City of Refuge Church Seeing People Connected, Called, and Commissioned
“In 2015, I was praying, and the Lord broke my heart for my neighbors,” Jarrian Wilson said. In 2019, Wilson took on a position as a Church Planting Resident with Riverside Community Church in Columbia, South Carolina, to prepare to plant City of Refuge Church in Columbia. Wilson said he wanted to see people called to Jesus, connected to His greater family, and commissioned as ambassadors and local missionaries to their neighborhood.
Their efforts started with a bible study group and prayer walking, and in April of 2021, the first Sunday worship gatherings began. Small groups connected people to the church and the mission.
Bryan Kent, Church Planting Strategist in the Midlands, said that “City of Refuge is known in their community. They prayer walk weekly in their neighborhood around the local “Obama” Gas Station. They want to help folks find hope and refuge in Christ, but that often begins by forming intentional relationships to help meet their immediate needs, resourcing them to help them find jobs and a way up and out of their circumstances, and sharing the good news of Jesus with them, not ‘at them.'”
While the church is intentional about being known in their community, they also wanted to be intentional about deploying missionaries from their community. “We wanted to be a church about planting churches and sending out missionaries,” Wilson said.
“I think the biggest thing I would tell church leaders is don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid to invest your best, don’t be afraid to raise up your best, and don’t be afraid to assume that God might be raising up someone that you didn’t expect. I think some of the best missionaries I have right now are not people I expected to be missionaries,” Wilson said. “Don’t be afraid of what God can do because He can do more with it than you can.”
For ideas on engaging your community, visit www.scbaptist.org/evangelism/.