The Columbia Metro Connection eNewsletter for Wednesday, April 11, 2018

A Word from George Bullard, DirectorGeorge Bullard

On Easter Sunday I had the joy of attending Relaunch Sunday at Earlewood Baptist Church and experiencing the excitement of 95 people present in worship where not too long ago there were only one-third that number. Luther Harmon, pastor, is seeking to minister with great passion. The congregation is empowering many transitions and changes that other congregations look at and say, “Not here!”

Using the services of Kenny Mills of ruins REBUILT, Earlewood has engaged in a radical rebranding process to restart their congregation. Kenny is currently work with three of our congregations and will speak at our Vision Tuesday gathering on Tuesday, May 15th at St. Andrews Baptist Church. (Register HERE.)

I celebrate with Luther Harmon and Earlewood, and also with Bob Morgan and Rosewood Church who was the first congregation in our association to use Kenny’s services. (See Rosewood’s story in Our Family Stories below.) North Point Community Church is also benefiting from the spiritual gifts, calling, and life skills of Kenny.

A word of caution. Let us not celebrate too much and become blinded by the shiny object of a short-term fix that does not yet guarantee a long-term solution. Each of these congregations have a longer journey to develop the new capacities they need that will be sustainable for the long-term. Pray for them without ceasing.

Our Family Stories

Revitalized Rosewood Church is ‘Evidence of God’s Plan for His Kingdom in Southeast Columbia’

On September 10, 2017 Rosewood Baptist Church in Columbia, SC undertook a relaunch and rebranding of the 80-year-old institution. The new Rosewood Church presented new core values and vision, with a modern logo and graphic brand as well as changes to its campus and sanctuary. The church now embraces a unique and relevant, blended worship experience that connects with the community context.

Pastor Bob Morgan comments, “I believe that God called me to this opportunity specifically because I had never been a lead pastor before nor had I ever lead a revitalization. We had to completely depend on His guidance. Everything that is happening is God-driven.”

The church has seen over 100 first time guests in the last eight months and new families are taking ownership in the vision every month. This new focus is drawing generational and ethnic diversity, allowing the inside of the church to reflect the community outside the church. Rosewood is resurging both spiritually and numerically.

Continue reading HERE.

Our Strategies

Helping Congregations Plot a New Course of Surrender to God’s Leadership

One strategy in our association is about helping congregations who have been in significant decline over many years to turnaround and once again be vital and vibrant congregations. At times this requires radical transitions and changes.

Some need a new focus on Reception where they receive other congregations and become Location Partners together. Redemption is where a congregation in decline joins itself to another congregation. Reconciliation occurs when three or more congregations merge into a new congregation that expresses their unity in Christ.

 Resurrection is when a congregation chooses to start all over again and RePlant itself as a new congregation. When a congregation ceases to exist for any reason it can experience, Release is where it creates a legacy to endow new congregations with the assets it leaves behind.

During the month of May, George Bullard will write about each of these transitions and changes in his blog on the CMBA web site at George Bullard’s Journey.

Our Important Dates

The life and ministry of CMBA churches-in-association will be very busy for the next two weeks in preparation for and implementation of some significant gatherings. We covet your prayers for these experiences and the congregations and leaders who will be involved. To see logistical details about each of these, go to the calendar page of the web site. 

  • Saturday, April 14th is an orientation and training for an Inasmuch Day. Up to 20 churches will be involved in this compassion revolution experience this fall on either September 22nd or 29th. Cathy Locklear is the organizer and can be contacted at 803.622.0303 or
  • Monday, April 16th approximately 25 ministers from congregations who are predominately African-American in their membership will gather for a Black Church Conference in the CMBA office. Andre Rogers is the organizer and can be contacted at 803.609.1832 or
  • Tuesday morning, April 17th the Visionary Leadership Community (formerly the Administrative Team) will meet to talk about important spiritual, strategic, staff, and facilities actions for CMBA. George Bullard is the organizer and can be contact at 803.622.0923 or
  • Noon on Tuesday, April 17th is our Vision Tuesday Lunch and Speaker at North Trenholm Baptist Church, 6515 North Trenholm Road. The presenter this month on Church Safety and Security is Southern Mutual Church Insurance. The sponsor is Connie Maxwell Children’s Home. George Bullard is the organizer and can be contact at 803.622.0923 or
  • Wednesday afternoon through Friday lunch, April 18th -20th a Congregational Champions Retreat will be held at the CMBA office led by George Bullard. This is a unique opportunity to spend 48 hours with George as he shares what he has learned about how to help congregations be more vital and vibrant. This comes out of his vast experience with 1000s of congregations in almost 50 denominations throughout North America over the past 45 years. There is a $99 fee for this experience to cover meals, refreshments, and materials. George Bullard is the organizer and can be contact at 803.622.0923 or
  • Thursday evening, April 19th at 6:30 p.m. the Associational WMU Annual Spring Meeting will be held at Crescent Hill Baptist Church, 2659 Two Notch Road, Columbia. For further information contact Threasha Ellington at 803.735.1441.

Our Family Gathering Place

Conversations Around Our Family of Congregations

Hope Baptist Church near the intersection of Hard Scrabble Road and Clemson Road in northeast Richland County has called Ben Newman as their Transitional Pastor. Ben has served various congregations in CMBA. He is a seasoned and wise minister.

Stephen Greene Baptist Church in Winnsboro, SC is seeking two part-time staff persons. First, is a Music Director to lead the choir and congregation in traditional and praise hymns during Sunday worship services and special services of the church such as cantatas and revivals. This position works collaboratively with the Pastor in planning worship services and selecting music to be used for all services. In addition, the Music Director leads weekly choir rehearsals and administers the music ministry budget in accordance and cooperation with the financial policy of the church. A full job description is available upon request. Interested applicants contact or (803) 635-3228.

Second, is a pianist to accompany the choir and congregation in both traditional and contemporary hymn singing during worship services. Additional responsibilities include selecting an appropriate offertory arrangement for each Sunday morning service that fits with the message of the day, along with weekly choir rehearsals, and extra practice time during Easter, Christmas and patriotic cantatas. A full job description is available upon request. Interested applicants contact or (803) 635-3228.

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