The South Carolina Baptist Convention is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year. In a series of Legacy Moment videos at this year’s annual meeting, South Carolina Baptist leaders highlighted how from 1821 to 2021, the state convention has made a great impact on not only the state, but the entire nation.
The legacy of the South Carolina Baptist Convention will not be forgotten, former SCBC Executive Director-Treasurer Carlisle Driggers said in emphasizing the importance of the South Carolina Baptist Convention being the first-ever state Baptist convention in the country. Two hundred years later, he said, the convention continues to be an active example of God’s faithfulness in the process of joining Baptist churches together across the state for the purpose of missions, education, and cooperation.
“We should be thankful to God for that vision of missions, cooperation, and education to advance the gospel,” said Josh Powell, a past president of the SCBC.
Missions has been a very important part of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, Powell said in a Legacy Moment video. The new senior pastor of Taylors First Baptist Church stated, “Our missionaries need us to support them.”
Laurie Register, the South Carolina Woman’s Missionary Union executive director-treasurer, touched on the history of missions in South Carolina. The involvement that the convention has had in missions over the years has been a gratifying testimony, Register said.
The South Carolina Baptist Convention’s educational mission has been a key to establishing some of the best colleges and universities, a Legacy Moment highlighted.
Jane Poster, SCBC history consultant, added that a purpose of the convention from the beginning was to educate the clergy. “It really made a difference in what happened in South Carolina,” Poster said.
An example of the partnership between the South Carolina Baptist Convention and education is the founding of Anderson University. President Evans P. Whitaker said, “Our founding was unique because we were founded by the community. It has always been a Christian university; that was paramount in the minds and hearts of the founders.” Anderson is one of three Baptist universities in the state.
The legacy stories express that missions and education cannot work together without cooperation among the churches. All three components are what makes for successful programs within the SCBC, noted Albert Allen, senior pastor at First Baptist Church, Newberry.
“It is a unity,” said Allen, the SCBC’s president-elect. “It is a three-legged stool. You have to have all three, or you have nothing. As the years progressed, we learned better how to cooperate … that greases the wheels of the Great Commission being fulfilled through our churches.”
The future of the South Carolina Baptist Convention is bright, according to immediate past SCBC President Alex Sands. The Lord has done work in the past, is in the present, and will continue to provide in the future, he said in a Legacy Moment focusing on the hope for unity among all Baptists.
“Once we start to meet and connect and fellowship, we see how much we really have in common,” said Sands, pastor of Kingdom Life Church in Simpsonville.
The hope for the SCBC is for future generations to recognize their calling and inherit the passion to build churches and bring light into a dark world.
— Makena Mesenbourg, a junior at Anderson University, is an intern during the fall semester with The Baptist Courier. Watch all of the Legacy Moment videos on the SCBC’s Facebook page.