Impact 2024: ‘One Savior, One Gospel, One Church, One Mission’

On Feb. 22, more than 1,100 attendees representing 250 churches gathered at Impact, an annual South Carolina Baptist Convention conference that connects leaders and encourages obedience to Jesus’ mission, the Great Commission. The conference was held at Church at the Mill in Moore.

“Leave your ego at the door” was written on the screen when believers entered Church at the Mill’s sanctuary. The conference began with a powerful video with the voice of Bobby Richardson, New York Yankees and South Carolina baseball legend, reading the poem “God’s Hall of Fame.”

The poem’s final words read, “For any famous name on earth, or glory that they share; I’d rather be an unknown here and have my name up there.”

After the video, Richardson shared his testimony and how the Lord used baseball as an avenue for sharing the gospel.

Following Richardson, 80 college choir students from North Greenville, Anderson, and Charleston Southern universities led believers in worship.

Shane Pruitt, with the North American Mission Board, then urged unity among the church for the gospel’s sake. Believers are to know Jesus and make Him known, he said.

Pruitt said, “A divided nation needs a unified church.”

He exhorted attendees with Acts 5:27-42. Pruitt said that we have one priority (obeying King Jesus), one gospel to share, one true movement, and one mission.

After session one, attendees chose two of 44 breakout sessions, with a lunch break in between. Breakout sessions covered a large range of ministry topics, including youth ministry, worship ministry, church revitalization, discipleship, and community outreach, among others.

“It was really encouraging and practical application for what I get to do with my everyday life and ministry,” one breakout attendee said.

Jimmy McNeal, elder and worship pastor at Austin Stone Church in Texas, led worship in session two along with the college choir. Pastor Fred Luter Jr., senior pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church and the first African American president of the Southern Baptist Convention in 2012, preached for the second session.

Luter preached from Mark 2:1-5 where four men let down a paralytic man through a roof. The four men did whatever it took to bring this man to Jesus, and Jesus forgave his sins. Luter said Christians must care about people’s condition to reach them. We cannot heal people from their sins, but we can introduce them to Jesus, said Luter. Jesus is the hope for our cities, communities, family, and the nations.

In its 10th year as an annual conference, Impact’s focus remains the same:

“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age’ ” (Mathew 28:18-20).