First Myanmar Baptist Church Celebrates 17 years of Growth

Seventeen years ago, one refugee family relocated from Myanmar (Burma) in Southeast Asia to Columbia, South Carolina, to begin a new life. The family came with a desire to start a church that would reach other families from their homeland. Ryan Dupree, International Ministries Pastor at FBC Columbia, helped them turn a home Bible study into a church.

With the support of First Baptist which provided facilities and assistance, a Burmese church soon began meeting for worship, discipleship, and outreach. They brought pastor Zaw Naw and his family to serve as pastor in 2007. Through his leadership, the church grew by reaching various ethnic groups from Myanmar living in the Midlands.

On February 5th, the congregation dedicated their worship facility at Woodfield Park Baptist Church in Columbia. Now under the pastoral leadership of Thomas Thein, the congregation of seventy people has a new home and space to grow.

With more than 280,000 foreign-born people living in SC, the task to reach and disciple people from every language group in South Carolina is growing. The Send Team FINISH Initiative helps churches discover and engage ethnic people groups living right around them. They aim to FINISH the Great Commission in our state by reaching and starting churches for every language group.

Learn more about the FINISH Initiative and how your church can be involved at

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