Annual meeting to highlight 200th year

South Carolina Baptists will celebrate the 200th anniversary of their state convention Nov. 8-9, when they gather at First Baptist Church, Columbia, for their annual meeting.

Chosen by Alex Sands, president of the South Carolina Baptist Convention and pastor of Kingdom Life Church in Simpsonville, the 2020-21 theme will be “Advance Together.”

“The emphasis is taking … what are the best parts of the South Carolina Baptist Convention and emphasizing that, and leaving on that one accord of being together,” Sands said in a video promoting the annual meeting.

The event begins on Monday evening at 6:15, when International Mission Board President Paul Chitwood will be the keynote speaker for a Sending Celebration. “We are going to be deploying missionaries all over the world,” Sands said.

Best-selling author Tony Evans, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, will speak on “Advancing the Kingdom Together” during the closing worship on Tuesday evening, he added.

“We really hope that everybody can come,” Sands said. “It is historic. We will celebrate what God has done over 200 years and look ahead.”

The 200th annual meeting will feature Legacy Moments to spotlight key events in the SCBC’s history.

“If you miss this 200th anniversary,” said Gary Hollingsworth, SCBC executive director-treasurer, “just remember, we won’t do this for at least another hundred years. So you don’t want to miss this one.”

Albert Allen, pastor of First Baptist Church, Newberry, is the only announced candidate for president-elect for 2023. Wes Church, pastor of First Baptist Church, Columbia, will nominate Allen.

Wayne Bray, pastor of First Baptist Church, Simpsonville, will succeed Sands as convention president and lead the convention in 2022.

The annual Pastors Conference will be held at Kittiwake Baptist Church in West Columbia on Monday morning and afternoon, Nov. 8, preceding the SCBC annual meeting. Speakers include Herb Reavis, Barry Snapp, Chad Campbell, and Roy Lynch.