On Thursday night of the 2017 GARBC Conference, National Representative John Greening paused to pay special tribute to Ruth Van Pelt for her many years of faithful Christian service and loyalty to the association.

Tonight we want to honor a special lady who is probably unknown to most of you. This special lady is Ruth Van Pelt.

Ruth has been a member of Brooktondale Baptist Church in Brooktondale, New York, for more than  seventy-five years. Ruth has served as the church treasurer, the Primary Department Sunday School teacher, and in many other roles. Even today she helps in Parents Night Out, where she helps take care of children so the parents can have a night out.

Ruth attended her first GARBC Conference in 1953 in Philadelphia, the year after she graduated from high school. That was during the years when Dr. Robert T. Ketcham was our national representative. This year marks the 25th conference she has attended.

Other people may have attend more than 25 conferences, but what makes Ruth so special is that she has done so even though she has been severely limited in her mobility because of contracting polio as a young child. But Ruth never let her mobility limitation get her down. Not only has she continued to come to GARBC conferences when she is able, but she always has a bright smile on her face. More recently, she faced cancer and came out a survivor. Through all these adversities, her smile and her indomitable spirit are a blessing to everyone.

Now an octogenarian, she continues to serve in her church, and she still comes to GARBC conferences.

Ruth, as an association we thank you for your commitment to Christ, your lifelong loyalty to the GARBC, and your infectious spirit that brightens all of us. You are an outstanding example to us.