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2010 GARBC Service Awards

Lewis and Trudy Bell are members of Germantown Hills Baptist Church. Metamora, Ill. They have retired after serving as camp director and wife at Camp Manitoumi, Ill.

“As newcomers to the position of camp director and wife, the Bells befriended and welcomed us into this fraternity of servants of the Lord,” says Pastor Robert Fields, who was formerly a Christian camp director. “After that, we would run into the Bells periodically at various conferences and meetings. We would never have guessed that God would bring us together in ministry at Germantown Hills Baptist Church.”

After graduation and marriage, the Bells attended Dallas Theological Seminary, later returning home to run a farm implement business with Trudy’s father. During these business years, Lewis and Trudy were much involved in a Quad Cities GARBC church, working with the youth, serving as a deacon, teaching the adult class and ministering as pulpit supply in several area churches. Lewis was also the pastor of Regular Baptist Church, Griggsville, Ill.

The Bells’ three children, Tim, Barb, and Deb, all know the Lord and are serving Him through local church ministries.

Lewis and Trudy Bell are fine examples of lives dedicated to God. To see how God has led in their lives, blessed their lives, and used them in ministry is a testimony to the grace and goodness of the Lord.

Daniel and Pat Cassell are members of Chelsea Baptist Church, Atlantic, City, N.J., having previously served there as pastor and wife. They were nominated for the service award by their current pastor, Tom Weer.

Daniel Cassell received the Lord as his personal Savior in 1963. After receiving a degree in Business Administration from Ohio State University, he attended Grace Theological Seminary, receiving the Master of Divinity degree. Pastor Cassell followed the Lord to Atlantic City, New Jersey, where he and his wife, Pat, served the Chelsea Baptist Church from 1973 to retirement in 2009. Pastor Cassell has been an active member of the Garden State Fellowship of Regular Baptist Churches of New Jersey, serving as chairman and treasurer. The Cassells have attended GARBC Conferences faithfully through the years.

While ministering as pastor and wife at Chelsea Baptist, the Cassells lived in an apartment inside the church building for over thirty years, in which they raised their two children, Kristine and Jonathan. Pastor has shared the gospel with hundreds of people contacting him in search of money. Many of those contacts received Christ as Savior. Pat has faithfully played the pipe organ, and taught and ministered to children. Although retired, they are still serving in the church—supporting their new pastor.

Chris and Karen Davis have been members of Heritage Baptist Church, Clarks Summit, Pa. for more than 30 years. Karen works with pre-school age children in Sunday school. Through the years, she has served in the nursery, AWANA, and assisting in numerous ways with hospitality. She has a true servant’s heart, never wanting to be in the limelight, but simply desiring to serve the Lord and others in whatever way she can.

Chris has served as a deacon; a member of the missions, nominating, and pastoral search committees; and as an adult Bible fellowship teacher. In addition, he is a college faculty member and soccer coach. In each endeavor, Chris is known to challenge his students to become all they can be in their personal lives.

The Davis’s have two children, both of whom are involved in ministries. Their son, Russ, and his wife, Shannon, serve in youth ministry in Washington. Their daughter, Kari, and her husband, Chaz, serve as missionaries in Ecuador. Chris and Karen Davis embody the characteristics of humble servant leadership that is an example to everyone who has had the opportunity of meeting them and working alongside of them.

David Strope is pastor of Ankeny Baptist Church, Ankeny, Iowa; he was nominated for a Service Award by his deacons, who commended him for leading their congregation through memorable challenges while continuing to provide insightful and caring daily ministry. Recent projects include the 2008 renovation of the church basement and auditorium, requiring a complete move off-site for three months. By 2009, 90 percent of the project cost had been paid by congregational offerings. As the renovation was wrapping up, the church faced another challenge with the resignation of their assistant pastor under difficult circumstances. Again, Pastor Strope rose to the leadership challenge, spending countless hours with deacons, individuals involved in the situation, and the congregation explaining how we should move forward Biblically.

Pastor Strope also led the church to find a new assistant pastor, playing an important role in advising the pulpit committee, interviewing candidates, and ultimately welcoming our new assistant.

In addition to his Ankeny Baptist duties, Pastor Strope has shared his wisdom and experience through involvement in various boards. Currently, he chairs the Council of Ten of the Iowa Association of Regular Baptist Churches and serves as secretary of the GARBC’s Council of Eighteen. He serves on the board of Baptist Mid-Missions and teaches a Faith Baptist Bible College class on pastoral ministry.