President’s Perspective: Engaging Hearts and Minds of S.C. Baptists for 150 Years

“Engage” is the theme for the 199th annual meeting of the South Carolina Baptist Convention this November. Engaging the hearts and minds of South Carolina Baptists has been the business of The Baptist Courier for 150 years. That’s right — for a century and a half, The Courier has been informing and inspiring Southern Baptists in our great state concerning every facet of building God’s kingdom so that we might see a day when every life is saturated and transformed by the hope of the gospel.

The Courier has a special place in my heart for several reasons.

First, my dad was a longtime columnist for The Courier. Those were some of the happiest days of his life. His weekly writings brought joy to Baptists all over the world with South Carolina roots. “At Large” and “Still At Large” were the first two collections of his columns to be printed. Due to popular demand, “Whistling At Snakes” was printed just a few years later. That book is required reading in our family. My daughter was one year old and my son was not yet born when Daddy went to be with the Lord. They both feel like they knew him well because of his Courier writings.

Second, The Courier has taught me much about our past. Our president-elect is writing a new history of the South Carolina Baptist Convention. The two of us frequently discuss 40- and 50-year-old Courier articles, contemplating how what happened then shapes what we’re doing today. For instance, the schedule change being enacted at the annual meeting this year was proposed years ago and was defeated. Who knew?

Finally, The Courier helps me keep up with what’s happening all across the state. In a social media world, The Courier gives me a more balanced and complete view of our cooperative work. That’s why my church is a part of the every family plan. I want my congregation to be engaged in every part of Baptist life and, in my opinion, The Courier is still the best way to keep them in the know.