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For close to 20 years, smaller membership Presbyterian (PCUSA) congregations in the rural upstate of South Carolina have been making a sizable missions impact, both locally and abroad. Their impact has less to do with financial resources or numerical size, and more to do with the linkages they've developed through the Greater Laurens County Cluster of Smaller Membership Presbyterian Churches.
Through small steps at first, the work within the cluster soon broadened, and church families began networking to accomplish ministry. Occasional prayer journeys at the beginning allowed church members to visit, pray and learn about each others' histories and visions. Before long, churches within the cluster were partnering in ministries as diverse as a massive one-time hurricane relief effort, mission trips to Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and an annual service-oriented summer youth camp.
The motivation for the Greater Laurens County Cluster, which now stretches outside county boundaries, is mission rather than survival. Using their God-given gifts, the cluster of Christian people from rural communities is making an impact on a global scale.
Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary is pleased to offer resources at no charge to small congregations interested in employing this model in their own locales. These resources will be available in early 2020. Please come back!