storehouse.  David Burgess and Curtis Lewis used their trucks to deliver 1,887 pounds of food and water that afternoon to God’s Storehouse.  In addition, donations in cash that day amounted to $740 for that worthy organization.

            Global Hunger Relief Sunday was observed on Sunday, October 14.  Almost 50 church members and guests enjoyed a lunch of beans, rice, and corn bread.  Donations amounting to $345 were collected for God’s Storehouse.

            On Saturday, October 20, the church hosted the Annual Fall Festival, welcoming the community to a fun-filled event.  Stew and hot dogs were enjoyed by all while the children were excited by fun activities including games, hay rides, face painting. photo booths, popcorn, and especially the bounce houses.

            October is Pastor Appreciation Month.  God has blessed Ringgold Baptist Church with a faithful pastor who loves God’s Word and cares for our congregation and community.  We were pleased to honor Duane Caldwell with a covered dish lunch on Sunday, October 28, following the worship service.  Pastor Duane was presented with a gift of a garden tiller from the church.  Pastor Duane has always been so generous to share his garden bounty, so a tiller seemed the perfect gift.

            November was a busy month at Ringgold Baptist Church.  The WMU Eva Walton Circle hosted the Baptist Womens’ World Day of Prayer on November 5 by having a prayer breakfast from 7 to 7:45 a.m.  Devotions and prayers were led by Madison Norris. All women church members and their guests were invited to attend.  There were twenty women in attendance.

            A remembrance and recognition ceremony of all who served our country in the military was observed on Sunday, November 11.  During the service, we sang patriotic songs and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

            The deacons hosted the Wednesday night dinner and devotions on November 14.  Operation Christmas Child boxes were presented by the children’s department on Sunday, November 18.  Ringgold Baptist Church collected 248 boxes.

            On Sunday evening at 6 p.m. on November 18, Ringgold Baptist Church hosted the 28thAnnual Community Thanksgiving Service.  Under the direction of Daniel Wolfe, the combined choirs of Ringgold Baptist Church and Kentuck Baptist Church performed a beautiful program celebrating the music of John Rutter of London.  The choirs were accompanied by members of the Danville Symphony Orchestra. It was an awesome performance. Our packed sanctuary held members from several congregations.  Four local pastors participated in the service.  We were especially blessed to have the message delivered by our former pastor Reverend Carl Burger.  During the service, an offering of $1,029, along with canned goods, was collected for God’s Storehouse.  A reception was held in the Family Life Center after the service.

            On Thursday, November 22, the annual community Thanksgiving Dinner was held in the Family Life Center.  Members of the church donated vegetables, pies, turkey breasts, and all the trimmings. Other members prepared the meal and served our guests.  Carry out dinners were taken to the Pilot truck stop for drivers. Many volunteers make this occasion a success each year, and they are all to be commended.  Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

            The Christmas season at Ringgold Baptist Church truly reflects the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  It is beautiful, joyful, and filled with love.  Our sanctuary is always beautifully decorated; and during the Children’s Sermon on December 2, Pastor Duane let the children put on the finishing touch by placing the Nativity Scene on the Communion table.  He also used the Children’s Sermon each Sunday in December to explain the Advent Wreath, letting one of the children light the candle each Sunday.

            For our special music in December, three of our very talented youth (Kaitlyn Collie, Ashley Johnson, and Alana Blair) sang “Mary Did You Know” on December 2, and Kaitlyn sang “Breath of Heaven” on December 30.  We are so proud of our children and youth.

            On December 16, Rhonda May blessed us by singing “O Holy Night,” and our adult choir, under the direction of Dan Wolfe, presented the beautiful cantata “The Star Still Shines” on December 23.  It was narrated by Ronnie Emerson.

            On December 8, twenty-six volunteers traveled to the Operation Christmas Child processing center in Charlotte, NC, to help pack the shoeboxes for shipping.

            God really added to the beauty of the season by sending approximately 15 inches of snow on Sunday, December 9.  All church services were cancelled.

            Again, the Ruth-T.E.L. Sunday School class sponsored the “Lottie Moon” Christmas mailbox for cards to our church family, with postage going to the Lottie Moon Christmas offering. The total offering was $3,725.

            Nursery volunteers and their families were treated to an appreciation lunch after the worship service on December 16.

            Christmas caroling to our home-bound and nursing home members took place in the afternoon of December 23. To really set the tone for Christmas, we had the Candlelight Communion Service at 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve.  It was a beautiful time of worship.  The 5thSunday Love Offering to support the Backpack Ministry was $3,987.

            Pastor Duane and Dena received a Christmas gift of a new granddaughter adopted from China (Londyn Lili Long  - four years old).  What a great gift!

            In our business meeting on December 19, Madison Norris reported that the Sunday’s Children’s church members are between 8 and 15 children and growing.  She reported that the youth program is going well.

            In 2018, we added 18 new members (seven by profession of faith and baptisms and eleven by letter and statement).  The church lost and heaven gained four of our members this year.  We will miss them greatly, and our prayers are with their families.

(Church History 2018 – Written by Toni Adkins, Dora Dunn, and Melody Walley)







            In the January Ringgold Reflector, the pastor asked us to make the most of our time.  “Let’s all make 2019 a year we spend our time wisely . . . reevaluate what is really important to us and focus on that.”  Is Jesus at the top of our priorities?


            Pastor Caldwell continued his sermon series on the Sermon on the Mount throughout the month of January.  On January 9, the Agape Class hosted the family night dinner and devotions.  


            To get the new committees for 2019 off to a good start, the annual committee organization meeting was held on January 13.  A light dinner was provided by the Constitution Committee.  On January 27, the Baptist Men’s Day began with a breakfast for the men and boys of the church.  The men filled the choir and the church was blessed with a song by our own men’s quartet - plus one!  Personal testimonies were given by Stephen Henderson, Ray McDowell, and David Johnson.  It was truly a blessing to hear these heart-warming and convicting testimonies.


            The pastor began a sermon series on the book of Philippians on February 3 – “Joy No Matter What.” 

            The bi-monthly business meeting was held on February 13.  The Eva  Walton Circle of WMU reported that they provided supplies to Green Rock Correctional Center for inmates to make pillows for patients with breast cancer.  Supplies were also donated to God’s Pit Crew.

            As we looked at the children and youth programs, Madison Norris reported that the Soup(er) Bowl lunch on February 3 provided 23 pots of soup earning over $800 for the youth missions trip fund.  Thanks was extended to all who attended.

            On February 8, the K-5 Youth held a Valentine Cookie Decorating Party followed by dinner.  On February 23, a group of youth attended Winterjam.

            The Joy Club has been active at Ringgold Baptist Church for 41 years.  The February meeting was a planning session to develop programs for 2019.  A covered dish lunch was enjoyed.

            In the March Ringgold Reflector Pastor Duane wrote that “many times when something happens by accident and it works out to be something great, we consider it a coincidence.”  The Bible says, “all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).  Pastor Duane reminded us that God is, has been, and always will be in control.  What a comforting reminder that God is working to accomplish His purpose for our good and His Glory.

