News Articles:

Rev. Paul Pruitt’s Article
A Mother’s Influence

Paul’s Pen
Rev. Paul Ritchie
True Freedom

Counseling Corner
Rev. Don Loss
Where the Grace Blows


Mike Horner, Volunteer Staff
Recent Letters of Appreciation

Other News:

Update on Women’s Ministry
Tidewater Campaign
Recent visit to Wilkies Grove Baptist

A Mother’s Influence

While helping men overcome their addictions there is always an evaluation of who the student’s influences are. One of the persons who tends to have the greatest influence is their mother! Often it goes unnoticed and underappreciated, but their mother’s influence threads throughout their life. Henry Ward Beecher said, “The mother’s heart is the child’s schoolroom.”

There are many examples of a mother’s influence in Scripture. There is Jochobed who cared so much for her son, Moses, that she broke the law to keep him safe and teach him the faith of his people. There is the mother who appeared before King Solomon who loved her child so much that she was willing to give him up forever rather than see any harm come to him. There was the mother of James and John who loved her boys so much that she wanted them to sit by the Lord’s side, one on the right and one on the left, in the heavenly kingdom.

Charles Swindoll said, “If you were blessed with a good mother, you will reap the benefits the rest of your days. If your mother neglected your needs and failed to support your dad, unfortunately, much of what you suffered cannot be erased. For good or ill, a mother’s mark is permanent.”

The world is always trying to rewrite the roles of father and mother. We cannot buy into the message of today that women must be masculine, militant, rough, harsh and even mean or they are missing out on the best part of being a woman. They fail to understand that godly thinking women can, and do, contribute to the world through the home. In a day of negative press against a mom’s God given role, we need to make sure that we balance what is being said in the media with God’s role for the woman in the home. There is absolutely nothing that compares with the influence of a mother. The influences of politics, education, and friends fall short compared to the influence of a mother. Of all the roles assigned to us on earth, no role is more important than the roles of father and mother. And, nothing is more important to our families than motherhood.

Peter reminds wives of the power of their influence in the home. It is ultimately the influence of a woman that has the power to shape lives.

1 Peter 3:1-4; “Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

It was Timothy’s mother and grandmother who influenced his life for God through their influence as Christian homemakers. Timothy got his faith from his mom and she got her faith from her mom. There is no mention of a father or a grandfather in Timothy’s home. His father was probably a Gentile. It is here in a home of mixed religion that we see the influence of a godly mother even in less than ideal circumstances.

2 Timothy 1:5-7; “When I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”  As Paul looked at Timothy, he saw a young man strong in doctrine, strong in faith and he was ready to be a leader for the cause of Christ. Why? Because of our Lord and Savior and the godly influence of his mother Eunice, and her mother Lois. Faith is certainly not inherited, but is surely passed from one generation to another through the godly influence of the parents. Timothy’s family’s faith created an environment for him to become a Christian.

Someone mentioned that their favorite translation of scripture was their mother’s translation. Some chuckled, but what was said is, “She translated each page of the Bible into life. It is the most convincing translation I ever saw.”

In Proverbs 31 Solomon reveals the things his mother taught him that a good wife and mother would be.

A mother must be strong in her conviction.

A mother must be dignified.

A mother needs a sense of humor, and should be optimistic about the future.

A mother should speak with wisdom, not with nonsense and gossip.

A great woman, wife and mother is kind and teaches by modeling compassion.

A great mother and wife is productive.

The influence a mother has on her children concerning the things of the Lord can make all the difference as to what kind of persons those kids become.

“Mothers write on the hearts of their children what the rough hand of the world cannot erase.”(unknown)

Susannah Wesley, mother of John Wesley, spent one hour each day praying for her 17 children. In addition, she took each child aside for a full hour every week to discuss spiritual matters. No wonder two of her sons, Charles and John, were used of God to bring blessing to all of England and much of America. Here are a few rules she followed in training her children:

1. Subdue self-will in a child and thus work together with God to save his/her soul.

2. Teach the child to pray as soon as he can speak.

3. Give the child nothing he cries for and only what is good for him if he asks for it politely.

4. To prevent lying, punish no fault, which is freely confessed, but never allow a rebellious, sinful act to go unnoticed.

