In 1973, she also married the love of her life, Donald Livingston Bell Sr. Two sons were born to this union, Donald Livingston Bell, Jr., and Derrick Bell.
Her professional career included employment as a Staff Dental Hygienist, Clinician, and Instructor, at the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD. Later, 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 hair salons in the DC Metropolitan area.
In 1974, Valerie joined the Lay Organization. Her service to the church as a young adult continued at Mt. Moriah AME Church in Annapolis, MD. While a member, she was elected as the Youth Delegate of the Washington Conference to the 1984 General Conference held in Kansas City, MO.
When she relocated to Manassas, VA in 1985, Valerie and her family became founding members of the First AME Church of Manassas, VA.
Valerie served on the General Board for over 25 years and Vice-Chairman of the Lay Commission. Her service included Connectional Women’s Missionary Society, Chief Protocol Officer.
In 2006, she was elected 1st Vice President of the 2nd District Lay Organization. She was elected as President in 2010. On August 7, 2017, during the 35th Biennial Session of the Connectional Lay Organization in Columbus, OH, Mrs. Bell was elected as the 14th Connectional President on her second attempt. She was the second female to ever serve in this capacity the first from the 2nd District.
During her tenure as President, she made several trips overseas to expand the membership of the CLO. She spoke at St. Paul AME Church in Montgomery, AL (the home church of Rosa Parks) for its Lay Day. One of her achievements was working in conjunction with Payne Seminary/Wilberforce to offer a Lay Leadership Training Certificate Program to interested persons in lay ministry across the connectional African Methodist Episcopal Church, particularly, and to laypersons in other denominations.
On February 4, 2020, this dedicated servant and Lay leader was called from Labor to Reward.
Submitted by: 2nd District Historiographer, Mr. Darwin Curry