            “Faith and Fitness,” a workout class, began on March 25.  Madison Norris instructed the class in exercise suited to all levels of fitness, with a message of faith closing each session.  It was also noted that the Family Life Center is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for those who would like to walk without worry about the weather.

            Our Spring Revival planned to begin on March 10 was regretfully canceled due to the fact that our scheduled speaker, Dr. Randy Helms, was ill with severe bronchitis.  We were urged to pray that God would revive us, although we would not be holding revival services in the spring.

            A “Stew for Missions” fundraiser was held on March 9 with $1200 raised to support the youth mission fund.  On Sunday, March 17, the WMU kicked off the church-wide mission effort to collect monetary gifts for God’s Pit Crew.  Donations were collected during the remainder of March and April to aid victims of weather-related disasters.  The total amount collected in this effort was $1,548.

            Fifth Sunday donations for the Backpack Buddy Program at Kentuck Elementary School and Dan River Middle School collected on March 31 were $798.

            On April 7, the WMU sponsored a spaghetti lunch fundraiser to support the youth mission trip to Charleston, South Carolina, in July.  Donations of $1,120 were given.  The youth did a wonderful job of washing up all the dishes, cleaning up the kitchen, and providing help as needed.

            “Captivate” from the Liberty University School of Music led the Sunday evening service on April 7.  This team of students gain practical church band and worship team experience as they play current worship music in celebration of our Lord.

            Easter celebrations at Ringgold Baptist Church began on Palm Sunday with a performance of the Easter Cantata, “One Day.”  The children participated in the service by laying palms on the altar in remembrance of Jesus Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  On Thursday, April 18, the church held a Maundy Thursday dinner and communion service.  Easter morning  began with a Sunrise Service at 6:45 a.m. on the front lawn, followed by a covered dish breakfast in the Family Life Center.  Our Easter worship service began with an observance of the Ordinance of Baptism.  Baptism is an act of obedience symbolizing washing away sin and beginning a new life through faith in our Savior’s death, burial, and resurrection.  What a fitting way to celebrate Easter.

            May is a month of celebrations.  In the Ringgold Reflector for May, Dan

Wolfe, our Minister of Music, wrote that May brings warm weather, blossoms, green grass (Nature’s Annual Revival), just as Easter brought us the realization that Jesus’ rising from the dead is the revival in our hearts necessary to everlasting life.  That in itself is a reason to celebrate.

            Grandparents, H. F. and Jo Anne Whitlow, thanked their church family for their prayers and concerns while their grandson, Jacob, served seven years in the Navy.  We rejoice with them that God took care of him and brought him home safely, and we thank Jacob for his service to our country.

            On May 8, the Pairs and Spares Sunday School class hosted our Wednesday night dinner and devotions.

            Our mothers were honored during the worship service on May 12.  A gift was presented to the oldest mother present.  The Special Events Committee made Sunday, May 19, really special for our graduates with a video presentation and a covered dish luncheon after the worship service.  Pastor Duane’s sermon, “Pressing On,” was from Philippians 3:12-16.

            For the month of May, the Ringgold Baptist Church kids learned about perseverance, defined as “refusing to give up as life gets hard.”  On May 19, the youth went to De’Lishi for frozen yogurt and devotions.

            On Memorial Day, May 26, we honored those who had sacrificed so much for our country.  We were blessed to have the Ringgold Brass Quintet with us presenting the Armed Forces Salute.  The music was beautiful.

            The J.O.Y. Club met on Tuesday, May 28, and had their annual fish fry.  Again, their talented fisherman came across with the fish and also prepared the meal.

            The Eva Walton Circle hosted the annual Spring Fling luncheon following the worship service on June 2.  Thirty-eight people enjoyed the fellowship and good food.

            On June 10-14, Madison Norris, our Minister to Children and Youth, along with two other adult leaders, took eight of our youth on a mission trip to share God’s love in Charleston, South Carolina.  While there, they led a backyard Bible School.

            At our bi-monthly business meeting on Wednesday, June 12, the deacons presented a motion to have cameras installed in the sanctuary to record and live stream our worship services.  In addition, video monitors were to be set up in the nursery and vestibule for viewing the services.  Also, wiring was to be completed for the Family Life Center in case it is needed for overflow viewing.  The total cost was $9,741.94.  The motion was approved.  Ray McDowell, representing the Nominating Committee, presented the Sunday School Directors for the next year (Art and Dara Johnson) along with the WMU Director (Suzanne Emerson) and Assistant WMU Director (Dena Caldwell).  The recommendations were approved by the church members in attendance.

            Our worship service on June 16 was led by the Youth Mission Team, telling of their experiences serving with Xfuge on the mission trip to South Carolina.  They did a great job.  Also during this service, our fathers were honored with a gift going to the oldest father.

            Baby bottles were distributed on May 12 and were to be returned on June 16 with donations for the Transition Pregnancy Center (formerly called Little Life).  Total donations for the Baby Botte Boomerang were $1,165..07.

            The J.O.Y Club met on Tuesday, June 25, and celebrated the 4th of July with a cookout of hot dogs and hamburgers.  The senior group from Kentuck Baptist church was invited.

            We celebrated Independence Day in our worship service on June 30 with patriotic hymns.  Our choir did a great job presenting the Salute to the Armed Forces, taken from the “Sweet Land of Liberty” cantata.

            Pastor Duane wrote in the July newsletter that the arm position can tell you a lot about a person.  Raising our arms can be a cry for help and comfort.  The raising of arms can also signal surrender.  We can surrender all our problems, hurts, and sadness to our Heavenly Father.

            On Sunday, July 7, Madison Norris notified the church of her resignation as Minister to Children and Youth.  She accepted the Children’s Minister position at Dan River Church in Danville and began her ministry there on August 1.

            On July 14, R. J. Richardson was presented the Misty Adkins scholarship for 2019.  There was an insert in the bulletin listing Back-to-School supplies that were needed for a church-wide mission emphasis to benefit area schools.  It was noted that this was the best time to buy school supplies for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes while sales were going on.

            Our Vacation Bible School “Power Up” was held July 15-19.  Madison Norris announced that there were 75 children who attended.  She recognized those who helped make VBS a success as well as those who contributed delicious cookies.

            On July 28, new cameras were in place to record the worship service as well as broadcast the service live on Facebook.  Monitors have been placed in the foyer and nursery.  The nursery monitor is a Smart TV with Pureflix installed so the children can watch Christian cartoons.  A farewell luncheon was held following the worship service to honor and say goodbye to Madison Norris.  We will miss her and wish her well in her future ministry.

            On Sunday, August 4, Sarah Sparks shared her plans to do a mission study in Argentina for nine months.  She will be leaving in the Fall.  A love offering was collected to support her in her mission.  “New Song” was with us at 5 p.m. for an evening of worship in music.

