In the early 20th century, mill villages were some of the prime mission fields in South Carolina. Large groups of people were moving in droves from the farm to the city for jobs in the textile mills. They formed small cities with their own culture. The South Carolina Baptist Convention began to plant churches to reach this “people group.” They even employed, with the assistance of Woman’s Missionary Union, “lady missionaries” to work with the women and children.
Today, the mills are closed but the churches still stand. Many of these churches have found a new mission in their neighborhoods while others struggle to survive. How can a church’s history shape the future? Look at your church’s story as more than facts and figures. It can be a signpost to guide you into the future. Evaluate, analyze and pray for renewed vision and understanding.
Why was the church created?
Who were the “movers and shakers” who led in the beginning?
What was the community like? Rural? Urban? Affluent? Education level?
How has the church changed since its beginning?
Has the community changed?
What issues or crises has the church faced?
Where do you clearly see God at work?
Simple questions to be sure, but certainly ones that your history can help you answer. Utilize the answers to open new doors into the future. Contact Historical Services, SCBC, 803.765.0030 for help with your story.