Whitmire pastor Shannon Long to retire Dec. 31

Shannon Long, pastor of First Baptist Church, Whitmire, since 2006, will retire Dec. 31. Previously, Long served as associational missionary for Laurens Baptist Association. He and his wife, Loraine, formerly served as International Mission Board missionaries in Chile. After returning from Chile in 1989, he served as pastor of Park Baptist Church in Rock Hill […]

New normal settles for church post-pandemic

For two years now, almost every church in America has been holding in-person worship services, but not every pre-pandemic worshiper has returned. The final Lifeway Research tracking data for U.S. Protestant churches’ COVID-19 recovery finds 100 percent (rounded to the nearest whole number) met in person in August 2023, capping off a rebound since the […]

Eureka pastor celebrating 60 years in pulpit

It may well be a record among South Carolina Baptists, and maybe even Southern Baptists: 60 years as pastor of the same church. John Arthur at Eureka First Baptist Church near Aiken will pass the six-decade mark Jan. 1 — and he still preaches every Sunday. His call to preach first came when he was […]

‘Blessed Bedzzz’ providing Edgefield’s children with better sleep

“Let’s go!” (on mission) doesn’t necessarily have to mean traveling great distances. For Joel Jolly, it meant starting an outreach ministry to meet essential needs of children in his own city and county. When the retired owner of convenience stores and deacon at Edgefield First Baptist learned that some children in Edgefield County did not […]

100-year-old time capsule showcases Greer church’s history of faith

Individual communion cups were touted as “the sanitary” way to serve the Lord’s Supper. “Training in Stewardship” by Frank H. Leavell was listed as one of the best contemporary books on stewardship. Price? $1. It was Sept. 28, 1923. First Baptist Church of Greer, S.C., was building a new sanctuary. The miscellaneous tidbits are among […]

Expressing Appreciation: Simple Things Still Meaningful

Expressing appreciation for your pastor (and other church leaders), doesn’t have to be a big banquet, a new car, a trip to the Holy Land, or a lawn tractor. Sure, all of these may be good suggestions for entire congregations. But individual members can also express appreciation in a variety of simpler, yet still meaningful, […]

Hilton Head church shows love for pastor, wife during cancer treatment

Hilton Head First Baptist is a great example of how a church should show appreciation for its pastor by taking care of one of his family members who is facing a serious health crisis. Pastor Brett Myers’ wife, Kristin, was diagnosed in early 2021 with MGUS (monoclonal gammopathy of unknown significance), a precancerous condition that […]

‘Worthy of Double Honor’? Opinions 3:16 and Pastoral Poverty

In his first letter to the church in Corinth, Paul writes, “So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel” (1 Cor. 9:14). A few verses prior, Paul rhetorically asks, “Do we not have a right to eat and drink?” (1 Cor. 9:4). In his letter to […]

Two Bible Texts to Strengthen a Pastor on Monday

Church ministry — whether you’re serving as a preaching pastor, an elder, a missionary, or otherwise — is a lot like baseball. It’s an exercise in managing failure. Here’s what I mean: Ted Williams, arguably the greatest hitter in professional baseball history, finished with a .344 career batting average. This means the “Splendid Splinter” succeeded […]

It’s Good for Church Members to Be Good to Their Pastors

An odd thing happened at my ordination council 48 years ago. As participants offered advice to me, a 21-year-old serving on a church staff and heading for pastoral ministry, one man’s counsel set off an inner alarm: “Don’t get close to your people.” What? I thought pastoral ministry was about engaging people. How does that […]