Columbus County is the third largest county, in terms of landmass, in the state. More than 59,000 people call it home — and 65 percent of them are unchurched.
“We knew if there was a pocket of lostness, this is one of them,” says Billy Roy, pastor of Crossroads Church. “We wanted to come and make an impact here.”
Roy, with the help of Michael Pittman, the pastor of Vertical Church in Lumberton, N.C., planted Crossroads Church in Whiteville in December 2017.
“We talked over three years ago about planting,” Pittman says. “I had the opportunity to walk with him step by step and month by month through where he’s at and through the process of what it looks like to plant a church and the fears that go along with that.”
Within the first three weeks of the launch of Crossroads Church, Roy saw 17 baptisms and a lot of growth reaching into the community.
“It’s very exciting to see that,” Roy says. “It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s a calling and we answered that calling. You know it’s very important that we understand that we were sent, so that we need to be sending.”
With approximately 4,300 existing Baptist churches in North Carolina, some may wonder whether planting new churches is a necessary strategy to reaching the lost. However, statistics repeatedly demonstrate that new church plants are one of the most effective ways to reach unbelievers with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
According to a 2015 study by LifeWay, 42 percent of people worshipping in churches launched since 2008 never attended church previously or had not attended in many years.
“…42 percent of people worshipping in churches launched since 2008 never attended church previously or had not attended in many years.”
As North Carolina continues to be one of the fastest growing states in the nation, we have a unique opportunity to reach the lost — estimated at 5.8 million in our state alone. And as our state becomes more culturally and ethnically diverse, planting disciple-making churches is essential in pushing back darkness and impacting lostness.
The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) works with churches, associations and church-planting networks to facilitate the launch of new churches.
The North Carolina Missions Offering (NCMO) is vital to the convention’s church planting efforts, providing approximately one-third of the Church Planting Team’s annual budget.
Since 2017, the BSCNC has worked with more than 1,000 new churches across the state. Last year, those new churches reported a total of 6,756 professions of faith, 5,410 worshippers in attendance and more than $139,000 in cooperative program giving.
In His sovereignty, God is continuing to bring the nations to North Carolina. Our church planting consultants are committed to getting the gospel to these individuals in their heart language by planting churches to reach, evangelize and disciple individuals within these language communities.
“Every church can be a sending church and the requirement is willingness,” Pittman says.
Twenty-eight percent of this year’s offering will go toward planting new churches in North Carolina. By giving to the NCMO, you help plant churches that make disciples of Jesus Christ.
For more information or to be a part of the NCMO, visit ncmissionsoffering.org.