South Main Street pastor Alan Quigley said the service represents the 101-year-old church's expanded Acts 1:8 mission objective, which includes taking the gospel to the people closest to them.
"We are in a transitioned neighborhood that doesn't look anything like our congregation.
We have started a lot of churches in Greenwood over the years, but each time our church has chosen to stay in the neighborhood where it was planted.
We are trying to 'love loud' in our community," he
Vacation Bible School
has been a strong avenue into the community for South Main Street Church
, mainly because there aren't any other summer activity options for local children.
Quigley said they began discovering needs in the neighborhood when the church began picking up children to bring them to VBS about three years ago.
"Children were waiting for up to an hour to ride the buses to VBS
One mom told me ours was the only church that would take these kids anywhere in the summer, so we expanded our work with kids in the neighborhood," Quigley
South Main Street Baptist Church volunteers make snow cones for children at the God and Country community celebration July 1.
Since then, the church started a summer sports camp and sponsored 30 children in its Upward basketball and cheer program.
It has also started Gage Street Kids Club
, which reaches 35 children through a former storefront given to the church rent-free by its owner, and two months ago began a Preaching Point service in the same storefront on Sunday mornings which, Quigley
reports, has had its first convert.
"We were looking for things South Greenwood children wouldn't get to see, so we decided to bring fireworks downtown to them," Quigley
The church sought special approval from the city of Greenwood, which required the fireworks display to be run by a professional pyrotechnic company.
Partnership fund assistance from the South Carolina Baptist Convention
helped South Main Street Church
to sponsor the celebration's grand finale.
Quigley approached Alvin Deal, director of the local Gospel AM radio station, Faith 1090, to help get the word out to a larger listening audience a few weeks before the celebration.
Bernard Morman, Alvin Deal, and Alan Quigley
worked together to plan the South Greenwood community event held July 1 at South Main Street Baptist Church.
The pastor has personally been to every door in a two-mile radius of South Main Street Church
and has prayed for God to provide partners from the African-American and Hispanic communities who can help to reach deeper into the surrounding neighborhood.
"We have been praying that God would transform our neighborhood.
We are now seeing that what we couldn't possibly make happen, God is bringing together.
has brought pastors to us to partner with, and now we are forming a group interested in praying for and working toward community transformation," Quigley