We are Christians, and we are on mission. We believe the Spirit of God has orchestrated this. We are calling it the “Midlands Mission Project.” Early in 2017, a small group of the Columbia Church of Christ (led by Brett Caswell) was moved to hold evangelistic Bible talks in Orangeburg, South Carolina where some of their group members lived (in between Charleston and Columbia, about an hour south of Columbia). At the same time, the evangelists of the Columbia church (Scott Kirkpatrick) and Charleston Church of Christ (Lowell Hoover) were discussing the opportunity to evangelize and bring the gospel to Orangeburg.

As the leadership teams discussed various possibilities and approaches to local missions, we concluded that the Spirit was “calling” us to Orangeburg (Acts 16:10). After having several Bible talks held in the area as well as some good ole’ door knocking and canvas evangelism, it came time for us to have our first official Sunday service on April 23, 2017 supported by both the Columbia and Charleston churches. With 140 people of diverse ages and nationalities in attendance (including roughly 30 guests from the Orangeburg area), we were excited and in awe of what God’s Spirit was doing! Just as an example, one mature single woman had seven of her sisters in attendance that live in the area, along with many other disciples bringing their friends and family from the area!

The first baptism from the Midlands Mission Project in Orangeburg happened this weekend, as the mother of one of the college students in the Columbia Church was baptized! We believe that God desires for us to bring the gospel of Christ to all the surrounding areas of our region. In the midlands of South Carolina we have many small cities and townships that are within reasonable driving distance where we desire to bring faith, hope, and love through the gospel of Christ. Our desire and plan is to have many of these organic small groups, primarily member-led with the aid of ministry staff, in these areas. Many of these areas already have disciples in the church living there and simply commuting in for church. Instead of them driving in to church, we want to take church out to them and their communities! We know that Jesus has called us to remain in him, make disciples of all nations, and to be fishers of men and women. We hope that we can listen and follow God’s Spirit as he leads us on mission. Please join us in prayer that God will use the saints in Columbia to that end throughout the midlands of South Carolina, to his glory!

Orangeburg Service from Cola Church on Vimeo.