Honors for church service, work with drug users and women with HIV/AIDS
Davis Chapel C.M.E. of Richmond’s Missionary Society recently honored First Lady Valerie Roby Betts as the Woman of the Year for her outstanding service in the church and the community. She was recognized for her friendliness, warmth, faithfulness and commitment to the work of the church.
Betts is a native of Gary, Indiana and the proud mother of two daughters and the grandmother of four. She graduated from Indiana University Northwest with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education. During her career, Betts has held administrative and management positions in governmental entities including Court Administrator for the Municipal Court. In this position, Betts was able to work directly with the court’s drug program. The program received national recognition for the service provided in restoring families and communities.
“Working with people on drugs has been my focus for years because the transitioning aspect into the work field is so important,” says Betts. “We have to remind to them to stay focused, keep the faith and it will all work out”.
Betts relocated to the Bay Area in 2005 with her husband, Rev, Dr. Nicholas L. Betts, when he was assigned to Davis Chapel C.M.E. in Richmond. Since relocating to the Bay Area, Betts has taken the initiative to continue her passion for service.
She works as the Administrative Assistant at Reach Fellowship International in Oakland, a faith-based Oakland organization that provides assistance to impoverished people in the community. This program also focuses on women with the daily life challenges of HIV/AIDS.
Betts enjoys extending a helping hand wherever she can. It is her diligence that inspired the missionary society of her church to recognize her as Woman of the Year said Carol Macon.
“This is a very humbling to receive recognition from my members. When people see that you perform and you perform from the heart, they appreciate it and I appreciate them for giving me the recognition,” said Betts.
Betts is the Secretary of the Annual Conference of Ministers’ Spouses, Widows and Widowers Department and serves as the President of the San Francisco District Ministers’ Spouses, Widows and Widowers Department.
“I also serve as the President of the Board of Christian Education that inspires our youth to study God’s word. We teach them how to implement all that they learn about God’s word into their everyday lives. We all fall short but we have to learn how to pick ourselves back up,” says Betts. “I think words of encouragement to our youth are very important. People did this for my children, and I love doing it for others. ”
According to Jackie Turner, Vice-President of Women Missionary Society, Betts was honored because she utilizes the gifts given to her by God.
Betts enjoys spending time with her children and her four grandchildren. She notes the most memorable and exciting time she experienced recently was when she travelled to experience the inauguration of President Barack Obama with her family.
“I never thought I would get to see such an historical event but to witness it during my lifetime with my children was such a humbling experience,” says Betts.