News Articles:

Rev. Paul Pruitt’s Article
Thanks Be To God

Women’s Campus Article
Rev. Johnny & Regina Kelly
God Is Good

Paul’s Pen
Rev. Paul Ritchie
Thank You!

Counseling Corner
Rev. Don Loss
Grieving of the Spirit

Testimonies:
Passing The Mantle…
Rev. Zac Starnes
He Has a Plan 

Other News:
2021-2022 Operating Budget
Muscadine Juice Fundraiser
Bethel Firewood

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!  2 Cor. 9:15

You may not have heard yet, but did you know, as a Bethel family and supporter, that God gave us all an extra gift this past year?!?  On December 30, 2021, the Women’s Campus property was paid off in full! Halleluiah…Praise the Lord! Bethel’s Board of Directors and I are so thankful for your giving and giving beyond to make this happen. We also want to thank Sherry Robertson and Jeff Roland of First Citizens Bank for helping us with this step of faith. In 2018, when we announced we had this property in our sights, you rallied around to help Bethel get this property and you have been faithful in the last 3 years and 8 months to help pay the payments and now to see it completed.  We all rejoice in God’s faithful provision. And to think, God did all of this through you in the midst of a pandemic!  He is good. He met our daily needs AND paid off the property. We could count so many ways that this is how the Lord shows His faithfulness.

I am reminded of what Paul said in 2 Cor. chapter 9: 6-9.  He instructs the church at Corinth to be cheerful givers and he continues to say; “Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.  For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men,”.

As children of God we are of all people most blessed. Not only was the penalty for our sin paid in full, by grace through faith in the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, but also sin’s suffocating power has been broken. As soon as we were saved, God started a new work. He has provided all we need for life and godliness, by preparing good works for us to do. Paul rejoices that God is able to make all grace abound to us all, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, we have an abundance for every good deed. Jesus Himself reminded us that HE is the Sower, and God is the One Who provides the good seed, in its season, for us to sow. God is the One who multiplies the seeds we sow, to bring forth much fruit – some thirty, some sixty, and some hundred-fold. He has promised to abundantly bless and liberally multiply the work of our hand, which is carried out in spirit and truth – so that by grace we will bring forth a fruitful harvest of righteousness, which will enrich our lives and bring great glory to Him.

Paul insists there is more to giving as a Christ-like act of grace than just putting food in hungry bellies. The gift itself is a seed that will produce more and more righteousness. The one who gives shares the privilege of being used by God in this process. You have given to the everyday work at Bethel and to the ongoing future plans to help reach more men and women for the cause of Christ. May we all rejoice together and give thanks for the seed given and the increase of the thousands of lives and generations of families that will be changed because of the work and foundation that has been laid.

As the Lord has brought this to completion we look forward to seeing what He is going to continue to do at Bethel and through you.  As you look at Bethel’s budget, you will see we can cross out one line- item; the one for payments on the land loan. That reduces our yearly bottom line and removes any interest! So the new number to fulfill the work for this year would be: $1,043,770.00. What that looks like is $20,072.50 a week and $86,980.83 a month.

That includes work and expansion to grow our Women’s Campus. We have plans to add a much-needed maintenance building this year as well as a mobile class at the Women’s Campus. At the Men’s Campus, we have much need of renovating our automotive shop.

Thank you for your prayers, donations, and pointing people to Bethel so that we have the opportunity to teach them the overcoming message of Jesus Christ!

Pastor Paul & Stacy Pruitt
Executive Director

 

God is Good

The Lord has been very good to us out at the Women’s Campus of Bethel Colony. We have been seeing God move in many different ways. In December the Lord gave us a wonderful Christmas gift. We have been seeing many ladies commit or re-commit their lives to the Lord during this season. We have been able to see churches give gifts and donations to our ladies and their children for Christmas. The Lord has been expanding our staff as well. We have sat back in amazement at all the Lord has done in such a short period of time.

This Christmas season the Lord blessed us with the ability to pay off the property for the Women’s Campus. This filled our hearts with great joy. We have been able to tangibly see the outpouring of love from the Lord and from the people of God who give sacrificially to see the work of the Lord continue through this wonderful ministry.

Several of our church supporters had Angel Trees for our ladies and their children. This meant so much to them; to be able to have something to give to their children for Christmas. Several of the ladies with children were able to go home on a visit the weekend of Christmas to spend time with their families.

