CMBA Resources Available for Our Family of Congregations in the Midlands of South Carolina

CMBA Resources are made possible by the financial gifts of the member churches and church network connections of the Columbia Metro Baptist Association at,, or 803.619.7110. To donate go to Gifts can be made to the general fund, hunger ministry, disaster response, or congregational grants fund.

The Columbia Metro Baptist Association offers a wide variety of resources to our member churches and church network connections to enhance your ministry from the base of the Midlands of South Carolina so that you might reach your full Kingdom potential.

Available resources are described below. Check back often for updated listings of the more than 50 resources for your church to access. If you want to know more about one of these resources, apply to use them, or do not see something you need, please contact us at or 803.619.7110.

These resources are made possible by the regular financial contributions of our member churches and church network connections.

Congregational Resource 010 – Congregational Assessment and Learning Experience

  • A Congregational Assessment Learning Experience [CALE] is a one weekend experience from Friday afternoon through Monday morning. Its purpose is to engage a congregation in an assessment and learning experience they can use to address and mobilize around priority spiritual and strategic issues. Large group, small group, and sessions with the pastor and staff are part of the schedule for the weekend. A congregational gathering is scheduled for Friday evening.
  • This is an open and exploratory process where congregational leaders identify three to five priority spiritual and strategic issues to focus on during the weekend. Based on these issues the process is customized for the congregation. The association team conducting the CALE seek to assess the congregation based on general criteria, but also focused on the issues provided by the congregation.
  • This resource is intended for congregations who need an outside perspective on their journey, and assistance with acting on priority spiritual and strategic issues. It can be used to launch a Spiritual Strategic Journey process, or to assist the congregation when engaging in their own planning or futuring process.
  • A written report is provided to the congregation within three weeks after the weekend and then the associational team conducting the CALE can provide an on-site report to leadership and as requested, to the full congregation.
  • George Bullard is the point person for a CALE. Typically a team of three people is assigned to interested congregations. Connect with George at or 803.622.0923.

Congregational Resource 009 – Covenant Congregational Pilgrimage

  • Some congregations reach a place in their life and ministry when they are at-risk of no longer being in existence ten years from now –or fewer years – if they do not engage in spiritual and strategic actions to be more vital and vibrant. Often they have been declining for at least five to seven years – even many more years. They have arrived at or are approaching a place where they do not have 21 clearly identifiable leaders – not just people but true leaders.
  • What can these UnThriving Congregations do? Sadly, many do not do much of anything until it is almost too late. Their choices for future vitality and vibrancy  become fewer and fewer. They may even choose to just hold on until they die. However, as a member of our family of congregations they do not have to travel their journey alone. CMBA has a specific strategy to come alongside at-risk congregations.
  • Covenant Congregational Pilgrimage is a strategy of the association through its Thriving Congregations Team to develop a deep relationship with at-risk congregations to help empower a vital and vibrant future.
  • A Covenant Congregational Pilgrimage is an ongoing relationship for congregations who are seeking to spiritually discern and strategically determine their future during a stage of their congregational life when they are not thriving, and do not feel they have the resources (financial, leadership, and programs/ministries) to easily thrive once more.
  • George Bullard is the point person for the Covenant Congregational Pilgrimage and has a team of a dozen people who are available to walk alongside at-risk congregations. Typically a team of three people are assigned to interested congregations. Connect with George at or 803.622.0923.

Congregational Resource 008 – One Priority Podcasts

  • Approximately 22 times per year CMBA produces and distributes episodes of One Priority Podcast. These can be found at One Priority Podcasts involve interviews with people about topics of interest to our congregations, events or experiences in the association, or key thought leaders with insights or benefits for our church pastors, staff, and lay leaders.
  • Topics during the past year have included the various aspects of congregational response to the pandemic, our relationship with the Metro New York Baptist Association, new congregational expressions, racial reconciliation, singles ministries, and various case studies of church situations around our association.
  • These podcast episodes remain posted on our website and can be used for awareness and training in our congregations. Since the beginning of the pandemic these podcasts are posted as video podcasts on our website so you can see the people and have a deeper experience. It is the visual aspect of these podcasts that make them meaningful to share with small groups and even a large congregational meeting for awareness and training.
  • One Priority Podcast is part of the overall communications strategy led for CMBA by Julia Bell who may be contacted at or 803.260.3924. The producer and host of One Priority Podcast is Chris Reinolds, pastor of Killian Baptist Church. Contact Chris at or 803.546.6524. They would love to hear your suggestions about a podcast that would interest you or your congregation.

