A weekly series that profiles various places of worship in Columbia County
The Rev. Steve Hartman, the pastor of Kiokee Baptist Church, says the church has a strong sense of unity. Music at the church mixes traditional and contemporary styles.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Kiokee Baptist Church
Address: 2520 Ray Owens Road, Appling
Affiliation: Southern Baptist
Services: Sunday school, 9:30 a.m.; Sunday morning worship service, 10:45 a.m.; Sunday evening worship service, 6 p.m.; Wednesday discipleship class, 6:30 p.m.
Pastor: Steve Hartman
Congregation size: 300 adults, 200 children
Membership: Most attend from Columbia, Richmond and McDuffie counties, Hartman said.
Founded: 1772; "We are the oldest Baptist church in Georgia," Hartman said.
Known for: "The church has gone through a lot of growth in the last 15 years, and we've gone from being a small country church to being a larger church," he said. "The sense of family (and) the closeness within the church is very strong, and the willingness to reach out to folks that are in our community is very strong. There's a strong sense of acceptance in our congregation."
Music: The church has a choir, an orchestra and a band that plays on Sundays.
"Our worship style is blended," Hartman said. "We use traditional hymns as well as some praise choruses. In our worship, we try to be very God-centered in terms of our focus."
What would you say to someone who's thinking about giving your church a try? "Kiokee is a good blend of a historical church that obviously has been around for a long time," he said. "It has adapted to change, but continues to stand for Biblical truth with our eyes on Christ. There is a strong sense of togetherness and unity in our church. Come and see what we are about.''
What do you believe is the biggest issue facing the faithful today? "Whether or not we will stand for the truth of scripture or will we assimilate into society without really making any type of difference," Hartman said. "I think that is a real temptation for the church today."
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