Since opening in May of 2019, Regina and I (and our staff) have ministered to 95 ladies on our campus. Since October of 2021, we have been able to see many commit or re-commit their lives to the Lord. Several have followed through with water baptism as well. We recently had the opportunity to baptize 6 women. In this ministry, we are constantly reminded of God’s goodness and faithfulness to provide for what He has called us to do. We are blessed to be able to continue to minister to those struggling under the bondage of addiction and to point them to the chain-breaking love of Jesus Christ.

Since Regina and I took over as Co-Directors in October 2021, we have brought on several new staff members. Bethany Williams is our full-time Office Manager. If you call Bethel Women’s Campus Bethany has likely been the person you have had the opportunity to speak to. She has jumped right in and has done a phenomenal job. Before becoming a staff member, Bethany and her husband both graduated from Bethel’s basic program as well as Bethel’s Vocational Student Program for 6 additional months.

Donna Bowman has returned to serve as Women’s Campus Project Manager. As you may know, our ladies in the program have a workday Monday through Saturday. Ms. Donna is now the one who oversees the ladies as they work. She comes up with different projects that need to be done, as well as assigns ladies to work on grounds, laundry, and housekeeping. We are also very blessed to have her as one of our teachers on campus. She teaches weekly classes with our ladies taking them through a book study.

Dawn O’Dell came from Tennessee to join our team as General Assistant. She has come as a full-time volunteer who is living on campus. She assists in many different areas. She uses her spiritual gift to teach at least once a week, helps with our campus Deliverance Class on Thursdays, and oversees our kitchen to ensure that our ladies are fed 3 meals each day. She is also helping with filling med bags and administering medications.

Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we look forward to all that God is planning to do at the Women’s Campus as we grow and expand into all that God has called us to be for His kingdom. We want to personally thank each of you for your prayers and love for our ladies. I pray that the Lord will continue to richly bless each of you as well as your families.

Pastor Johnny and Regina Kelly
Women’s Campus Directors

 

 

 

Pictured left-right:
Dawn O’Dell: General Assistant,
Donna Bowman: Project Mgr.,
Bethany Williams: Office Mgr.,
Regina & Johnny Kelly: Co-Directors
Not pictured but they faithfully serve weekly:
Michelle Greer, Allen & Shirley Shiflett, DeAna Jeffries



Paul's Pen

About everybody I know is getting one of Bethel’s newsletters.  Therefore; I would like to thank all of you who remembered me with prayer, cards, and/or gifts on the occasion of our Lord’s birthday (Christmas) and my own 90th birthday last September.  I am sorry that I have not thanked each of you personally, but please accept this as my sincere gratitude and appreciation for your expressions of love.  Most of all, I thank our Lord Jesus Christ because without His love we would not know and experience joy, peace, and contentment in this life.  I am very thankful to Him for the opportunity to help some of you in your time of struggle and crisis.

“Because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful. They became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools.”  Romans 1:21-22 This is a sad commentary, to know God and not glorify Him as God; pretty much leaves us back where we started. He is our heavenly Father to those who are born-again, but He is also God, Almighty God, the self-sufficient one, also known as the Ancient of Days and the I Am that I Am.  He made mankind in His image, after His likeness.  Genesis 1:26   We are a six (meaning flesh) and He is a seven, the number of perfection.  The One that we worship.  That means to acknowledge His worth-ship, for He is worthy to be worshipped for who He is and thanked for what He does. For by grace we are saved through faith in the work of the cross and now what we have done.  Why does God love us so much when we have been so messed up?  Because we are made in His image after His likeness and because He is a God who is rich in love. Thank you, dear Lord, you haven’t given up on us, but you made away and are even now preparing a place for us for all eternity.  That is a good reason to worship Him.

God has been very good to me for which I am grateful.  But also, I am very grateful for your love toward me.  Thank you.  I pray this coming year will be good to you.  But remember this one thing.  Often we don’t control our circumstances but we are responsible for the choices that we make in those circumstances.

It is now seven years since my dear wife, Eldora, has gone to be with the Lord.  This earth is not our home.  We are just passing through.  But what we do as we are on this journey here on earth and the way that we deal with the circumstances of life will reveal to those without God that they may see the power and love of Almighty God.  He is not only our heavenly Father who helps us in a life of discipline but is also our Abba Father, the One who wished to give us the desires of our heart.  That is the endearing side of our heavenly Father.  If you don’t know Him in the finished work of the cross of Jesus, I pray that He gives you a desire to know Him and His love and power to strengthen us for the journey.  There are only two destinations at the end of this journey.  Sometimes we have to be brought to a crossroads to understand how important this decision is:  What should I do with Jesus the Son of Almighty God?  Thank you, Lord, for the journey.  My prayer is to serve You all the days of my life and to be a blessing whenever I can.  I thank the Lord for those of you that He has put in my life as part of my journey.