            The church business meeting was held on August 14.  The Nominating Committee submitted the 2019/2020 list of Sunday School teachers and officers, which was approved.

            The ingathering for the Alma Hunt Missions was held on September 8, and the goal of $2000 was met.

            The J.O.Y. Club planned a trip on September 9-11 to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to see the live production “Jesus”. A full bus from five different churches attended with 24 representing Ringgold Baptist Church.  They also toured the Amish community and farms.  Great reviews of the play and the trip were given.  Thanks to Harriet Jones for organizing this great adventure.

            There was a love offering on the fifth Sunday for the backpack Buddies ministry.   At the J.O.Y. Club meeting on September 24, the members enjoyed a shrimp boil and fellowship.

            On September 29, Sheriff Mike Taylor was the Gideon speaker.  He delivered a wonderful message.  The love offering for the Gideons was $967.

            October was a busy month with many activities throughout the month for everyone to enjoy. On October 6, the Personnel Committee presented their nomination for the Minister to  Children position.  The nominee came from our own congregation – Stephanie Barts.  After her introduction, she presented her goals and plans for the youth program in the coming year.  

            On Sunday, October 13, the voting for the Minister of Children was held after the worship service.  After the service, the Eva Walton Circle of the WMU sponsored a meal for Global Hunger Relief Day.  The meal consisted of beans, rice, and cornbread.  Forty-five people attended and donations of $400 were received and given to God’s Storehouse.

            Ringgold Baptist Church hosted the annual Pittsylvania Baptist Association meeting on October 15; Pastor Duane delivered the sermon.

            Although it was announced on the AllCall that Stephanie Barts was selected to be the Minister to Children, she was officially presented to the congregation on October 20.  Stephanie had already hit the ground running the week before planning for the Fall Festival.  This festival was held on Saturday, October 19.  It provided stew for members and the community, along with bounce houses, games, face painting, and a photo-op station in the parking lot.  A hayride was also provided.  It was a well-attended event with over 200 participants.  The famous stew and hot dogs were ready at 6 p.m., and everyone had worked up an appetite.  Thank you to the McDowell family for preparing the delicious stew and to all the volunteers who made the day a success.  Our goal is always to bring the community into God’s house and show God’s love. 

            The Joy Club met on October 22 for stew and sandwiches.

            The Fall Revival was held October 21-23 at 7 p.m.  Rev. Randal Helms, pastor of Forestbrook Baptist Church in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, (the son-in-law of Don and Jo Anne Poole), was the speaker.  He began on Sunday at the 10:30 and 5 p.m. services.  Rev. Helms presented an interesting series of sermons on the book of Daniel entitled “Daniel’s Crazy Adventures.”  There was a covered dish meal on the last night of revival.

            Pastor Appreciation Sunday was celebrated on October 27 by recognizing the pastor and also staff members.  One of the longest serving was our groundskeeper Doug Motley, who has served for 15 years.  Pastor Duane has served for 5 years, and we are blessed to have him.  The Deacons presented him with a three-tier beehive with the bees due to arrive in April.  Not only feeding our souls, Pastor Duane also feeds our tummies with produce from his garden.  His generosity is only one of his endearing qualities.  In an open letter to the pastor in the October Ringgold Reflector, the Deacons expressed the sentiments of the church’s appreciation for his leadership and service.  They stated: “You are always ready to help others and give of your time and talents so freely.   Thank you for the wonderful example you display each day of how church members should serve each other and members of the community.  We are grateful that God led you and Dena to our church.” Our day of celebration of Pastor Duane and other church staff concluded with a covered dish meal.

            In our worship service on November 10, our veterans were recognized, and the children of the church presented them a token of appreciation for their service.  A thank you to Ronnie Emerson for making these services so special and to Stephanie Barts, Minister to Children, for helping the children prepare the gifts.

            The Deacons hosted the Family Night dinner and devotions on Wednesday, November 13.

            On Sunday, November 17, we had the dedication of Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.  It is such a joy to see our children bringing the boxes down the aisle to the altar for dedication.  Ringgold Baptist Church had 259 boxes this year.  The church also served as a drop-off center for other churches and community people to bring their boxes.  Thanks to Bobra Robinson (OCC Coordinator), Landon Horne, and Larry Collie for all the work that was done on this project.

            Ringgold Baptist Church had its first Baptist Women’s Day on Sunday morning, November 24.  The welcome and invocation were given by Betty Jo Foster.  Kathy Andrews led the women’s choir and congregational singing.  Suzanne Emerson introduced our guest speaker, Joan Turbyfill, wife of Pastor David Turbyfill of Schoolfield Baptist Church.  Joan gave her testimony of the role God played in the events of her heart attack and how God was in control of her life during every step along the way of this near-death experience.  Thank you, Joan, for this inspirational testimony.  Our God is all powerful!

            This year Kentuck Baptist Church hosted the 29th Annual Thanksgiving Community Service on Sunday night, November 24.  Our pastor, Rev. Duane Caldwell, delivered the sermon.  The music by the combined choirs led by Cari Mahan, Music Director of Kentuck Baptist Church, was beautiful.  The Thanksgiving offering for God’s Storehouse was $540.

            Once again, our Community Thanksgiving Lunch, held at noon on Thanksgiving Day, was enjoyed by the guests and the many volunteers that always make it a great success.  Matt Foster gave a “Thank You” to all who brought canned food items and stuffing, who prepared turkey breasts and pies, who helped with transportation, the many volunteers who came to prepare the meal and serve, and to Jeannie Adkins who worked so hard to prepare stockings for the adults and children.

            Stephanie Barts, Minister to Children, held a “Parent’s Morning Out” on November 29 from 9 a.m. to noon.  Thirteen children came to participate in fun activities and learn more about God.  Brunch was provided.

            On Sunday, December 1, we welcomed James and Tracey Watson, missionaries to India, to our pulpit to share with us their experiences while serving on the mission field.  Our prayers go out to them as they make this great sacrifice.  This was also the First Sunday in Advent.  Pastor Duane used the Advent Wreath each Sunday in December during the children’s message.  He certainly did not have any trouble getting volunteers to assist him in lighting the candle each week.  On December 1, it was the Candle of Hope.  Our children have really increased in number.  We are so thrilled and thankful for each one of them.

            Seventeen volunteers from Ringgold Baptist Church traveled to the Operation Christmas Child Processing Center in Boone, North Carolina, on December 7 to help pack the shoeboxes for shipping.

            The celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior is such a beautiful and joyous time at Ringgold Baptist Church.  Many special events were planned for the month of December.

            The Ruth TEL Sunday School class always sponsors the Lottie Moon Christmas mailbox.  Cards to our church family are placed in the mailbox with postage money going to the Lottie Moon Christmas offering.  Total donations for this offering were $3,626.80.

            The J.O.Y. Club traveled to Linda’s Country Cooking at Brosville for a meal and fellowship on December 9.

