I am writing to inform you of our mission here in Myrtle Beach, SC. Carolina Forest Presbyterian Church is a church plant that works to reach the lost and unchurched in our community. We began last year as a parachute plant with no core group. However, with God’s favor we have seen some embers form for His glory. As a scratch plant, we have seen the ups and the downs of church planting this year. We started with a Bible study that outgrew its first location and now meets in a larger room at a nearby neighborhood. We began gathering for Sunday morning worship where we saw our small group of thirteen grow to an average attendance of twenty-five only to diminish by God’s providence back down to an average of thirteen again. We have been kicked out of neighborhoods in our outreach and evangelism, even having the police called on us once. Yet, doors have been opened for meaningful conversations with many individuals about God’s free grace. Some have not shown up to either gathering when invited, and we have had others show up that we didn’t invite to see what we are all about. We put in place a “summer schedule” where I concentrated my preaching, teaching/training on two major aspects of our mission: prayer and evangelism. Using Jesus’ model of prayer, we are learning how to have kingdom-minded corporate and personal prayers. And in the morning sermons, we are learning from the gospels how Jesus often paused to “look” at people and their circumstances and had compassion for them. To summarize, we began this mission without a core group, but we can’t say that anymore. Although we are small, the thirteen or so that have joined us are committed to the work and are committed to growing into a healthy church. I always remind myself of Zechariah 4:10, “For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice.” Also, C.H. Spurgeon’s quote, “God has great things in store for His people, they ought to have large expectations.” Although it has been an exciting year with times of trial, I know that this is Jesus Christ’s church. We are called to sow “the seeds” (Matt. 13:1-9), to “plant and water” (1 Cor. 3:6-8), and to “harvest” (Matt 9:35-38); yet it is only in God’s divine will to make it grow. Therefore, we press on with great hope and patience (Rom. 8:26-28) of what God can do here in this community of Myrtle Beach.
I want you to know that none of this would have been possible without churches and individuals partnering with us. The gospel is being proclaimed, the reformed message is being taught, and expositional Bible preaching is being delivered. However, we still need your partnership, prayerfully and financially. Would you pray about partnering with us for this upcoming year? The provisional session decided that we can operate on the same budget as last year. Whether it is a one-time gift, quarterly, or even monthly; any amount that God lays on your heart will be a great blessing to this ministry. I can’t tell you how urgent this request is as we have lost some backing this past year due to unforeseen providences of a few of our supporters. Finally, I am more than willing to come speak to you, your church, Sunday school(s), men’s & women’s groups, etc. to share more about our work here. Know that we recognize your effort on our part and we give praise to God for you.
Yours In Christ,
Mark A. Horne