Congregational Resource 007 – Baptist Collegiate Ministries

  • Upwards to 50,000 people are enrolled in higher education institutions in the CMBA fellowship area. These include the University of South Carolina, Benedict College, Columbia College, Allen University, Columbia International University, Midlands Technical College, and various satellite campuses of regional and national colleges, universities, and seminaries. Beyond this are people involved in distance learning online with virtual schools or the extension program of schools.
  • Several CMBA churches have significant ministries to various segments of the student population. In partnership with the SC Baptist Convention, we support the Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM) strategy and program by providing financial support for their efforts, and their director – Jamie Rogers – who also serves on our Visionary Leadership Community. Numerous ministries of evangelism and discipleship are part of the ministry of these congregations and the BCM – including its ministry center on Main Street at the USC campus.
  • Among the population of students are several thousand international students who are pursuing a degree here and expect to return to their home country to pursue the career for which they are preparing. One mutual goal alongside BCM is to engage in efforts for these students to return to their home country either with a new relationship with Jesus as Lord, or a deepened faith in Christ as one means of fulfilling the Great Commission in the spirit of the Great Commandment. This begins, however, with genuine and authentic love and care for them.
  • The involvement of congregations with their missions groups and individual volunteers presents an opportunity for CMBA churches to be involved in this crucial ministry. A secondary benefit to involvement is that congregations can learn more about connecting with students in higher education, and how their church can reach out and address the life and Christian ministry of these people.

One first step is to connect with Jamie Rogers at or 803.235.0049. He is continually looking for missions groups and individuals to help host BCM events. He can get you and your church interacting with students and ministering to them.

Congregational Resource 006 – Contextual Research and Interpretation

  • What would be the value of knowing more details about the community context of your congregation? Among the many answers is that it would enable you to know more about the families and households to whom God is sending you. It would help you to know the anticipated future trends in your context with implications for how your congregation needs to build capacities to come alongside the families and households to minister to them.
  • CMBA offers various demographic and lifestyle reports – in partnership with the SC Baptist Convention – which are available through MissionInsite. The reports are free to our member and network connection churches. But it is not just the reports. We also provide interpretation to help you best understand what the reports are saying to you and what the implications are for missional engagement. It does not help to have a bunch of data if you do not know what the data means and how you can best utilize it.
  • We customize the reports for you by zip codes, a one-to-five mile radius around your church, or a customized polygon where you define your community context by street or other obvious boundaries. Or you can have reports with all three of these perspectives.

George Bullard is the point person for this congregational resource. Contact him at 803.622.0923 or Reports can generally be provided within one to three days.

Congregational Resource 005 – Soaring Between Pastors:

  • During the interim between pastors, CMBA wants to help your church to soar. We can assist you with someone to preach for you. Then we can work with you on calling an S3 Intentional Interim Pastor. An S3 Intentional Interim Pastor is someone who is Seasoned, Skilled, and Strategic. As seasoned ministers they are experienced. They have developed key ministerial skills. And they help your church think strategically about your future rather than just seeing how fast you can get the next pastor.
  • Then we can assist you – along with your interim pastor – in looking at the spiritual and strategic direction of your congregations to help you discern the type of Lead Pastor you need for the next seasons of your life and journey as a congregation.
  • Ultimately, we can help you with the search for a P3 Lead Pastor for these next seasons of your life and journey as a congregation. A P3 Lead Pastor is one who is Passionate, Proactive, and Personable. They are passionate about the Good News of Jesus Christ and preach and teach out of their passion. Proactive is their approach to leadership. And they are personable and enjoy being with and ministering to people.
  • The lead person for CMBA who assists churches to soar between pastors is David Waganer. Contact David at or 803.931.6302.

Congregational Resource 004 – Ministry Among African-American Churches and Communities:

  • The context of the CMBA is very diverse racially and ethnically to the extent that our core county – Richland – is already a majority minority. Any viable strategy for fulfilling the Great Commission in the spirit of the Great Commandment must include a focus on African-American churches and communities. At this point 20 percent of our member churches are African-American.
  • Andre Rogers, pastor of Concord Fellowship Baptist Church, is our One Priority Mobilizer who gives a focus to this area of ministry. Andre may be contacted at or 803.609.1832. Three of the areas where Andre can be of assistance are the following:
  • Multiplying Congregations: To assist in starting new congregations in predominately African-American communities that results in at least one new congregational expression being started each year in a predominately African-American community.
  • Transforming African-American Congregations: To assist in strengthening existing congregations in predominately African-American communities as they seek to become and sustain life as vital and vibrant missional communities.