            The adult choir, under the direction of Dan Wolfe, presented the beautiful cantata, “Joy! Unspeakable Joy!,” on December 15 during the morning worship service.  Christmas caroling to our homebound and nursing home members took place at 3:30 p.m.  The Children’s Christmas Play, under the direction of Stephanie Barts, our Minister to Children, was presented at 5 p.m. in the sanctuary.  It was followed by a birthday party for Jesus in the Family Life Center.  They did a great job.  We also found out they can really sing.  Dan, your future choir!

            Our Christmas Eve Candlelight and Communion Service was held on December 24 at 5 p.m.  This is a beautiful and inspirational service.

            In our business meeting that was held on December 11, James Snead made a motion that a new church pictorial directory be made.  The motion passed.  Bobra Robinson, Peggy Johnson, and Dena Caldwell agreed to volunteer for this project.

            On Sunday morning, December 22, the Personnel Committee presented Jacob Webster, a candidate for Minister to Youth, to the church.  Jacob shared his testimony and vision for our youth.  In a called business meeting at the end of our morning worship service on December 29, the church voted for Jacob to fill that position.  Jacob, we welcome you and your wife Amber to our church and to the youth ministry.

            The fifth Sunday donations for the Backpack Ministry were $875.

            On New Year’s Eve from 8 p.m. to 12 midnight, Stephanie Barts sponsored an event for all ages.  It included games and food.  She said there was no better place to celebrate the New Year than at church.

            In 2019, we added nine new members (four by profession of faith and baptism and five by letter and statement).  The church lost and heaven gained four of our members this year.  We will miss them greatly, and our prayers are with their families.

(Church History 2019 – Written by Toni Adkins, Dora Dunn, and Melody Walley)


            Art Johnson wrote the “Deacon Team Moment” for the Ringgold Reflector in January.  He included this quote by Aiden Wilson Tozer:

            “Of all persons, the Christian should be best prepared for whatever the New Year brings.  He has dealt with life at its source.  In Christ he has disposed of a thousand enemies that other men just face alone and unprepared.  He can face his tomorrow cheerful and unafraid because yesterday he turned his feet into the ways of peace and today he lives in God.  The man who has made God his dwelling place will always have a safe habitation.”

            Harriett Jones, President of the Joy Club, gave a special “Thank You” to the many people who had helped each month with the Joy Club meetings by providing delicious food, cleaning up, and other duties.  Special praise was extended to some of the men in the group who went the extra mile to lend their help, cooking skills, and muscle power.  

            Daniel Wolfe, Minister of Music, wrote “Wow! What a joy it is to be part of the Ringgold Baptist family.  More than six years ago, I was welcomed by a group of people I did not know.  Needless to say, there was a lot of apprehension on my part, but since our beginning together , I have felt more love and caring than I ever anticipated.  Thank you one and all for the kind, loving support you offer.”  Dan, God has blessed you with so much talent.  We love you and are so thankful you came to be with us.

            The deacons hosted the Family Night Dinner and Devotions on Wednesday evening, January 8. Pastor Duane presented an overview of Faithful TV and information about how we could access the church’s free video library.

            The annual church Committee Organizational Meeting was held on Sunday, January 12, at 5 p.m.  A light dinner was provided by the Constitution Committee.

            On January 26, the Baptist Men’s Day began with a breakfast for the men and boys of the church.  The special music for our worship service was by the men’s choir, followed by the personal testimony of Don Sparks, our featured speaker.  It was a very inspirational service.  

            The Eva Walton Circle collected items for the House of Hope (homeless shelter) in Danville during the month of January.  Their project for February was a donation of Ensure to the Danville-Pittsylvania Cancer Association for cancer clients that have this need.

            The annual Soup(er) Bowl lunch was held on Sunday, February 2, after the worship service.  Donations of approximately $900 were given to help sponsor the youth’s summer mission trip.

            A kickoff for a Family Game Night was held on Saturday, February 15, from 5 p.m. until.  Pickleball and other games were enjoyed by all who participated.

            Scout Sunday was observed on Sunday, February 16.  Boy Scout Troop 372 and Cub Scout Pack 372, along with their leaders and families, were in attendance.

            Pastor Duane had been providing a series of sermons from the book of John.  On Sunday, March 1, he started a series on “The Greatest Week in History.”  His first sermon in this series was “Sunday: The Week Begins” from Luke 19: 28-44.

            The Youth Pancake Breakfast fundraiser was held on Sunday, March 8.

            Family Night Dinner and Devotions hosted by the Agape Sunday School class was held on Wednesday, March 11, at 6:30 p.m.  Dena Caldwell presented the devotions.

            The goal for the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering was $2500.  Donations amounted to $2,718.

            When we gathered for our worship service on Sunday, March 15, we were very much aware that the coronavirus had become a threat to our way of life in the United States; although at the time, it was not prevalent in our area.  The following Wednesday, March 18, we received the message from Pastor Duane on the All Call phone system telling us that it was with a heavy heart that he and the deacons were canceling all services and activities of the church until further notice, due to the coronavirus.

            In the April Ringgold Reflector, Pastor Duane wrote that this did not catch God by surprise.  He had led us in the last year or so to put some things in place to help with this.  A camera system was installed in the sanctuary that would allow us to live stream our worship services. We would be able to view our Sunday worship services and Wednesday evening Bible study live on Facebook, You Tube, Faithful TV, or on our church website at www.ringgoldbaptist.org.  The church office would be open from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Pastor Duane would be available to us 24-7 as always.  The deacons would also be available to us as needed.  Pastor Duane asked for our prayers as he, along with the deacons, tried to help navigate us through these troubling waters.

            Stephanie Barts, our Minister to Children, worked very hard to keep the children worshipping and learning about Jesus by creating a family devotional on Wednesdays and Sundays on Facebook.  She also posted links to devotions on the children’s page which is on the church website, and she continued to do the children’s message during the regular church services on Sunday mornings.

             Jacob Webster, Minister to Youth, figured out ways for the youth to stay connected also.  They would utilize Facetime or Skype at their regular lesson times (5 p.m. on Sundays and 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays).  This gave them the ability to see one another as well as listen to the lesson and interact as they typically did in the past.

            A special “Thank You” to our own Dianne Donahoe.  After hearing the CDC’s announcement that all people should wear protective face coverings when out in public, Dianne stepped up and offered masks to any member of Ringgold Baptist Church needing one.  Dianne had quietly been behind the scenes stitching masks for several weeks in case there was a need.  On Tuesday, April 7, she set up a chair and table on the parking lot of the church between the hours of 1 and 3 p.m. for people to drive by and pick up the masks.  By 1:35 p.m., she had run out of 97 masks and began taking orders for more.  She later brought 2 boxes of masks to a morning worship service for our members.

            The churchwide Mission Project for March and April was monetary gifts collected to support Blessing Buckets for God’s Pit Crew.  Donations amounted to $1,179.