Let us all thank Him and love Him through living our lives in a manner that is pleasing to Him.

Blessings and love,

Pastor Paul Ritchie

Senior Pastor

Counseling  Corner

Reverend Don Loss

The Grip of Love

A popular song that played during the beginning of the cultural revolution in 1965 was “What the World Needs Now is Love” by Jackie DeShannon. The lyrics are apropos for our current times.

“What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of. What the world needs now is love, sweet love. No not just for some, but for everyone. Lord, we don’t need another mountain — Lord, we don’t need another meadow — What the world needs now is love sweet love.”

The Judeo-Christian values that our nation was built on began to be disassembled. Consequently, the real meaning of love also began to be disassembled in 1965. Love for another person, place, or thing had no boundaries. Real love, centered in Christ, was abandoned. We now have all kinds of perversions of love. The powers that be have sanctioned these perversions without shame. It is propagated through the media, public schools, the universities, and institutions. A good story with virtues and sacrifice have now filtered in perversions to pollute society. Virtues, sacrifice, righteousness, and themes that will exalt a nation have been discarded. But the truth still stands. “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” Proverbs 14:34

The more society crumbles into the abyss of perversions, the family, relationships, virtuous principles, and sound minds are also being swept away into darkness. Are we not on the edge of this judgment?

“The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those that perish, because they did not receive the love of truth, that they might be saved.  And for this reason God will send strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” II Thessalonians 2:9-12

If we are not under the grip of Christ who is “the way the truth and the life,” we will not experience the grip of His love, being gripped by the spirit of this world. Those falling under the grip of this world will end in God sending them “a strong delusion, that they shall believe lie, that they may be condemned who did not believe the truth.”

Those who have gripped the world will more than likely drift into despair. They may finally wake up, if God wills, that the family is all that they long for. Being rejected, tossed aside, and not wanted is the consequence of believing the lie. It’s only God’s mercy and love that prevent us from coming under His judgment. “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things that were not fitting: being filled with all unrighteousness.” Romans 1:28

 What the world needs now is love, sweet love. “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but I have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. Though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all the mysteries, and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not LOVE, I AM NOTHING”. I Corinthians 13:1-2

You want to be something? Come to Jesus. Repent of your sins and ask Him to save you from your sins. And He will have a grip of His love for you that will never fail. You will then have a heart to keep His commandments and experience this grip of His love. “As the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you: abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have love My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, that your joy may be full. This is My commandment that you love one another, as I have loved you.” John 15:9-12   Now, go and give your life to Christ, and give your families the love that God has poured out on you. And it will be well with you and your family.

Where the grace blows,

Pastor Don Loss
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 the link: Counseling Corner Archives

Passing the mantle…

For the past 38 years and under the leadership of 3 Executive Directors, Pastor Don Loss has served at Bethel Colony as Associate Director and Director of Counseling.  At the age of 76, Pastor Loss decided it was time to pass the mantle to one of Bethel’s own graduates who has been serving as a Pastor and Counselor at Bethel for the past 5 years.  Bethel’s Board of Directors agreed and hired Pastor Zac Starnes to follow in Pastor Loss’ footsteps.  Pastor Starnes earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in Ministry from Grace Christian University while faithfully serving at Bethel through pastoral counseling, teaching, and preaching.

Early in Pastor Loss’ career as Associate Director at Bethel, a wise mentor advised him that the most difficult instrument to play in an orchestra is the second fiddle.  God has used this admonition to impact Don’s life and attitude in ministry.  He has served faithfully and loyally as “second fiddle” to 3 Executive Directors (Mike Stewart from 1982 to 1986, Paul Ritchie from 1986 to 2012, and Paul Pruitt from 2012 to present) and has set a great example for Pastor Starnes to follow as he begins to serve in this new capacity.

Pastor Loss will continue to serve God at Bethel as Director of Counseling until God directs otherwise.

We covet your prayers for both of these godly and capable leaders in the days and years ahead as they pour out their lives to serve those God brings to Bethel to learn of His deliverance message and to experience His saving grace.


