Local pastors and mission organization representatives will welcome missionaries from around the world to a week-long missions conference starting Jan. 13 at the Kroc Center.
About 20 local churches and as many mission agencies have joined together for the event, said John Prater, a conference organizer and representative for Gospelink, a ministry founded in Georgia 15 years ago to support pastors in other countries.
“We’d like it to become the start of an annual missions conference here,” Prater said.
Author and missionary Don Richardson is the conference’s featured speaker.
In 1962, Richardson and his wife, Carol, moved to what was then Dutch New Guinea to share the gospel with the Sawi people.
He later wrote the book Peace Child, which became a movie, about the experience.
Richardson will address the crowd at 7 p.m. nightly Jan. 13-16. The Gospel Explosion also includes a day of prayer walking before the conference begins on Jan. 12, daytime breakout sessions Jan. 13, and a mission project Jan. 19.
Speakers working in ministry in Roman–ia, Tanzania and Honduras will also be present, along with Maj. Allan Hofer, president of the Salvation Army Evangeline Booth College in Atlanta.
The topics are as diverse as the speakers. They cover short-term missions; family-driven missions that start in the home; serving Augusta; church planting; and more, Prater said.
Church choirs and the Salvation Army Band will be involved in musical presentations.
“Many, many churches are involved in this,” said Eddie West, pastor of Christ Baptist Church in North Augusta.
Several organizers began meeting at his church’s retreat center months ago to plan the event.
“The whole purpose is to acquaint people of all denominations that Christians are engaged in taking Christ to the world. We want people to become aware of what’s taking place. There’s a great work being done.”