By Darrell Adcock
I was on sabbatical when I got an invitation to grab coffee from a staff teammate. (You know there’s always something up when you’re on sabbatical and they want to “grab coffee.”) We met the next day, and it was good to reconnect. Then, there was the “pause”… and I knew things were changing.
Drew Cline began telling me of a church in southwest Little Rock I wasn’t familiar with, Temple Baptist Church. His grandparents began attending Temple Baptist Church in 1942. His parents grew up there. And he grew up there. From the Cradle Roll through High School, this was where he accepted Christ in the Pastor’s office, was baptized, got married, and was called into ministry. These people loved him, taught his Sunday School classes, and were youth leaders watching him wrestle with conforming his lifestyle to his faith.
God used Temple in powerful ways. From this congregation grew a network of over 1,000 churches united around missions and church planting: The Baptist Missionary Association. At its 80th anniversary, the church invited Drew back to do a concert. He loved being back but what he experienced shook him. What once was a thriving 1,000-member church had dwindled to a faithful forty. There was one child in the Children’s Ministry.
“If there’s breath in your lungs, there’s purpose for your life.” We say this all the time. God had another purpose for Drew and a new chapter of vision of what “could be.” God wouldn’t let it go. After a restless night, three handwritten pages began to shape what a new expression of church and community impact could be. One thing was clear: to have a new relationship with the community, everything had to change. And it is.
Temple Baptist Church was replanted as South City Church on Easter in 2017. Following an exciting launch, God has continued to bring kingdom-building leaders to grow in the way of Christ and his apostles. South City exists to love God and ALL people by becoming authentic disciples who make disciples for the glory of God and the good of the city. We are intentionally multicultural and multigenerational. We are growing into a “family of families” and choose to function that way.
The CityChurch Network has played an essential role in our spiritual and relational formation. Three of our pastors: Drew Cline, Darrell Adcock, and Elvis Garcia, are enrolled in the Masters/Doctorate Program of the Antioch School, church-based theological training through the Biblical Institute for Leadership Development (BILD).
Jesus’ primary call for the church is to make disciples. Currently, we have developed a network of weekly CityGroups across central Arkansas to connect people to Jesus and impact our community for good. From Saline County to Conway, the church meets in homes and triads for biblical community and growth. While we worship in CityGroups the first Sunday of the month, the remaining Sundays, we have our Worship Gathering at 9:30 at our location on Baseline off I-30.
The need for a large campus diminishes as we pursue relational ministry in our neighborhoods. We are in the process of selling our facility to a public charter school and will continue to meet here on Sundays.
We are praying for many disciple-makers to be trained and have impact for the Kingdom here in Central Arkansas. We are networking with other church leaders with a similar heartbeat and strategy. We are working to see our mission field transformed by the power of the Gospel and a community of believers united in our city. To God be the glory!
In Ephesians 4:16, Paul writes, He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
We are thankful for the special work of South City Church and for all the churches in our city who are reimagining ministry and training leaders to make disciples and working for a genuine unity that shows the love of Christ. They’re helping the whole Church grow.