The Columbia Metro Connection eNewsletter — July 18, 2018

A Word from George Bullard, DirectorGeorge Bullard

My mother-in-law, Jean Jenkins Boyd, lived a full and fruitful life. She died this past January soon after her 96th birthday. At her funeral in Simpsonville, SC, I saw Andre and Sylvia Rogers, pastor and first lady of Concord Fellowship Baptist Church. I was surprised to see them as later that same day the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day worship and fellowship was to be held at their church. They would have to return quickly to Columbia.

As they came through the receiving line I made mention of my surprise at their presence. Andre smiled and said, “This is what family members do.” That pleased me and touched me deeply.

Since I began as director of the association a little over a year ago, I have referred to our association as a family of Baptist congregations in the Midlands of South Carolina. We have renamed our annual associational meeting as the Annual Family Reunion. We have talked about the importance of family relationships among and between our member churches.

Now I am pleased to share with you a special new type of family gathering. A CMBA Family Gathering will be co-sponsored by Shandon Baptist Church and the Columbia Metro Baptist Association — Sunday, August 12th at 6:00 p.m. at Shandon Baptist Church at 5250 Forest Drive in Columbia. It is known as SNOWSunday Night of Worship.

This is a special and personal invitation to you and your congregation for this first gathering of this type. There are some details, so click HERE to find out what you need to know.

I am not only looking forward to this special music and worship, but also to the ice cream fellowship following the service. Will you join us if it does not conflict with other gatherings at your church?

Our Family Stories

Bill Wright Sees Networking as Essential to 21st Century Kingdom Ministry

Bill Wright’s South Carolina Baptist roots go deep, serving in local churches and on staff at the Columbia Metro Baptist Association collectively for 30 years – all 30 years of his pastoral ministry have been among South Carolina Baptists.

He can even credit meeting Stephanie, his wife of 30 years this December, through a South Carolina Baptist Church. Bill’s sister and brother-in-law were serving Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Walterboro when Bill was invited to a drop-in. Stephanie attended with her grandmother, and she and Bill met and were married one year later.

“I was in a military family, and my father was not a believer,” Bill said. “We were living in Aiken, and when he retired, we lived in Sumter and then Florida. My father was far from God, left my mom, left his family, and so my mom moved us back to Aiken. I was in third grade when the late Tommy Knotts, who was a pastor and later served as director of missions for the Aiken Association, introduced me to Jesus.”

Continue reading HERE.

Our Strategies

Do You Really Know Who Lives in Your Community Context and How You Can Reach Them?

Gary Hollingsworth, executive director-treasurer of the SC Baptist Convention, and George Bullard would like to invite you a CMBA Family Gathering on Thursday, August 23rd Noon to 1:30 p.m. at the SC Baptist Convention building. The subject is “The Demographic and Lifestyle Opportunities for the CMBA Context and Churches.” Register HERE.

Guest presenters will be Tom Carringer, a nationally known researcher under contract to SCBC, and Clay Smith, pastor, Alice Drive Baptist Church in Sumter, who has made the most significant use of this research. Many churches use demographic reports when thinking about evangelism, new member recruitment, starting a new campus or congregations, etc. The challenge is that demographic studies only touch the surface of the characteristics of people in your community context. It is possible to go much deeper.

Do you know why you start receiving a certain magazine you never ordered? Why do you get the other advertisements for products you find to be of interest, but you wonder how the sender knew? It has to do with several layers of information deeper than the general categories of psychographics that fit your household into a certain lifestyle group.

Do you ever wonder if your current church members, guests who visit your church, and members of your community context have lifestyles that with ease or difficulty communicate with one another? How can you improve the focus of your congregation to be effective in reaching the people to whom God is sending you?

These are the type of questions this CMBA Family Gathering (previously called Vision Tuesdays) will begin a process of answering for you. All your ministerial and program staff are invited at no charge for the lunch and program. Again, register HERE.

Our Important Dates

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.

  • Sunday, July 22nd at 5:00 p.m. This is the last Sunday as Pastor for Dr. Wendell Estep at First Baptist Church of Columbia. The church will be honoring Pastor and Lynda Estep for 32 years of service. 5:00 p.m. that day will be a Special Evening Service honoring the Esteps. CMBA is a family. It would be great if members of our family of churches would take a few minutes through a prayer, a note to the Esteps, or by their attendance on the 22nd at 5:00 p.m. to honor and express appreciation to God for their service.
  • Saturday, August 4th at Noon: Lunch and fellowship for pastors of Spanish-speaking congregations. Catered by Le Peep Restaurant in Sandhills. Held at CMBA office at 1929 Gadsden Street in Columbia.
  • Monday – Wednesday, August 27th-29th is the next Congregational Champions “Retreat” held in the office of the association. It is three days where participants learn a process for leading their congregation through transitions and changes to transform for the next chapter in the life of their congregation. It starts at 1:00 p.m. on the first day and ends at 1:00 p.m. on the third day with no evening sessions. For more information contact George Bullard directly at 803.622.0923 or
  • Saturdays September 22nd and 29th – Inasmuch Days in CMBA. Our prayer is to see many churches in our association serving their communities. The Operation Inasmuch ministry has developed helpful tools and approaches to assist churches in conducting successful ministry experiences. Quarters for Jesus is a sample story of how a little girl in a congregation sprang into action to support a compassion revolution through her church. If your church wants to be involved in one of these Saturdays, contact Cathy Locklear at 803.622.0303 or She has a training kit and will also personally help your church get ready.

Our Family Gathering Place

Conversations Around Our Family of Congregations

St. Andrews Baptist Church: Needed! Ministry Assistant — friendly, outgoing, organized, creative individual to provide administrative support to ministerial staff.  An independent, self-starter is needed to manage church database, generate reports, handle basic website postings, etc.  Good communication skills and proficiency in Microsoft Office Professional 2010 (including Excel and Access), Photoshop, and Publisher are required.  Send resume to Sharon M. King, 230 Bush River Road, Columbia, SC 29210 or

NorthStar Christian Center:  Needed!  A late model mini-bus for our After-School Academy children pick-up – contact Jesse Risher – 803.736.9250

Baptist Collegiate Ministry:  Needed! The first three weeks of college are pivotal for young adult students to find a Christian community for their four college years. If you have a graduating high school senior about to enter college in South Carolina or a student already in college, please send their contact information to the Carolina BCM at, 803.799.3854, or BCM, 819 Main St., Columbia, SC 29201.

Pray for Congregations Seeking a New Pastor: Columbia First Baptist Church, Stephen Greene Baptist Church, and Hope Baptist Church.

Several of our churches need music and worship leaders. If you know of people who desire to serve part-time in this area of ministry in a church, please have them send a resume to George Bullard at

In each issue of the newsletter, this space is reserved for the needs, wants, and announcements of our Columbia Metro Association family of churches. Please send contributions by email to

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