Growing up, Joyce Bellamy, D.D.S., remembers starting each day with family worship, being taught the importance of keeping her word, and witnessing the blessings of keeping the Sabbath holy. As a little girl, she had little idea that those principles would one day be tested.
In the spring of 2017, Bellamy was hired as the solo-practicing dentist at Bryant Dental’s Huntsville location. When she took over the practice in early 2017, she requested a four-day work week so that her Fridays would be free for Sabbath preparation. Her employers and staff knew about her Adventism, and how strongly she felt about the Sabbath.
In January 2018, Bellamy attended the first annual Marquee Dental Partners (MDP) Conference in Destin, Fla. She had been notified several months earlier that, as one of their newest dentists in the firm, she had earned an award that would be presented to her during the conference. When she found out that the award ceremony was on Friday night, she knew this was in conflict with her beliefs.
Although Bellamy knew what she had to do, she admits that it was not an easy decision. “The human side of me was like, ‘Absolutely! I want to be there.’ I knew how hard we worked,” said Bellamy, who took over the failing two-days-a-week practice, and turned it into a full time four-days-a-week office in a matter of months.
“And, I knew I had to be consistent. If I refrain from doing work and anything affiliated with my job during the Sabbath, then I had to refrain from being honored…because it’s affiliated with my job.”
During the ceremony, Bellamy spent quiet time in her hotel room, and relied on God to keep her strong. Unbeknownst to her, Fred Ward, chief operational officer (COO) and regional director of MDP, was speaking with the Alabama regional director of MDP, Sydney Keown, about doing a private ceremony for Bellamy in her office. If her beliefs kept her from being honored publically, they would bring the award directly to her.
Ward, along with the CEO, Jim Usdan, travelled from Nashville, Tenn., to Huntsville, Ala., on February 1, 2018, just to present Bellamy with the “Bright Beginnings Award for Excellence” in her first year with the company.
Bellamy was honored that the administrators of her company would drive all that way to do this. Surrounded by her husband, Michael Bellamy; mother, Nanetta Pressley; grandmother, Nannie Joiner; and her office staff and friends, Bellamy humbly accepted the award, but was quick to point out Who it is that makes Bryant Dental of Huntsville “rock star good.”
South Central | May 2018