The Chatham Rotary Foundation prepared weekly food boxes for families in need in the Kentuck and Dan River School area.  Ringgold Baptist Church and Kentuck Baptist Church donated their entire inventory of food for the Backpack Buddies Ministry to be used for these food boxes. Ringgold Baptist Church received a $1,000 grant from BGAV to be used with hunger ministries during this pandemic.  This money was also donated to the Chatham Rotary Foundation to help prepare the food boxes.

            Pastor Duane sent a message on All Call that on Easter Sunday, April 12, we would be having a drive-in Easter sunrise service on the parking lot of the church.  We could stay in our vehicles and listen to the service on FM Radio Station 88.7.  Drive-in services were also held on Sunday, May 3 and May 10. Thanks to Larry Collie who made a frame and platform for Pastor Duane to stand on in front of the church to preach God’s word.

            On Sunday, May 17, we were invited to bring a chair and join in the worship service in the shade of the trees in front of the church.  At this time, there were a lot of questions, fears, and different opinions about what would be the best way to keep everyone as safe as possible from the virus.  The leaders of our church believed that meeting outside was the safest and most comfortable way for everyone involved.  We could still worship in our vehicles by listening to 88.7 FM or at home if you so desired.  It was a great and memorable worship experience.  The birds seemed to be so happy.  They were quite active and shared their singing talent.

            Independence Day was celebrated during our worship service on July 5 with American flags on display and with the singing of patriotic hymns.


            We began to have Sunday School at our outside worship services on Sunday, June 7.  Brian Horne was the teacher for that Sunday.  

            The WMU missions project for June and July was the Baby Bottle Boomerang.  Donations of $479.23 went to the Transition Pregnancy Center.

            Our graduates were recognized and honored in our worship service on Sunday, July 12.  We had six high school graduates and two college/professional graduates.  The Special Events Committee had to find a way to have a special service for the graduates due to restrictions created by the coronavirus, but they did a great job.  It was an impressive service.  Across the front of the church, there was an individually designated area for each graduate, with a large photo of that person.  There was a gift bag available for our church family to leave a card or remembrance.  The graduates marched in and stood in front of their respective area.  As their names were called, each graduate moved to the center and Kristie McDowell told about their accomplishments and future plans.  Since in previous years the church had always provided a meal for the graduates in the Family Life Center, a gift certificate was presented to each graduate for a family meal prepared by Susan Pritchard of Gentlemen’s Ridge Catering Service.  They were also given a devotional book.

            Something unusual happened during this event that was not planned by the Special Events Committee.  It had to be God’s plan.  Rusty, Judy and Kerry Luther’s dog, came to our worship service and went around and greeted the people in attendance (each person or family individually).  When the graduates were in their place in front of the church, Rusty started at the beginning of the line, went to each graduate, paused at their feet and, in his own way, he let them know how much he loved them and how proud he was of them.  This is something they will probably never forget.  Rusty, we certainly won’t forget you.  You are a special dog.

            On Sunday, July 12, we observed the Lord’s Supper using a prefilled communion cup with a wafer attached.  This was done for sanitary reasons.  If a person could not be at the service or planned to watch online, they could stop by the church office and pick up a communion cup and wafer and observe the ceremony in the privacy of their home.  A person could also call the church office and have someone deliver the cup/wafer to their home.

            Stephanie Barts wrote in the July Ringgold Reflector that she was excited to start meeting outside with the children again for fellowship, lessons, and worship.  Jacob Webster wrote that the youth had begun to gather outside on Sunday nights at 5 p.m.

            The Finance team recognized and thanked everyone for their faithful giving to the church during the pandemic.  Giving had remained steady, and the church was meeting its weekly budget needs established for 2020. 

            The pictorial directory plans were postponed until the spring of 2021.

            A special “Thank You” to Bobby Gene Atkinson, Garrett Hughes, Brian Horne, Ray McDowell, and Mac McDowell for their hard, and sometimes tedious, work of replacing windows in the overflow section of the sanctuary and in several Sunday School rooms.  They also installed lights and vinyl siding and replaced the front door and windows in the parsonage.  Their thoughtful and generous gift of free labor saved the church a substantial amount of money.  These projects were voted on and approved at the February church business meeting.

            On August 12, our Business Meeting was held in the Family Life Center with safety precautions in place.  A property improvement proposal was presented by Bobby Gene Atkinson from the Building and Grounds Committee.  This included the removal of five trees in front of the church, resolving major drainage issues surrounding the church and parking lot, repaving the parking lot at a cost of approximately $191,000, and obtaining a loan from a local bank which had already been approved.  This proposal was voted on and approved.

            Due to the weather, we had to go back inside on Sunday, August 16, with Sunday School in the Family Life Center and worship services in the sanctuary.  There were 60 people in attendance for the worship service.  In accordance with virus restrictions, temperatures were taken at the sanitizing station at both the entrance to the Family Life Center and the sanctuary. Volunteers were used for this job, and a sign-in sheet was available per Covid-19 guidelines.  All persons were requested to wear masks but it was not mandatory.  Nearly everyone did wear masks for the protection of others and themselves.  On Thursday, August 20, an All Call message was sent by Pastor Duane that Sunday School and worship services would continue inside.

            After the worship service on Sunday, August 25, there was a Business Meeting to vote on proposed changes to the By-Laws, along with nominees from the deacons for the Board of Trustees.  Betty Jo Foster, chair of the Constitution Committee, presented the following changes to the By-Laws:

  •       Allow the WMU Director to serve more than three consecutive years
  •       Allow committee chairs to serve more than three consecutive years
  •       Allow family members to serve on committees together
  •       The Board of Trustees could serve a three-year term and may succeed themselves three times for a maximum of nine years.

These changes were approved as presented.

            On behalf of the deacons, Ray McDowell presented the following church members to serve on the Board of Trustees:  John Foster, Bobby Gene Atkinson, and Larry Collie.  In addition, it was suggested that Gene (Jimmy) Morris be a Trustee Emeritus.  The deacons had worked out a detailed plan to ensure that there would always be a member on the Board of Trustees with past experience in that role.  This recommendation was voted on and approved.

      The August churchwide mission projects were as follows:

  • Collecting school supplies for Kentuck Elementary School, Dan River Middle School, and Dan River High School.  Many supplies were donated for this project.
  • Donations of food and water for God’s Storehouse.  Five hundred and six pounds of food plus water were donated.
  • Masks for children at Kentuck Elementary School.  The PTO at this school had requested masks for children who arrived at school without one.  Four hundred and thirty-eight masks were donated for this project.

            A new ministry opportunity for our church was to crochet a pocket prayer cloth in the form of the Thin Blue Line logo for each local law enforcement officer.  This was a way to honor and support them at a critical time when they may have been feeling less appreciated.  This ministry was coordinated by Cheryl Hogg, our Administrative Secretary.