 

He Has a Plan and a Sense of Humor

My journey at Bethel Colony of Mercy began in the summer of 2013. I entered the program beaten and bruised by the bondage of addiction. Like many that enter the program at Bethel, I was looking for something bigger than myself to fill a void in my life. I grew up in the church and accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior at the age of 17 but my foundation was not built solely on Him. I had built a house on the sinking sand that eroded away and led me to Bethel. After many years of trying to fill that void within me with stuff, relationships, and temporary fixes, God placed me at Bethel, and I have not been the same since.

 

There are two things that I have found to be true since my journey began at Bethel. One, God has a divine plan for each person. And two, He has a sense of humor. I knew from the age of 18 that I was called into ministry, and I believe that the enemy knew that as well. I faced many challenges through my choices that placed me in worse circumstances at each turn. The enemy knew the right darts to fire at me and I was a Me-monster apart from his attacks. It was a deadly combination, and I became the walking definition of insanity. No matter how many times I tried to do things different, I always ended up with the same results. I was missing a vital part of life and that was submitting fully to Jesus Christ.

A popular verse, Jeremiah 29:11 states; “For I know the plans I have for you” — this is the Lord’s declaration — “plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (HCSB). Jeremiah spoke these words to Jews who had been living under domination of their enemies. This verse is powerful to me because for so long I lived under the domination of my enemy. God’s promise found in this verse shows us that He has a perfect plan for us regardless of our past or present circumstances. He does not promise to rescue us immediately from our hardships, but He is with us, and He has a plan for us. It took me getting to the end of myself before I could see a glimpse of His plan for my life.

God has a sense of humor. The reason I say that is because I got a few writing assignments while in the program at Bethel because I had issues with authority. I remember saying “I would never work at a place like Bethel” one day while writing a Psalm 119, and here I am presently serving at Bethel. I went through the program twice at Bethel and had Pastor Loss both times as my counselor. God showed me that sense of humor again by giving me Pastor Loss as my counselor. I had issues with authority and did not take orders too well and here I got a counselor who is direct, commands respect, and gives marching orders regularly. God knew that I needed him as my counselor. Pastor Loss, or as we call him the “Captain” on the hill, has become a close mentor and friend of mine over the years. God continues to use the captain in my life, and it is a true honor to be his successor and I pray that I can be the best second fiddle.

 

God has a plan, and He has a sense of humor. In 2013 I came to Bethel after many years of bondage, in 2014 I enrolled in Bible College and started “working” at Bethel in 2016 after completing my Associate’s degree. God called me to continue with my studies at Grace Christian University where I obtained my bachelor’s degree and in March of 2021, I finished with my master’s degree. God has revealed another part of His plan for me and that is the Associate Director at BCOM. I was asked why I wanted the position of Associate Director and I responded by saying that I did not want the position, I want a boat. There is a difference between wanting something and being obedient. Proverbs 16:9 states “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps” (HCSB). We can make all the plans we want in our lives but if it is not directed by the Lord, it will not bring us peace and we will feel as if we are missing something. God’s plan is perfect, His timing is perfect, and His sense of humor is perfect for shaping us into the people He has called us to be.     

 


BETHEL COLONY OF MERCY, INC. OPERATING BUDGET MEN’S AND WOMEN’S CAMPUSES

*You can click on the image to view it in pdf format.


100% Mighty Muscadine Juice 

It’s back!  Once again Bethel has received a donation of Mighty Muscadine Juice to sell as a fund-raiser. Mighty Muscadine is bottled by LeBleu and we are so thankful to them for their generous donation. This is absolutely delicious juice and we are offering it to you for a $10.00 donation per case. Each case contains (12)  32oz bottles. When you purchase this juice you are helping us spread the good news of Jesus Christ to those bound in addiction as well as providing natural antioxidants for yourself and your loved ones.  To order your juice, call Bethel at 828-754-3781. (Pick-up only) Our students are smiling because they know how good it tastes!


Bethel Firewood

Now you have a friend in the fire business…  Firewood that is!  Bethel Colony Lawn Care has expanded into tree removal and woodcutting.  We have timber that has been curing since last fall and is ready for you to take home today!  At $5 per bundle or $75 per truckload (standard pickup bed), allow us to help keep you warm this winter while supporting the amazing work that’s going on at Bethel Colony of Mercy.

Call us at (828)754-3781, option1, and ask for Jeff Hollar or Bryan Ingram.

 

To schedule your Lawn Care Service, and to check prices,
contact Jeff Hollar, Bethel Lawn Care Manager,
at 828-750-2058.