Transforming Non-African-America Congregations: To assist in helping non-African-American congregations who find themselves in racially transitional communities to reach out cross-racially to African-American households

Congregational Resource 003 – Bylaws and Miscellaneous Legal Issues:

  • First of all – we get it! Bylaws and miscellaneous legal issues are not the glamour work of Christian ministry. At the same time, you can either deal with these issues proactively so they are not an obstruction to great ministry, or you can deal with them reactively in a crisis when they can derail great ministry. Your choice.
  • If your bylaws are out of order, they can cause you major headaches and even some government relationship and legal issues they did not teach you during your ministry preparation (read as college or seminary). The most common questions we get surround two issues: 1. The non-profit status of churches with a focus on their 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, and 2. Methods to conduct a crucial business meeting of the congregation to deal with major presenting issues.
  • So, who are you going to call? CMBA has two experts under retainer. One who works best with large to very large churches, or when some major issues of bylaws revision, legal, or employment policies arise, and one who can focus on small to medium size churches when your bylaws need minor revisions, or the legal and employment issues are of everyday concern.
  • Robert Grant is the person to contact for large and very large churches and/or major issues. Contact Robert at or 803.260.0188.  David Waganer is the person to contact for small to medium size churches and/or for minor revisions or routine legal and employment issues. Contact David at or 803.931.6302. Their general services for short-term contacts are free to you as a financially contributing member or network connection with CMBA. If you need them to work with you individually on a major issue or over a long-term then you will need to negotiate with them an appropriate fee for their services.
  • If they do not know the answer, they consult with one another, access resources outside our association, and have a connection with the Columbia-based law firm who understands the non-profit laws and helps our association and the state convention on legal issues. They are not lawyers and therefore do not offer formal legal advice, but they know how not to cross that line and when to consult with legal experts.

Congregational Resource 002 – New Congregational Expressions:

  • Strategic guidance is available to help congregations engage in Kingdom growth in the Midlands and beyond through the beginning of new congregational expressions. The most effective way to go deeper in reaching our geographic context and beyond with the Good News is to start New Testament congregations strategically situated for groups of people who need an evangelical Christian witness so that all may know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord.
  • Robbie McAlister is the point person for CMBA in the area of new congregational expressions. He may be contacted at or 803.315.2741. He is an experienced church planter and strategist with experience in starting a church in the Midlands, starting a church planting movement in an international location, and in connecting with various Non-English language groups in the Midlands.
  • The opportunity exists for many congregations to get involved in launching new congregational expressions, however, many may not know how. Robbie can help you fulfill your spiritual passion for this area of Kingdom growth.
  • As we study the growing and diversifying demographics of the Midlands, we see opportunities and a very challenging need to start 30 new congregational expressions in the next 10 years to share the Good News with our growing and diversifying context. An early estimate is that of the 30 new congregational expressions that 10 need to be among people groups for which English is not their first language, 10 need to be in predominately African-American communities, and 10 need to be in various areas of transition and/or growth.
  • Congregations are needed who will be part of a sponsorship team, will offer financial assistance above and beyond what they are already doing in missional support, will offer their building for a meeting place for new congregational expressions, and will call out the called in their congregation who are people God is calling to help start a new congregational expression.

Congregational Resource 001Hunger Ministries:

  • Financial grants of up to $500 may be awarded once or twice per calendar year to member and network churches involved in hunger ministries. Churches must apply for a grant and are approved by the Visionary Leadership Community, which meets ten times per year. To apply for this grant a pastor, a staff person, or an authorized missions layperson should contact Cathy Locklear at or 803.622.0303. She will talk with you about how you will use these funds. Our preference is that your church is directly involved with the families or individuals receiving food assistance, or that you have an ongoing relationship with the community hunger ministry who is providing food assistance.
  • Non-perishable food items are available for the ministry of your church from our hunger ministries storage at Belmont Baptist Church. These are available to supplement your hunger ministries resources. You need to make an appointment to pick up items in our storage. Contact Cathy Locklear at or 803.622.0303 to find out what is currently available and to arrange to pick up items.
  • Cathy Locklear can help you network with various organizations that need your assistance in providing food to hungry people. One example is the feeding programs of the various school districts for children during the weekend and the summer – or during this time of virtual school.
  • Cathy Locklear can meet with ministry people in your church to talk about a hunger ministries strategy for your church.

About the author 

Kyndra Bremer