By Jennifer McClung Rygg
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Pendleton
Moderator, CBFSC 2021-22
In March of 2009, I moved from Georgia to South Carolina to serve as associate pastor of First Baptist Church of Pendleton. I believe it was about a month later that I attended my first CBFSC event, General Assembly in Greenwood.
The past 12 years have been full of meaningful ministry, relationships, and opportunities, both through FBCP and CBFSC. These years have also brought a number of changes – in the world, in my life, in CBFSC, and in the congregation I serve.
I moved to South Carolina as a single woman with two cats; I now have a husband, two sons, and a Labrador retriever. In 2017, FBCP called me to serve as senior pastor. Transitioning from associate pastor to senior pastor within the same church brought unique challenges and opportunities; CBF and especially CBFSC offered steady support and encouragement throughout the process. I am deeply grateful for the presence of CBFSC in my own life and in the life of my congregation. During my time in ministry in South Carolina, I have served as both a member and chair of the CBFSC Congregational Life committee. I was honored to be asked to serve as CBFSC Moderator.
In 2021, we find ourselves in a time of new opportunities and challenges. Over the past two years, we have seen churches exhibit unprecedented creativity and innovation; we have been awakened to new ideas and possibilities. Yet, we have also been overwhelmed by decision making, conflict, separation from one another, and the fatigue of constantly adapting to changes. We are emerging with hope from this season of pandemic, but we carry with us scars and baggage accumulated during these difficult months.
As it always has, CBFSC stands ready to walk alongside churches, ministers, and lay leaders during the challenges and opportunities of the days ahead. CBFSC connections remind me that the body of Christ is wider and deeper that what I see and experience on a weekly basis. Even beyond my own congregation, CBFSC offers the gift of friendship, encouragement, inspiration and challenge. My life and ministry has been greatly enriched by CBFSC, and I look forward to continuing to participate in God’s mission together as the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of South Carolina.