5. Commend and reward good behavior.

6. Strictly observe all promises you have made to your child.”

After one of the battles of the Civil War, a chaplain came to see a man who was dying. He took the young soldier’s hand and said, “Brother, what can I do for you?” The boy replied, “I want you to kneel down and return thanks for me.” This is an unusual request from someone who is dying. “Thanks for what?” asked the chaplain. And the soldier said, “Thank Him for my mother. Thank Him that because of her I am a Christian. What would I do now if I were not a Christian?”

We must never diminish or minimize the roles God has assigned each of us in life. Wives and mothers, you must understand that you are the most influential people in the entire world. That is the role God has assigned you in life. It was through woman that God chose to shape us, give us form, substance and life! Sometimes mothers feel frustrated because they are limited in what they can do for their children. But they can always pray, and their prayers are among the most cherished gifts of all.

Pastor Paul & Stacy Pruitt
Executive Director



Paul's Pen


True Freedom

In order to experience true freedom, as a believer, you must become proactive in Biblical matters or you will always be controlled by your situations, events or issues of life in a fallen world. James 4: 1-6; “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you doubleminded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord; and He will lift you up.” (vs. 6 – 10)

The definition of “proactive” is a person, policy or action taken to prevent their situation from happening or overpowering them or you. The alternative is to be passive and wait until something happens and then respond to the present situation.

An example: You have a bad dream about doing drugs and the old scene flashes before you and you wake up in a cold sweat. You had not been thinking anything about drugs. “Now where did that come from?” Must be the devil! Stop! Rather take this dream as a warning that you may be confronted with this temptation. Stop! Do not panic. Your prayers and preparedness can prevent your fall. Remember I Corinthians 10:13; “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” The way: “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

There are a number of things you can do. Begin to practice being sensitive to what you are feeling especially in the area of your gut (belly and bowels). This is a part of the heart of man that the Bible refers to when it declares, “as a man thinks in his heart so is he.”

Things you can do to become more proactive:

1. Hide the Word in your heart. “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” Ps. 119:11 “Good understanding gains favor, but the way of the unfaithful is hard.” Proverbs 13:15 The ruin of a life is either living by no rules or following false rules. “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.” Matthew 22:29

2. Practice becoming sensitive to your feelings. Use Matthew 26:41; “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” You are dealing with the flesh (your feelings) and pray for God’s help now! The flesh is weak spiritually but very strong worldly. I find that when you do this and recognize the truth of your situation God will help you come to your senses and escape. II Timothy 2:25 & 26; “…in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.”

3. Pay attention to what you are thinking. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Where are these thoughts coming from? From the new man or the old man? We are never any more spiritual than our emotional maturity. When we stop and pray about where our thoughts are leading us, God will help us if we will ask.

4. Be careful not to give speech to these thoughts. Speech has about 5,000 times more power than thoughts. Matthew 12:37; “For by your words you will be justifies, and by your words you will be condemned.” Proverbs 18:21; “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

5. Stop and look around and you will be able to identify those people that may be part of your problem. You may find it necessary to take steps to distance yourself from them or whatever else may be causing the problem.

6. Stop and examine the kind of situations that have given you the most trouble in the past. Develop a plan of action that will keep you from being caught off guard.

7. Watch for negative emotions and thoughts (see step 2). Practice guarding your thought-life especially when things are not going well. David asked God to help him put a guard over his mouth. Psalm 141:3; “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.” I Samuel 30:6; “Now David was greatly distressed, … but David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.”

I pray this will help keep you from being caught off-guard. We all need to become more proactive. May God bless you in this effort,

Pastor Paul Ritchie

Senior Pastor


Counseling  Corner

Reverend Don Loss


Where the Grace Blows

“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8

Grace is a manifestation of the Spirit. It blows from the throne of grace. It is the dispensing of grace that enables a blind man to see. This grace blows “…where it wishes…but you cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes.” The blind man cannot access this grace by singing Bob Dylan’s classic song “Blowing In The Wind” (1962). It may be a mystical phenomenon looking for answers blowing in the wind but its’ end is death. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12 The god of this age works feverishly to veil our eyes and minds “…lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.” II Corinthians 4:3-4 Unless the wind of grace blows into the soul, one is driven by the wind of this world looking for answers blowing in the wind. Lord Beelzebub is lord of this country. He keeps his subjects enthralled by the Vanity Fair he’s provided for their passions, delights, and merchandise fit for every lust of the eye. The wind of the world is blowing comfortably through the fair, refreshing every soul with a cool breeze from hell itself. All is at peace; but it is a false peace. “’There is no peace’, says the Lord, ‘for the wicked.’” Isaiah 48:22