            In the September 2020 Ringgold Reflector, the pastor commented on the times:

“Don’t you wish someone could have warned us about 2020?  This has been one of the strangest years I can remember.  I believe this is a year we will talk about for years to come.  Who could have dreamed our country would be so broken?  We have had a pandemic, flooding, an earthquake, a hurricane, riots, and a huge division in our country.  Even stranger than that, we had to shut the churches down to try to help contain Covid-19.  What a year!”  Pastor Duane reminded us that as Christians, we are to bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit, which is “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, and self-control.  Against such there is no love” (Galations 5:22-23).  He asked the question “Are you producing fruit in this strange year of 2020?”

            Dan Wolfe, Minister of Music, mentioned how strange the church musicians and choir members feel during the unusual times.  Individual performers graciously sang or played an instrument for God’s glory, and the church appreciates the efforts made in that regard.  Thank you, Dan and Leslie, who were so faithful in our outdoor services and continued as we moved inside.  Dan stated that although the pandemic drove the choir apart because of the danger of meeting as a choir, “We’re gonna come back strong!”

           The WMU project for September was the Alma Hunt State Mission Offering.  The goal of $2,000 was met.  Also, 254 “Fall Treat” bags were prepared by the Eva Walton Circle for the teachers and staff at Kentuck Elementary, Dan River Middle School, and Dan River High School to show support for their hard work during the pandemic.

            Stephanie Barts held an outdoor Vacation Bible School on a Saturday in September.  Students from first grade through sixth grade attended.  They had a great time watching Bible stories, working on crafts, and tie-dying headbands and bandanas.  The children began studying the beginning of the Bible during Children’s Church.  Jacob Webster encouraged the youth to come to the 5 p.m. Sunday and 6:30 Wednesday meetings – “a group who will show you both grace and good times.”

          The pastor concluded the sermon series on the book of Acts (“The Birth of the Church”) and announced the new series on the book of Ruth (“Living Responsibly”).

           On Sunday, September 20, a called business meeting was held after the Sunday morning worship service.  Dara Johnson, representing the Nominating Committee, presented a proposal that for one year we keep the same committee members in place as last year since they did not have an opportunity to meet.  The exception would be the deacons since they continued to serve during the pandemic.  The proposal was voted on and approved.

          During the worship service on Sunday, September 27, members of the Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Department were the first recipients of the Pocket Prayer Cloths made by various ladies in the church.  Sheriff Mike Taylor and members of the Sheriff’s Department were in attendance.

          October is Pastor Appreciation month.  Under Pastor Duane’s leadership, our church continued to find ways for its members and guests to attend worship services during the 2020 pandemic.  He also kept us informed of prayer and community needs so we could lift up the sick and hurting in prayer and minister to their needs.  Flowers were placed on the altar in honor of Pastor Duane and Dena.  The following tribute appeared in the October Ringgold Reflector:  

Pastor Duane Caldwell

“Giving to others seems to come so naturally to you,

But we know it doesn’t happen by accident…

You go the extra mile, give the extra thought…

And it really makes a difference.

Thank you for being such a wonderful example of

God’s love.”

Members of Ringgold Baptist Church

          In our worship service on Sunday, October 25, we observed Pastor Appreciation Sunday.  Also, our amazing, wonderful staff were recognized, along with Larry Collie who manages our audio/video system. All of the staff have been so faithful and worked hard to keep everything going during this difficult year.  Pastor Duane was given a personalized produce cart and other gifts from members of the congregation.

        In our worship service on Sunday, October 11, we observed the ordinance of baptism for 5 people.  We also observed the Lord’s Supper.

        Usually the month of November has many fellowship activities at church; however, some changes were made to be able to do things in a different way.

        Pastor Duane stated in the November Ringgold Reflector:

“In the past 8 months, we have faced difficult times because of Covid-19. These hard times are not over.   During these times, we must make sure we stay spiritually nourished.  As a pastor, it is my calling to feed the flock.  We must be spiritually fed to sustain us in not only the hard times, but also in the good times.  We are using many methods to feed the sheep of God.  We have been able to utilize streaming media in order for people not able to attend physically, to be able to attend worship virtually, to watch Bible studies, and to stay connected to one another.  When we feed on God’s word, we can not only survive, we can thrive.  But when we feed on things that are not of God, we can’t thrive, and we barely survive.”

        Ringgold Baptist Church is blessed to be able to worship in many ways.  Thanks to our hard-working ministerial teams.  

        During worship services the pastor continued the Bible study on the book of Ruth, which seemed appropriate leading up to Baptist Women’s Day on Sunday, November 8.  The welcome and invocation were given by Betty Jo Foster.  Kathy Andrews led the congregational singing, and Nancy Snead provided the special music.  Suzanne Emerson introduced the special guest speaker, Jackie Hardison, daughter of the late Bobby Scearce.  Jackie had promised her father that she would share her testimony with the church.  Jackie was born in Ringgold and raised in Ringgold Baptist Church and continues to be a lifelong member in her heart.  She made her father proud.  

        We also honored our veterans on November 8.  Rhonda May (a veteran herself) gave a very inspirational presentation, paying tribute to all of our veterans.

        We were reminded that we could pick up boxes for Operation Christmas Child in the foyer and asked to return them by November 15.  The church prepared over 270 boxes, and they were dedicated and blessed on Sunday, November 15, as the children of the church came forward and placed a hand on the shoe boxes.

Ringgold Baptist Church once again served as a local collection site during the week of November 16-20.  Thanks to Bobra Robinson, who did an outstanding job of organizing the entire process of distributing and collecting Operation Christmas Child boxes at our church.

        Our annual Fall stew was held on November 14 and was prepared by the McDowell family.  The stew was pre-ordered at $5 per quart and was available for pick up outside the Family Life Center.  This was one example of how we had to do things differently in 2020 since we had always gathered in the Family Life Center to enjoy our stew together in the past.  The new method worked, and the stew was delicious.

        On Sunday, November 22, Pocket Prayer Cloths were blessed and presented to law enforcement officers from our area..  Officers present included Sheriff Mike Mondul and Deputy Jacob Keatts, representing the City of Danville Police Department and Trooper Nicholas Keister of the Virginia State Police Area 13 in Chatham.  Thanks again to Cheryl Hogg for organizing this project.

        The Children’s Ministry sponsored a Parents’ Morning Out on November 27  from 9 – 11:30 a.m. Games and activities were provided for the children who participated.

        On the fifth Sunday, November 29, a monetary collection was taken to support the Back Pack Buddies Ministry at our church.

        Ringgold Baptist Church was not able to host the Thanksgiving meal this year due to Covid 19.  We look forward to being able to share with those in need in our community next year.

        December is all about Jesus as we celebrate the Christmas season.  Although we could not meet in large groups or travel to be with family, we could thank God for the gift of His son Jesus.  We were able to celebrate the lighting of candles on the Advent wreath.  We were reminded of Christ as the candles of hope, peace, love, and joy were lit each Sunday from the central Christ candle.  With Christ in our hearts, we have these gifts of Christ to look forward to every day as our relationship with Him grows.  

        In order for members to have current names and addresses of members, Cheryl Hogg provided updated church directories (without pictures).  

