This summer, we have been blessed with three churches in the Garden City Beach, SC area that students attend throughout the summer: Garden City Baptist Church, Garden City Chapel, and Pine Drive Gospel Church. Campus Outreach has built good and long-lasting relationships with each of these churches, and they are a blessing to us as students!

Why a local body?

Attending a local church rather than staying in our own project group is a sweet opportunity to fellowship with believers of different ages and backgrounds who bring new insights into the Gospel to us. As students, we are young, and though we think we may know a lot about Christ, there is never a time when we don’t need older and wiser believers to train and correct us, and attending a local church here in South Carolina is a sweet opportunity to have that presence in our lives.

My experience

For the past two summers on STP, I have attended Pine Drive Gospel Church. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to learn and grow in Christ; they emphasize the Gospel above everything else and are constantly urging us to live out the Gospel every day in every moment. This summer, Okey Landers, the pastor, has been preaching through 2 Samuel, and I’ve never seen so much of sin and God’s grace from that book than I have this summer. As he taught through David’s adultery with Bathsheba and the aftermath that followed, the emphasis on sin and its consequences was tempered with the overwhelming presence of God’s mercy towards David, and subsequently toward us in the Gospel. 2 Samuel 12:13 says,

“And Nathan said to David, ‘The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die.’” I’ve read 2 Samuel in the past, but I’ve never looked closely at it to see how prevalent God’s mercy is. It has convicted my heart and the hearts of many others this summer, and I am so thankful for the privilege of worshipping and learning alongside believers of all walks of life this summer.

And the best part is, even if we never come back to Myrtle Beach, we get to see them again one day when we will all worship our Lord and Savior perfectly in Heaven.