Thankfully, there is another wind of the Spirit that blows in the world; it is the grace of God. Grace that can dismantle the darkest of souls. Grace that can strip the veil off the face of those who are blind in order that they may see “the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.” II Corinthians 4:4

Flannery O’Connor writes about grace being involved in her short stories. Her characters are frequently violent, morally deficient and physically deformed. She comments that her fiction entails “the action of grace in territory largely held by the devil.”

Grace can dismantle the hardest heart and soften it to receive Christ. Grace can blow a spirit of hope into the soul of hopelessness. Grace can blow into the souls of those bound in addiction, darkness, bondage, and break the chains of the wind of this world and set them free. John 8:36 Grace can sustain those who are in Christ, and strengthen them in the deepest valley and the greatest storm. Grace can call back those who have left the truth. “…for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world.” II Tim 4:10 Grace can restore all who have failed in their walk with Christ. Grace is “able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” Ephesians 3:20

Grace is God’s enablement in us to do what we are not able to do in ourselves. The sufficiency of grace is infinite. “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” II Corinthians 12:9

By which wind are you being carried away? Where are you, this day, looking for answers? Are you looking for answers from some mystical phenomenon blowing in the wind of this world? It can only lead to emptiness. Look where the grace is blowing. Look unto Jesus “…full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:31

For those who have wandered away from the Lord; grace has been quenched in your waywardness. Come back to the Lord Jesus Christ, where the grace is blowing!

Pastor Don Loss
Associate Director / Director of Counseling

*  If you would like to read previous Counseling Corners we are now archiving by topic/title for your future reference.Click on link: Counseling Corner Archives


Testimony of a Bethel Graduate –

Now Bethel Staff Member

It’s hard to describe in words the magnitude of God’s work in my life. I was in such a deep hole of depression and drunken misery. Having no strength left to fight, I was completely broken, ready to die. Eight years before coming to Bethel Colony of Mercy, I was wrapped up in a bitter divorce and living with my mother. My father had long since passed and that alone left me with a lot of ill feelings towards God. I have never been good at dealing with the loss of a loved one. Then came the final blow. After two months living with my mother, who had been my rock during my divorce, I came downstairs late one morning and realized that my mother was not up yet. All of a sudden, an ill feeling hit me and I knocked on her bedroom door. With no answer, I opened it and found her in bed, suffering from a massive stroke that took her life 6 days later.

The next 8 years were an endless pit of despair and abuse. Finally, the world and a life of sin brought me to my knees. I asked God to help me and to find a place where I could get help to get the taste of alcohol out of my mouth. I heard of a place called Bethel Colony through my cousin, Daniel Pruitt. His brother, Paul, had gone there and it changed his life. Paul Pruitt, my cousin, is now the Executive Director of Bethel Colony of Mercy. Daniel gave me Paul’s number and after 2 months sober and broken, through a chain of rides from friends and family (5 different vehicles), I arrived at Bethel with nothing left but a bony body and a lost heart.

Bethel Colony is a special place where a lost soul hears a whisper; “Come to Me.” On March 10, 2013, I jumped in the deep end, pouring my all out to Jesus. I felt His loving arms around me and peace surrounded me for the first time in many years. With Jesus and the guidance of Pastor Loss and the other counselors at Bethel, I finished the program in May, 2013. I then entered another ministry ready to start my new life. After a year of study and many revelations, God called me back to Bethel to serve in any way that was needed. First, I served as manager of lawn care, then I served in Bethel’s Office and now I am the Housekeeping and Print Shop Manager. I thought at one time I had lost everything, but Paul says it best in Philippians 3:8; “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.”

Now I know that one day I will get to see my Mom and Dad because of their commitment to Christ and my new life provided by Jesus. He took my worst trait, my stubbornness in pushing Him away, and turned it into me holding on to Him with all I have.

