African-American Pastors Cast Vision in Africa
In May 2023, a group of SCBaptist Pastors embarked on a Vision Trip to two major cities in sub-Saharan Africa: Luanda, Angola, and Lusaka, Zambia.
This trip was driven by a desire to share the Gospel, strengthen ministries, and forge meaningful connections with brothers and sisters in Christ. “One of the things that brought me to this place, as I’ve prayed a long time, for God to send African American pastors on the mission field,” Michael Pigg, Share Team Leader at SCBaptist, said.
The Luanda, Angola team included Michael Pigg and his wife Beverly; Andre Melvin of Temple Zion Baptist Church in Columbia; Andre Rogers, of Concord Fellowship Baptist Church in Columbia, his wife Sylvia and daughter Savannah; and Alex Sands of Kingdom Life Church in Simpsonville, and his wife Shana.
On the same mission, Walter Belton of Radiant Church in Charleston; Ron Henderson of Mt. Nebo Baptist Church in Spartanburg; Will Broadus of Reconcile Community Church in Greenville; and Rickie Sarratt of Innov8tion Point in Gaffney fulfilled a vision tour to Lusaka, Zambia.
Encouraging and Training Believers
As planning began for the trip, the pastors assigned to Angola realized they would be in the country the same week as a missions conference hosted by the Angola Baptist Association of Churches. “The Lord placed the dates on our calendar that just happened to coincide with their needs,” Pigg said. The pastors were able to fill in roles as conference preachers and teachers and help with the equipping of children’s and youth ministry workers.
Luanda, with its striking income disparities, revealed stark contrasts between affluence and poverty, often just minutes apart. The visiting pastors observed the fervent faith of Angolan believers amidst their daily struggles. “You can tell that they are hungry for knowledge and truth,” Andre Melvin, pastor of Temple Zion Baptist, said. Despite the challenges they faced, the Angolan Christians’ devotion to the Gospel and their genuine love for one another was unmistakable.
Identifying Critical Needs
While recognizing the vibrant faith of the Angolan believers, the visiting pastors also identified crucial areas that needed support. The local Angolan Baptist Convention expressed the need for theological education and training for pastors and missionaries.
Even for those who cannot physically travel, the pastors emphasized the essential role of prayer and financial support. The scarcity of resources in some regions underscored the need for financial assistance and targeted support to reach underprivileged communities.
“It’s my prayer that our stories will prick the hearts of SCBaptists to come and share the Gospel of Christ,” Pigg said. A few issues local ministries face are lack of financial support, developing leaders, and discipleship training. “God is doing a new thing here,” Andre Rogers, Pastor of Concord Fellowship Baptist Church, said. “He’s at work in Africa, and let’s be a part of it.”