        The WMU continued their tradition of collecting Christmas cards for church families.  We were reminded to place them in the Christmas mailbox by December 6.  The cards were then sorted by members of the Eva Walton Circle, placed in family gift bags, and arranged in alphabetical order in the Family Life Center.  They were ready for pick up on or after December 13.  The money saved from postage for the cards was donated to the Lottie Moon Christmas offering for International Missions.  The goal of $4000 was exceeded this year.

        Our Minister of Music, Dan Wolfe, led the church in Christmas hymns throughout the month of December in order to keep our Christmas spirits up!  A drive-by Christmas Caroling was held in the afternoon on Sunday, December 20, with the carolers performing on the front steps of the church.

        The December business meeting was held on December 9 for the presentation of the 2021 budget.  The Nominating Committee also presented their recommendations for officers and committees for 2021.  Both items were approved as presented.

        The Candlelight Christmas Eve and Communion Service was held on Thursday, December 24.  This impressive service reminded us of the light of the world, Jesus, and His birth, life, death, and resurrection.

        The church family increased by five professions of faith and baptism, three members by statements, and seven members by letter/transfer.  We were saddened by the loss of three members to death and one by transfer to another church.

Pandemics and other setbacks cannot deter the plans of our Heavenly Father.  He is in control and prepares the Way.

(Church History 2020 – Written by Dora Dunn and Melody Walley)


In “A Note from Pastor Duane” in January’s Reflector, Pastor Duane Caldwell noted the many challenges COVID-19 caused in the past year and continues into 2021. He noted there’s another virus more deadly than COVID-19 called sin. The cure for sin is Jesus. He wrote “The mortality rate for those without the cure is 100%. The cure rate for those who accept Jesus is 100%.” He then questioned why doesn’t everyone accept the cure? Pastor Duane challenged us to be willing examples for the world to see that Jesus really makes the difference in our lives, to let our light shine in 2021 so others would be willing to accept Jesus as the greatest vaccine ever given to the world.


The January church-wide mission project was to collect items for the Pittsylvania Baptist Association to prepare care bags for residents of local care facilities who have not been able to have visits from family for almost 10 months during the pandemic.


On January 10 our church held an ordination service for two new deacons, Tommy Rowland and Brandon Barts. Pastor Duane’s sermon “Marks of a Man of God” was followed by the ordination. The laying on of hands was modified slightly to allow for COVID-19 precautions, using hand sanitizer and placing hands on the candidate’s shoulders instead of their heads and maintaining a six-foot distance while waiting their turn.


January 7 Pastor Duane started a new sermon series, “When The Going Gets Tough” from 2 Timothy. Baptist Men’s Day was rescheduled to February 7 due to inclement weather. Jacob Webster, Carl Davis and Brandon Barts gave their testimonies in this special service. 


Our church has been so good to rally around those of us going through tough times. This was demonstrated by the outpouring of love for Kevin and Tonya Barker as they moved to an apartment in Durham to prepare for Tonya’s double lung transplant. The church prepared a gift basket for Tonya which was delivered on Valentine’s day. The large laundry basket overflowed with gifts, cards, letters and more plus there were enough items to fill a gift basket to send in March as well. Following the worship service on February 21, a prayer circle was held in the parking lot. We gathered around the vehicle of Kevin and Tonya to pray for them as they prepared to go to Duke. A prayer shawl knitted by Cheryl Hogg was presented to Tonya on behalf of Ringgold Baptist Church. To further support Kevin and Tonya, casseroles may be prepared to be sent to Durham and their address was provided for cards of encouragement and prayers.


The Easter Sunrise Service was held April 4 at 7 am on the front lawn of the church and at 10:30 am the Easter Worship Service was held in the sanctuary.


While following social distance guidelines, the children’s group continued meeting during the regular Sunday morning worship services. The Youth group met on Sunday and Wednesday evenings.


With a goal of $2,500.00, the Annie Armstrong North American Missions offerings exceeded the goal and totaled $2,605.00. The church-wide mission project for April was collecting money for God’s Pit Crew to buy items to fill Blessing Buckets. 


At the April business meeting, Suzanne Emerson reported the following accomplishments of WMU:

Donations of items to Pittsylvania Baptist Association for care bags to be given to residents in local health facilities

Donation of items to House of Hope

Eva Walton Circle prepared Exam Goody Bags for college students

Meals were prepared and delivered to shut-ins and lonely ones during March

Donation of $100.00 was sent to the Virginia Tech InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

Easter items were sent to Tonya Barker


On April 27, 2021, the J.O.Y. Club held its first meeting since Covid precautions began. A box lunch was available by pre-order and a grateful forty-three people attended.


May 9 was Mother’s Day and the church recognized the mothers in the worship service. The children handed each one a small remembrance.

As Ringgold Baptist Church was anticipating the new parking lot asphalt, we were reminded how to protect and maintain the new surface until it cured well. It was a costly improvement and we need to protect it.


On May 16, Suzanne Emerson presented a check for $2,458.00 to Julie Burnette of God’s Pit Crew. The church-wide mission project for May and June was the Baby Bottle Boomerang to support Transitions Pregnancy Solutions.


The Youth Group studied the life of Moses on Sunday and Wednesday evenings.


Sunday, May 23, was Graduate Sunday. Recognized during the worship service were two high school graduates and five college and community college graduates. Each graduate had a table in the family life center for cards and to display memorabilia. Because of Covid precautions, only the graduates and their immediate family members attended a luncheon following the worship service. 


While Kevin and Tonya Barker were residing in Durham, NC, Ringgold Baptist Church continued to pray for Tonya and shower her with cards of encouragement.


WMU volunteers prepared, cut and wrapped 1,000 desserts in preparation for the community fundraiser held for Tonya Barker at the end of May.


The J.O.Y. Club held its meeting on May 25 with a pre-ordered bag lunch. The club planned an October trip to Lancaster, PA Amish country.


On the last Sunday in May, Ringgold Baptist Church honored those who died in military service. A moving program was presented by Ronnie Emerson. He enlisted the help of the Boy Scouts in our church. The program concluded with a demonstration of the folding of the flag by Lincoln Horne, Cole Burnett, and Brendan Marshall as Ronnie explained the meaning of each fold.


Hooray! After holding a combined Sunday school in the family life center during the Covid-19 pandemic, we moved to our individual classrooms on Sunday, June 16, 2021. There were 61 in attendance.


The sermon series for our morning worship was “Coping with Change” from the book of Nehemiah.


The bi-monthly business meeting was held on June 9, 2021. The treasurer’s report was given by Ronnie Emerson who reported our church was in good financial standing. We exceeded our weekly needs through our giving. The Minister to Children, Stephanie Barts reported an average of 15 children attending Sunday morning Children’s Church and a few attended the night classes. The Deacon’s report by Brian Horne indicated that they had voted to fully open the sanctuary. The Wednesday night Bible Study resumed in-person meetings in the sanctuary as well.


The offering buckets which were used in early Covid were replaced by attractive wooden offering boxes at each door. Thanks to Brian Horne who created them.


