News from the Tennessee Valley Living Today

Wendy N. McDougal

New Beria Missionary Baptist honors its oldest member

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, but it certainly doesn't feel like it. What is up with these 70 degree December days? I find myself a bit frustrated, selfishly wanting the season to have every ingredient of the perfect holiday. What's missing — the cool temperatures and brisk breeze. At least, that's what's missing in my mind.

When things don't turn out like we are hoping for, we need to realign and adjust our view and perception. That's exactly what I am doing until another cold front decides to make its way to North Alabama.

Let's look at the true meaning of the Christmas season. It's not about the packages under the tree, the beautifully decorated trees or the wishful cold weather. It's in the heart where we reflect on the most precious gift ever offered — Jesus Christ. When we truly focus on that promise, there is no other ingredient necessary to make it the perfect season of the year.

Now let's see what the "chatter" is for today . . .

Jean Barnett escorts Luther Ennis Beddingfield Sr. into New Beria Missionary Baptist Church for a ceremony recognizing his 100th birthday.
Courtesy photo
Jean Barnett escorts Luther Ennis Beddingfield Sr. into New Beria Missionary Baptist Church for a ceremony recognizing his 100th birthday.
Celebrating 100

New Beria Missionary Baptist Church in Elkmont recently recognized its oldest member, Luther Ennis Beddingfield Sr., on his 100th birthday.

Beddingfield was escorted by Jean Barnett and followed by his daughter, Janice Binford, and her husband, Mitchell Binford. Moses Coleman gave the devotion and Anthony Malone read Scripture. A mass choir performed praise songs.

Donna Carr and Beverly Shoulders presented birthday tributes, which included greetings and a photo from President and Mrs. Bush and well wishes from Gov. Bob Riley and Athens Mayor Dan Williams. Church members presented a spiritual reading and card signed by each.

The Rev. F.L. Ingram, pastor, told of Beddingfield's willingness to share God's word and talk about how good God is. Guest speaker was Beddingfield's cousin, the Rev. John
pastor of Mount Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church.

Relatives from Georgia and Illinois attended the celebration, which included dinner.

Beddingfield's celebration continued through Thanksgiving with a family gathering at Westside Community Center in Elkmont.

From left, Cole Fonner as a shepherd, Bill Harlow as Joseph, Ronda Harlow as Mary an Jacob Lilly as a shepherd in Chapel Hill United Methodist Church's living Nativity.
Courtesy photo
From left, Cole Fonner as a shepherd, Bill Harlow as Joseph, Ronda Harlow as Mary an Jacob Lilly as a shepherd in Chapel Hill United Methodist Church's living Nativity.
Nativity scene

Nativity scenes are all over town, offering a sweet chance to reflect on the true meaning of the season. One such opportunity is tonight at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church, 2644 Chapel Hill Road S.W. The fourth annual scene is from 6 to 8.

Those participating will be Ronda and Bill Harlow as Mary and Joseph; Ivan Clotfelter, Tony Simpson and Jeff Stewart as the three wisemen; Braxton and Cole Fonner, Will Harlow, Andrew Lilly, Jacob Lilly and Paden Stewart as shepherds; and Caroline Lilly, Stephanie Simpson, Chelsey Stewart and Meg Youngblood as angels.

Take a minute to stop by tonight and simply rest in the joy that the holiday brings. This beautiful church setting is sure to be a highlight of Christmas.


Morgan County Chapter 234 AARP met recently with Norma Jean Melder presiding. The meeting opened with members reflecting on things for which to be thankful. Don Thomas led the pledge and blessing.

Special guests were the B-Team Angels from Arab, a nondenominational group of performing women who offer humorous skits and inspirational music and scriptures. The group, founded 12 years with just seven members, now has 120.

The ministry began in nursing homes and has expanded to assisted living facilities, senior living apartments and churches. It also performs at various seminars, as well as drug and alcohol rehab facilities.

Following the entertainment, the nominating committee presented the slate of officers for the coming year, with Thomas as the incoming president.

Gale Varnum, community service chairperson, thanked members for filling approximately 50 stockings for the Salvation Army's Operation Santa Claus. Everyone was reminded to bring canned items to the next meeting. Jaque Harvell took home the door prize.

AARP will meet again Tuesday at Central United Methodist Church.

La Petit

Eleven partners of La Petit Salon 840, department of Alabama 824, met recently at Southern Buffet in Athens. Chapeau Peggy Chapman called the meeting to order, with Cassiere Betty Piesco reporting that 100 percent of partner dues have been collected.

Partnership Chairman Katie Fetter read a letter from Maie Adams, department chairman, concerning a need to recruit one new member each from Decatur, Hartselle and Athens.

L'Aumonicer Betty Hancock asked partners to bring prayers for a prayer book to be sent to the department chaplain.

Partner Gladys Smith was asked to keep the history book, with Estelle Smith appointed children and youth chairman.

The Christmas meeting will be in Hartselle at Cabin Grill.


The American Cancer Society wants to help make college dreams come true. Through the college scholarship program, young cancer survivors will now have the opportunity to pursue an undergraduate degree from an accredited university, community college or vocational/technical school.

Those diagnosed with cancer before age 21 are eligible. Applicants must be under 25 at the time of the application and have been accepted without condition to an accredited school.

ACS' Mid-South Division's College Scholarship Program will award a $1,000 scholarship per student per academic school year. All scholarships are awarded at the discretion of the American Cancer Society's volunteer college scholarship committee based on the student's financial need, academic achievement, community service and leadership.

Eligible students should contact the American Cancer Society at (800) ACS-2345 or go to for an application packet. Applications must be received no later than Feb. 1 for consideration for the 2007-08 academic year.

That's all for now. It's been great "chattin' " with ya! Let me know what is going on in your little corner of the world. If it's special to you and features any of the great people who live in our community, then it will make a great Chatterbox item. Just e-mail me at or call me at 350-5730.

Wendy N. McDougal Wendy N. McDougal
DAILY Staff Writer

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