Mrs. Valerie Faith Gary Bell

14th President of the Connectional Lay Organization (1953-2020)


*The family requests for all persons desiring to pay final respects to our beloved President to please arrive promptly at 9:00 am as there will only be one viewing prior to the Official Celebration. Thank you for understanding.

“I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1

Family Statement


It is with great sadness that Mr. Donald Bell, Sr., Mr. Donald Bell, Jr., Dr. Shirley Cason Reed, and family share the passing of a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and niece. God dispatched His angels to Manassas, Virginia on February 4, 2020, and took the hands of one of His most faithful servants, Valerie Faith Gary Bell. The family would like to thank everyone for their continuous prayers and requests that no calls or visits be made at this time. Additional information on arrangements will be forthcoming.



Mrs. Valerie Faith Gary Bell was born on October 25, 1953, and is a fifth-generation AME and a member of the Lay Organization since 1974. She is a native of the 2nd Episcopal District the daughter of Mr. James and Rev. Vivian Gary. Valerie’s spiritual growth and development were inspired and nurtured by the members of Mt. Zion AME Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia.


From birth, Valerie was taught to strive for excellence and in 1973 she made history as the first African American graduate of Old Dominion University, School of Dental Hygiene, in the state of Virginia.


Her professional career included employment as a Staff Dental Hygienist, Clinician, and Instructor, at the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland and the Public Health Service of Capitol Hill in Washington DC. She continued to cultivate and enhance her leadership skills as a Marketing Manager for AT&T Inc. in Fairfax, Virginia.


After successful tenures with the United States Naval Academy and AT&T, Valerie stepped out on faith and began living her childhood dream as an African American entrepreneur. For over 25 years, Valerie was the successful owner and stylist of two salons in the D. C. metropolitan area.


Valerie has dedicated her life to making a difference in the hearts and lives of others. As servants of the Lord, Valerie, her husband, and two sons are the founding members of First AME Church of Manassas, Virginia in 1985.


Valerie was recognized in the African Methodist Episcopal Church for her unwavering love for God, humankind and being a catalyst for excellence. She has served in many capacities at the Local, Conference, District, and Connectional level.

Expressions of Sympathy

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations for a scholarship fund established to honor President Bell’s heart for ministry and the legacy of “Onward to Greater.” Please make contributions payable to Mr. Donald Bell with “Bell Scholarship Fund” in the memo and mail them to:


Mr. Donald Bell, Sr.

8876 Sweetbriar Street

Manassas, VA 20110


Please send all resolutions, proclamations and other condolences to  First AME Church of Manassas, Virginia in care of the Bell Family.


First African Methodist Episcopal Church

c/o Bell Family

10313 S. Grant Ave

Manassas, VA 20110

Phone: 703.361.8791

Fax: 703.361.3440

E-mail: famechurchoffice@comcast.net


The Bell family expresses their deepest appreciation for the calls, text messages, visits, monetary blessings and other acts of kindness extended to them during this season of bereavement. Please continue to pray with and for them.



The Wake

Friday, February 21, 2020

6:00 pm-7:00 pm Visitation

7:00 pm - 8:00 pm Reflections


First African Methodist Episcopal Church

10313 S. Grant Ave

Manassas, VA 20110

Rev. Etoria V. Goggins, Pastor


The Official Celebration of Life

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Final Viewing: 9:00 am-10:30 am

Celebration Begins at 11:00 am


Reid Temple African Methodist Episcopal Church

1400 Glenn Dale Blvd

Glenn Dale, MD 20769

Rev. Mark E. Whitlock, Jr., Pastor

General Conference Delegate: 1984-2016

Elected to General Board: 1992-2019

Secretary of the Commission on Statistics/Finance 2000-2017

Member of the Executive Committee of the General Board

Vice-Chairman of the Lay Commission

Member of the Global Development Commission

Connectional Women’s Missionary Society-Chief Protocol Officer

Connectional Lay Witness Speaker/Workshop presenter

Founding member of First AME Church Manassas 1985 Lay Organization 1986

Second Episcopal District Lay President 2010-2018