That is the question you may be asking and one that we have heard more than a dozen times over the last year. I mean Greenwood County is home to 150 churches of various sizes and denominations, right? This is absolutely true, and our goal is not to replace of these amazing faith communities but to come alongside these churches. They are doing ministry and laying groundwork all across this city and we are hoping to partner with and join these churches in their efforts. Here are some reasons as to why Greenwood is such an important place to plant a new church:
The poverty rate in Greenwood is currently estimated at over 40%. That means that more than 1 out of every 3 people you meet is living below the poverty line. Greenwood District 50 is reporting 82% poverty within the district. We are to care for the less fortunate and the marginalized. See Matthew 25:31-46.
It is estimated that there are upwards of 400+ homeless men, women, and children in Greenwood. We want to partner with the local shelter to reach more of people, meeting both their physical needs with food and shelter, but also their spiritual need by sharing with them the love of Christ.
Across four college campuses in the Lakelands area, there are nearly 11,000 students that need to be loved and heard. This generation is coming out of high school and entering college and the work force in probably the most confusing and difficult time to do so in the history of our nation. The Church needs to be investing into the next generation with priority and vigor, because any church that does not value the next generation is dying.
Greenwood County has grown to nearly 73,000 by the latest reports. Estimates show that at least 35,000+ do not claim a church home, and another 10,000+ that do claim a church home do not actually attend more than once or twice year. Even if every church in Greenwood were running multiple services at full capacity, they still couldn't make a dent in that number.
Greenwood is a deeply religious city, but not necessarily a Christian city. We are planting Legacy City Church to reach the un-churched and the de-churched. We have a heart to see a revival in this city, with more and more people being added to the Kingdom daily. We have a heart to reach the hundreds and thousands that have become disillusioned with church, hurt by the church, or burnt out by church.