150th anniversary event nets $38,850 for paper’s ongoing ministry

More than 200 friends and guests helped celebrate The Baptist Courier’s 150th anniversary by generously contributing in excess of $38,850 in gifts and pledges in support of the news journal’s ongoing ministry of telling the stories of those who tell The Story of Christ at work through the churches of the South Carolina Baptist Convention.

“We are so grateful for such a great turnout — the ballroom was filled on a Saturday evening, the day before Father’s Day,” said Editor Rudy Gray. “I want to thank all our gracious and generous friends for their support and financial gifts. We are blessed by their investment in The Courier.”

R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptists’ flagship seminary, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., was keynote speaker for the June 15 event at the Embassy Suites in Greenville. Mohler also is a former editor of a sister state Baptist newspaper.

“It says something about a state convention and its newspaper that this room is filled” on a Saturday night, Mohler said. “We’re talking about something that is genuinely important,” he added. “Among Southern Baptists, 150 years means it (The Courier) is one of the most venerable institutions,” he observed.

Referencing 3 John 13-14, Mohler noted that while the apostle would have preferred talking face-to-face, in the absence of that opportunity he used pen and ink. Emphasizing the enduring power of the written word, he said, “Churches still need pen and ink … and that includes digital ink,” pointing out The Courier’s overall audience includes more than 125,000 readers and online viewers.

“This isn’t a funeral (of a printed paper), but a celebration” of its greater ministry opportunities ahead, he challenged. “There’s more to do, and we’d better get to it.”

Leaders of several South Carolina Baptist Convention ministry partners brought congratulatory remarks for The Courier, the oldest institution affiliated with the state convention. Many shared about the personal impact the news journal has had on their lives and ministries.

Among the leaders were SCBC President Bryant Sims and President-elect Josh Powell; Dondi Costin, new president of Charleston Southern University; Danny Nicholson, president of Connie Maxwell Children’s Home; Lara Gopp, on behalf of Gary Hollingsworth, SCBC executive director-treasurer; Debbie McDowell, also for Connie Maxwell; Laurie Register, executive director of South Carolina Woman’s Missionary Union; Walter Johnson, chairman of the College of Christian Studies at North Greenville University; and Editor Emeritus Don Kirkland