The WMU reported that the Baby Bottle Boomerang ended on Father’s Day with an estimated donation of $1,201.00.


Vacation Bible School was held from June 27 through July 1 for kids Pre-K through 5th grade. Stephanie Barts, director of VBS was excited to have energetic and smiling children learning about God’s Amazing Promises. Many adult helpers assisted in teaching classes, baking cookies, serving in the kitchen, helping with crafts, and serving refreshments. Forty-eight children enrolled in VBS.


On Sunday, July 4, we celebrated Independence Day by the singing of patriotic hymns. Dr. Lee Harris was welcomed to our pulpit as guest preacher.


Our bi-monthly Family Night Dinners had not been held for well over a year because of the Covid virus, but were resumed on Wednesday night, July 14, with the deacons hosting.


The WMU project for July was collecting supplies for students at Kentuck Elementary and Dan River Middle Schools.


Jacob Webster, Minister to Youth, reported that the group had increased in number, had studied the book of Ephesians and went on a fun trip to Carowinds on Friday, July 16.


On Sunday, July 18, the Misty Adkins Scholarships were presented to Jadyn Nuckles and Grace Williams.


The church-wide mission project for August was collecting non-perishable grocery items for God’s Storehouse.


Rev. John Cline filled our pulpit on Sunday, August 8. Pastor Duane and Dena were on a much needed vacation.


The J.O.Y. Club met on Tuesday, August 24 at noon, and the program “Ways to Improve Memory” was presented by Betty Jo Foster.


In our Baby Dedication Service on Sunday, September 12, the following children were dedicated:

Afton Elizabeth Bass, Shelby Rae Bass, Holden Drake Barker, Allison Elaine Davis, Bryson James Mills and Paisley Grace Rowland. Besides praising God for these precious children, there was another special praise to God on this Sunday; Tonya and Kevin Barker were present in the worship service. Tonya had been away since February, having had a double lung transplant at Duke.


On Sunday, September 19, Pastor Duane started a new Sermon Series, “Colossians: Rooted in Christ.”


An ongoing church-wide mission project began in September.  We began collecting empty plastic prescription pill bottles for Matthew 25, an international relief organization located in Cincinnati, Ohio.


Collections for the Alma Hunt Offering amounted to $1,595.00.


Local author, William Guerrant, was the guest speaker at the J.O.Y.  Club meeting on Tuesday, September 28. He discussed his books, “Jim Wrenn” and “Bertie and Charlie.” Motivated by an interest in local history, Guerrant attempted to capture the reality of Danville that people experienced one hundred years ago.


The J.O.Y. Club enjoyed a trip to Lancaster, PA on October 4-7. The highlight of the trip was going to see the live production “Esther” at the Sight and Sound Theater.


In our business meeting held on October 13, Stephanie Barts, Minister to Children, reported we had 8-12 kids each Sunday morning and they were studying Daniel. Also, the kids and their parents were planning to go to the Harvest Ridge Pumpkin Patch.


Jacob Webster, Minister to Youth, reported they have been studying the parables.


Sunday, October 17, we celebrated Pastor Appreciation Day with a covered dish luncheon following the morning worship service. Monetary gifts were given to Pastor Duane and all of our staff. God has really blessed Ringgold Baptist Church with a very dedicated pastor and staff. We appreciate all of them so very much.


Aimee Chesher, Senior Probation and Parole Officer, was the speaker for the J.O.Y. Club meeting on Tuesday, October 26.


As a church-wide mission opportunity for October, two hundred and thirteen (213) pounds of beans, rice and Jiffy Cornbread Mix were donated to God’s Storehouse.

This year’s Fall Festival and Church Stew was held on Saturday, November 6. As always, the McDowell family cooked a delicious stew which was enjoyed by all. There were 78 children who attended and delighted in the fun, food, games, and bounce houses.


On Sunday, November 7 we honored our Veterans with a patriotic service. We began the service with a video featuring Toby Keith’s song “American Soldier.” Flags representing each branch of service were presented by a church member who served in that branch.


Baptist Women’s Day was held November 21. Karen Harris, Executive Director at God’s Storehouse, shared information about that ministry. $800.00 was collected as a love offering for God’s Storehouse. Plans for the day were changed because speakers originally scheduled had been exposed to COVID-19.


November 21 was also the day Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes were dedicated. The children of the church brought shoeboxes down the aisles of the church to be stacked with those already at the altar. It’s always great to see their enthusiasm in participating in the dedication of the shoeboxes. Ringgold Baptist Church packed 313 boxes and served as a drop-off center for other churches and the community.


The 30th Annual Community Thanksgiving Service was held at 6 p.m. on November 21. Bobby Shields, interim pastor at Kentuck Baptist, was the speaker for the service. A reception followed in the Family Life Center.


Because of continued concerns for COVID-19 variants, the Annual Community Thanksgiving Day Dinner was planned as take-out only. A love offering was taken to purchase items for the meal, volunteers cooked turkey breasts and cookies were served for dessert. 


The J.O.Y. Club sponsored a Christmas Holiday trip to Myrtle Beach, SC on December 2-4. They enjoyed several Christmas shows and of course, shopping.


At the business meeting December 8, 2021, the treasurer presented the budget, which was approved. The nominating committee presented the new officers and committee members, which was also approved.


The annual church-wide Christmas caroling was held on December 12 at 3 pm, followed by hot chocolate and donuts in the Family Life Center. Participants sang to shut-ins and each visit produced smiles and enjoyment.


The Ruth/T.E.L. class sponsored the Christmas card distribution to the Sunday School classrooms. In exchange, members were asked to donate to the Lottie Moon Christmas offering what they would have spent in postage. The goal of $4,000 for the offering was met.


Our talented choir presented the cantata “Changed by a Baby Boy” on December 19. The performance featured soloists: Phyllis McCormick, Art Johnson, Leslie Blair, Ray McDowell and Cathy Shelton. It was enjoyed by all. Thanks to the choir director, Dan Wolfe and the entire choir for your dedication. The children’s program was at 6 pm that evening.


Ringgold Baptist Church welcomed a guest pastor, Dr. Lee Harris for two Sundays as our pastor dealt with the effects of Bell’s Palsy.


During the children’s sermons on each Sunday of Advent, Pastor Duane assisted the children in lighting the candles as he explained their meaning. The final advent candle, the Christ candle, was lit at the Christmas Eve Candlelight service.


After the program and message by Pastor Duane Caldwell, the deacons served communion by family groups at the altar. Candles were lighted for the congregants as they returned to their seats.


As a finale to December 2021, the children enjoyed a movie, drinks, and snacks on December 30 at 6 pm. Families were also invited to the party sponsored by Stephanie Barts, Minister to Children.


The end of year summary of new members and deaths of members:

3 new members by statement

4 new members by letter

0 new baptisms

2 members transferred to another church

7 long-time members passed away


History was written by Toni Adkins, Dora Dunn, and Melody Walley