COLUMBIA, SC (APRIL 15, 2020) - South Carolina Baptists have long cooperated in sharing the hope of the Gospel, while also serving the needs of their local communities. The effects of COVID-19 have heightened the need for South Carolina Baptist Churches to come together, to both share and serve. The “COVID-19 Serve Community Aid” has been established to aid SCBC churches in meeting the specific needs of their communities in meaningful ways.
“Our purpose statement is clear, ‘We exist to help churches fulfill the Great Commission.’ The current COVID-19 Pandemic is opening doors to share the Gospel in historic proportions. Setting aside funds from the Cooperative Program and the Janie Chapman State Missions Offering to help churches better serve needs in their community is a perfect example of the importance of our cooperative way of doing ministry as South Carolina Baptists. Our prayer is these funds will help churches find new and creative ways to connect with hurting people in their communities, which in turn will provide opportunities to share the love of Jesus in tangible ways,” says South Carolina Baptist Convention Executive Director-Treasurer Gary Hollingsworth.
The COVID-19 Serve Community Aid is making $250,000 available to help SCBC-affiliated churches respond to these service opportunities.
Social distancing and the Governor’s Stay at Home order greatly affected many of the training and ministry events offered by the South Carolina Baptist Convention. Because of these changes, Cooperative Program and Janie Chapman funds are being made available to further support churches in their community ministry efforts during these challenging times.
South Carolina Woman’s Missionary Union Executive Director-Treasurer Laurie Register shared, “South Carolina Baptists have long been known for their cooperative giving spirit, particularly through the Cooperative Program and the Janie Chapman Offering for State Missions. Because of their generosity, through the COVID-19 Serve Community Aid, we have the opportunity to show the world what it means to be the Church – to work together to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a tangible way in our local communities. At a time in our country’s history when divisiveness is the norm, let us be united in our efforts to share and show the love of Jesus Christ to those who do not yet know Him.”
The SCBC recognizes that $250,000 will not address every need and ministry opportunity across the state. This is why, in addition to the COVID-19 Serve Community Aid, they are issuing a “Serve Community Challenge” to SCBC staff and churches across South Carolina. South Carolinians will be receiving a government stimulus check in the coming days. The Convention’s challenge is that South Carolina Baptists would commit a portion of these resources, over and above their regular tithes and offerings, to make an impact in their community. The SCBC asks, “What if we saw a wave of South Carolina Baptists ‘Advancing’ into their communities with resources intended to make practical and Gospel impact? We could easily double, triple or quadruple the resources that are being offered by the South Carolina Baptist Convention’s COVID-19 Serve Community Aid.”
“$250,000 is a lot of money. Imagine if thousands of South Carolina Baptists committed a portion of their stimulus checks with a focused effort of serving their neighbors during this crisis? South Carolina Baptists could potentially leverage millions of dollars into our communities with long term Gospel impact! That is exciting to me,” said Jon Jamison, SCBC Serve Team Leader.
If you are willing to accept the “Serve Challenge,” the SCBC simply asks that the church name be provided as a means for recording those that have accepted the challenge. The SC Baptist website will share the stories of how these “Serve Challenge” and COVID-19 Serve Community Aid dollars are impacting South Carolina communities.
SCBC provided an important clarification - the dollars you commit will not come to the Convention; they will stay with you as you serve your neighbors.
To begin the application process for the COVID-19 Serve Community Aid, or to commit to the Serve Challenge, please visit www.scbaptist.org/serve-community-aid.