To those who don’t know the Lord; seek and you will hear that whisper of the Great I Am. Do not keep suffering in misery. We would love to help introduce you to the King of Kings, Jesus Christ!

Mike Horner
Housekeeping Manager / Printshop

Recent Letters of Appreciation

I would like to thank the entire staff of Bethel Colony of Mercy for investing their lives into the ministry of God and allowing me the opportunity to learn from men who have been down the same road as me and got lost and through the power of Christ overcame the lies and deceit of our enemy.

I thank God our Father for bringing me to Bethel. It was not all a bed of roses, but it never is easy being told that I am wrong in a way that I can’t argue with. God be glorified, my life has been touched by all of the staff here and I will carry the teachings and experiences of Bethel with me for the rest of my life. I knew about God and believed in Jesus and was saved when I was a teenager, then I fell away from His will and grace. I have rededicated myself to Him.

Having been taught about spiritual warfare and the tactics of the Devil and the weapons and armor that God provides me, I feel that I am now better equipped to recognize and deal with Satan’s attempts to destroy me. I am aware that Satan will be trying harder now, but through faith and prayer and submitting to God and resisting the Devil, I will have victory through Christ Jesus our Lord and will give all the glory to Jesus.

I will continue to pray for the staff, their families and the ministry at Bethel and that God will bless all those in your care. May God smile on you as you serve Him, furthering His Kingdom.

In His grip,
C. N.

Bethel has long enjoyed taking all or part of our students to churches within a 2 hour driving distance on Wednesday or Sunday evenings to share a meal and lead that church in praise and worship to the Lord Jesus Christ. Recently we have also taken a few men to join a Sunday morning worship service at some local churches.  
If your church would like for us to worship with you on a Sunday morning or a Sunday or Wednesday evening, please contact us at 828-754-3781 or via email at


“I wanted to thank all of you for coming to Mount Hermon UMC last Sunday and joining us during our worship time. Everyone enjoyed the music and the testimonies were inspirational. As I listened to the two young men speak, I became aware of how easy it would have been for any of us to have gone down the same path that they both walked down. I thank God for the work that you are doing with the men at your facility.

In appreciation for the work being done at Bethel Colony, the congregation of Mount Hermon is pleased to present your ministry with this check. Please feel free to use this money in whatever way that best serves the mission and ministry of the Colony. We hope this small gift honors God as much as you and your men did during your time at Mount Hermon.”

May God continue to bless you and your work.
Treasurer, Mount Hermon UMC

Update on Bethel’s Women’s Ministry

We continue to receive numerous requests for a ministry like Bethel that women can go to and receive Biblical counsel, teaching and deliverance from their addictions. Because of that, three of Bethel’s board members continue to meet every week to pray and discuss moving forward on the Women’s Ministry. As we meet, we pray with a burden on our hearts for the women that God wants to restore through the ministry of Bethel Colony. We are diligently asking, seeking, and knocking for God’s will concerning the location for this ministry. We have looked at multiple sites and, for different reasons, they have not met the needs we have.
Please keep praying for the property and facilities to accommodate the immediate need and the potential growth for us to reach as many women as we can. The financial burden will be greater if we purchase land with no existing building(s) for us to use. We will not be able to begin housing women until we have the funds and can build an appropriate housing structure. Keep this in mind as you pray and consider giving towards this great need. Just this week we have received desperate requests asking if we take women and, if not; where can their loved one go for the kind of help Bethel offers.

If God is leading you to support Bethel’s Women’s Ministry,
please make sure you mark your donation for the women’s ministry.
Thank you for caring for these hurting women as much as we do.

Bethel helps men from all over the U.S. There are some key areas in the U.S. that we experience a lot of men coming from. Hoping to reach more of those men, Bethel Colony of Mercy recently completed an initial campaign to deepen relationships with churches, other ministries and potential charitable investors in the Tidewater area of Virginia. Meeting with pastors, recovery groups, para church organizations and individuals with a heart for Bethel’s ministry was a first step in what we believe will be a long term fruitful partnership. Please pray God will give wisdom and favor as we seek to serve many churches and communities in coastal Virginia.


Recent visit to
Wilkies Grove Baptist
Church for food,
fellowship and