2019 Annual Review

Dear Eastminster Family,

Years ago, I remember seeing our neighborhood pool during the off-season.  It must’ve been late-April.  The pool was at most half-full, the water was green, and I only remember one spigot providing new water.   I thought there was no way the pool would be in swimming condition by the mid-May opening.  A day later there was no discernible difference.  But five days or so after that, the slow but steady supply of water had dramatically increased the water level, to the point the pool was nearly full.  Together and over time, the steady flow coupled with the cleaning agents transformed a half-empty, grungy mess into a pool full of inviting, swimmable, enjoyable water.  

This pool illustration can be a metaphor for our journeys as disciples of Jesus Christ.  We’re all prone to “half-full” chapters or “half-empty” mindsets.  And, yes, grunge can build up within us, too, can’t it?  As much as we want to ignore the less than ideal conditions.  Or, as much as we want a quick fix, a pill, or some other instant solution, there is no substitute to being fed by a slow, steady, life-giving source.  And what a gift it is when that Source not only nourishes us with Living Water day by day and week by week, but also provides cleansing and purification of the grunge in us so that we can slowly but surely, imperceptibly at first, but undeniably over time, become more and more the people God has for us to be.  

As you read this year’s Annual Review, ask yourself if you are surely but steadily permitting God to nourish and fill you? ...if you are responding to God’s goodness by growing intentionally as a disciple of our Lord?  I ask because much of what you will read about 
in these pages represents ways the Eastminster Church family seeks to join in Christ’s nourishing, filtering and filling....ways we seek to equip, enable and encourage.  As you read, I pray you will listen for the Holy Spirit's nudge for you, whether it be in the area of worship, study, serving. prayer, or giving?

2019 by a few numbers: 700-hours of listening provided by Stephen Ministers; 425- people in Small Groups; 375 Youth basketball players; 320- daily devotionals written;179- students in the Day School; over 100- mission trip participants; also over 100- Boy Scouts; 98- new members; 63- Bradley Lunch Buddies; 55- Families making Ginger Bread Houses; 19- percent of EPC’s income that was given for Missions & Benevolence; 16- years Bob Sturm served as Facilities Manager; 12- Weekly Weeders who tend the landscaping; 10- combined years Mark Durrett served as Associate Pastor; and more.  

Other spotlights and milestones in this year’s Annual Review are: Our first-ever Core Retreat for Mind, Body & Soul; The Eastminster Endowment, which has doubled the past three years (but is still only one-third the size of similar churches in Columbia); Mission Trips; The Holy Land Pilgrimage, the visit of 17 Taiwanese Pastors; Carol Byrd joining us as Parish Associate Pastor; the call of Douglass Key as Senior Associate Pastor and...read on! 

With Gratitude and Joy,


Rev. Dr. Bradley D. Smith
Senior Pastor/Head of Staff

You may pick up a hard copy at our front desk (reception area). With questions or suggestions, contact Blythe Lewis (ext 165), or email to [email protected].
(Below are pdfs of previous Annual Reviews)