[Note: The Greenhouse Series promotes church planting and church renewal in the United States. Each installment spotlights a specific church that has recently been planted or is in the process of revitalization, as a means of encouraging our readership in the victories of the gospel and allowing them the opportunity to support these churches.]
Russ Bennett, Scott Moody, Nathan Moore, and Kevin Hill are SEBTS alums and co-planters of Cornerstone Church in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The four men and their families were trained at SEBTS and their sending church, Open Door Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. Several men completed Open Door’s two-year internship program and then became the first church-planting team sent out by out by the North American Church Planting Foundation (http://www.nacpf.org/), a new foundation created with the intention of helping local churches be involved in church planting. The support from Open Door and the shared time at SEBTS thus provided these church planters the equipping and encouragement needed to plant a church on the beach.
Myrtle Beach was selected as the location for this church plant through the collaborative efforts of Open Door and Cornerstone Baptist Church in Florence, South Carolina – a partner church with Cornerstone, Myrtle Beach. Due to the desire for a like-minded church expressed by members from Cornerstone, Florence who had moved to Myrtle Beach, the growing general population – especially transplants from the northern U.S., and the large concentration of college students and internationals, Myrtle Beached seemed an ideal location for a new church plant.
The overarching desire of Bennett, Moody, Moore, and Hill was to plant a church serious about gospel-centered theology and ecclesiology into this setting. After moving to Myrtle Beach in 2009, Cornerstone gathered as six-to-eight families in the Moore’s living room for five months. Cornerstone then held two weeks of preview services and publicly launched on Easter Sunday, April 4, 2010.
Cornerstone has enjoyed some gospel successes in Myrtle Beach, though not without challenges. Nathan notes, “it has been extremely challenging to plant a church with a high view of church membership.” Yet, Nathan also shares that one of his greatest joys is to watch members who have bristled at the notion of covenant membership, some to the point public violation, come under discipline and be gently restored to fellowship. These members give testimony “of experiencing radical love and forgiveness.” These marks of sanctification in the church have been accompanied by seeing several people come to know Christ through the church, three of whom have become full members. Also, many of the regular attendees (around 60 each Sunday) were un-churched or de-churched prior to attending CCCMB. These are but a few examples of how CCMB seeks to glorify God in Myrtle Beach.
So, how can we come alongside CCMB? (1) We can pray for increasing sanctification in the membership of CCMB and for grace, power, and wisdom for the Bennett, Moody, Moore, and Hill families; (2) pray that God would send mature believers, those who can more readily share in the ministry, to join the church; and, (3) we can provide financial support or help with a short-term support trip by contacting Scott Moody (firstname.lastname@example.org) and visiting their website: http://www.ccmblife.com.