‘Witness to the World’ conference draws missions-minded

The missions mobilization group of the South Carolina Baptist Convention held a Witness to the World base camp training conference April 9 at Summerville Church, with 55 people registered. A similar conference was held March 26 at South Main Street Church in Greenwood.

Attending the conference from Riverbluff Church in Charleston: (back row) Kim Cosgrove and Geoff Brittain; (front row, seated) Robin Brittain, Mary Watkins and Tim Rice of the SCBC. Rice was a member at Riverbluff prior to joining the SCBC staff.

Jim Rice, interim director of the missions mobilization group, described it as a “base camp” because mission teams are at the staging area, getting ready to climb the summit God has placed on their hearts. “Base camps are not places of rest – they are places of preparation,” Rice told those gathered for training.

Rice also announced that South Carolina Baptists are about to form teams to go to Egypt as part of the International Mission Board’s partnership with North Africa. (Other partnership opportunities for South Carolina Baptists include working with local schools and ethnic populations, multihousing ministries, urban church planting in Atlanta, and mission opportunities in Ohio and Nova Scotia. Internationally, South Carolina Baptists are partnering in India, Peru, England and North Africa, and with Middle Eastern peoples.)

Eleven workshops were conducted. “Using Bible Stories for Discipleship” was led by Michael Mohler, senior pastor at Trinity Point, Easley. Larry Grays, pastor of Midtown Bridge Church in Atlanta, led a session on how to use multihousing ministry for church planting.

Several other leaders from around the state also taught, including Gloria Shull of the missions mobilization group; Brenda Sheets, St. Andrews Church, Columbia; Tom Capps, Greer Association; Ronnie Cox, SCBC Acts 1:8 strategist; Chuck Mayo, Northwood Church, North Charleston; Linda Hite, Lexington Association; and Steve Allen, associate pastor of missions and adults, Northside Church in West Columbia. Michael Decosta of Lutheran Family Services also led a session on ministering to internationals.

Northbridge Church in Charleston had a large group in attendance. “At this conference, we were challenged to fine-tune our mission efforts,” said Lynette Flagg, missions team member at Northbridge.

Mary Watkins, from Riverbluff Church in Charleston, learned how to use Bible stories for discipleship. “This was eye-opening for me,” she said.

Jim Cosgrove, also of Riverbluff Church, came to the conference looking for international missions opportunities, and found one just four miles from her home. At the conference, she met Mason Van Tassel, missions minister at Old Fort Church in Summerville, and learned of that church’s ministry of providing medical assistance for the community. A registered nurse, Cosgrove plans to begin helping out immediately.

Video recordings of the workshops will be posted on the missions web page. For more information on getting involved in any aspect of missions ministry, contact the SCBC missions mobilization group at 803-765-0030 (ext. 4800) or visit www.scbaptist.org/missions. – SCBC