Read letters from Virginia Gartrell
Email: Virginia Gartrell
Virginia ended her term of service in December 2008. She is available to speak as schedule permits. See her contact information on the mission speakers page
Virginia Gartrell has been under appointment as a PC(USA) mission co-worker since 1979. Her current assignment is with the Bethel Children’s Home in Sorocaba, an urban center about 60 miles from the city of São Paulo, Brazil. Virginia trains and supports the staff who care directly for the children.
Bethel has two “cottage-style” units that are home to couples who care for up to 15 children (including their own) in a family setting. Twenty-eight boys and girls live at Bethel Home.
Bethel serves as an umbrella organization for about 16 other projects around Brazil. Virginia also assists with these projects, which serve various populations — one with children affected by HIV/AIDS, several with children and teens in poor neighborhoods, another is a clinic that also promotes healthy activities for older adults, three others are schools and still others are multifaceted ministries. All projects are connected to local churches attempting to reach out to marginalized and poor segments in their local communities.
Bethel Children’s Home is related to the Independent Presbyterian Church of Brazil, and Virginia serves as a resource person for the National Commission of Social Concerns of the denomination.
Virginia’s first appointment was as a teacher in the Edward Lane Bible Institute. She then became director of Christian activities at the Fifteenth of November School in Garanhuns in northeast Brazil.
Virginia is the daughter and granddaughter of Presbyterian missionaries. Her mother, Sandy Gartrell, lives in Asheville, North Carolina, since the death of her husband Bert in April 1993. Her brother Gordon and his wife Dorothy have been under appointment to the PC(USA) as mission co-workers since 1990 doing new church development with the Independent Presbyterian Church of Brazil.
Virginia earned a B.A. degree in 1972 from Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, and an M.Ed. in 1977 from Georgia State University in Atlanta. In January 1999 she received a master’s degree in theological studies from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. She is a member of Montreat Presbyterian Church in Montreat, North Carolina.
Virginia is the mother of two children, Andrew and Michael.
Virginia - November 14