Taking a Stand for Unity

April 05, 2016

CIU Celebrates Evangelical Unity Week

By Michael A. Lanier

CIU Student Writer

Columbia International University ended the month of March by focusing on its core value of Evangelical Unity with a series of Chapel messages, a pastors’ panel discussion and a Prayer Day.

The messages, presented by CIU alumni, focused on how evangelical churches can unite, without compromising on individual worship styles and traditions. In doing so, the speakers demonstrated what the global church can biblically stand on as a united body of Christ, regardless of differences.

“Those whose names are written in the book of life — those are the people worth uniting with,” said David Gentino, the pastor of Columbia Presbyterian Church.

His message was followed by Jeff Philpott, pastor of Sandhills Community Church in Columbia, who focused on intentionality toward racial diversity within the church. Meanwhile, Pastor Jeff Shipman of Crossroads Church in Columbia spoke on being one church in spite of denominational differences.

“It was great how they talked about that even though human nature is to divide, the church is able to come together and unite,” said freshman Jeffrey Green.

Midway through the week, a panel discussion consisting of seven Columbia area pastors of various denominations, gave students the opportunity to ask questions about how unity is achieved and maintained.

“I loved the idea of the counsel of pastors from different denominations,” said sophomore Lance Kaminer. “I'm all about putting aside differences to love each other better.”

To wrap up the week, Pastor Andre Melvin of Temple Zion Baptist Church highlighted how God desires unity within His church and how He wants it to be displayed.

“I'm glad [the speakers] were able to take uncomfortable topics and be open about them,” said freshman Timothy Basuulwa. “I like that they talked about the church being one body united, striving to be like Christ.”