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Churches from 5 states get sports camp training

BALTIMORE (BP)–Crosspoint staffers in Baltimore this summer not only reached out to inner-city kids themselves, they also equipped church members from five states to do the same.
Traveling to Baltimore for Crosspoint training during the summer were members of First Baptist Church, Black Mountain, N.C.; Southside Baptist, Huntsville, Ala.; First Baptist, Belen, N.M.; Westmeade Baptist, Decatur, Ala.; First Baptist, Thomasville, Ga.; and First Baptist, Williamsburg, Ky.
The churches participated in a Baptist Sunday School Board-sponsored project that used sports camps as a way to reach unchurched youth for Christ. In the mornings, they were trained by nine Crosspoint staffers on how to conduct sports camps; in the afternoons and evenings, they learned firsthand how to do it.
The teams traveled to seven different city areas ranging from hard-core inner city to more affluent neighborhoods to conduct three-hour sports camps.
“This is the most awesome thing in the world. I just love sharing Christ with the kids through sports,” said a tall and lanky Paul Hunter, an upcoming college freshman from Southside Baptist in Huntsville.
Hunter, who enters Martin Methodist College, Pulaski, Tenn., this fall on a basketball scholarship, recently answered a call to the ministry. He said he is delighted to learn that sports is one way he can share Jesus with non-Christians.
The three-member Huntsville group plans to go back to their church to train others how to conduct sports camps. They then hope to take a group from their church to Ecuador where they would like to direct a camp.
The group of 17 high school students and four chaperons from Black Mountain, N.C., had wanted to go on a mission trip, so they decided to take their church bus to Baltimore and participate in the inner-city Crosspoint team, their youth minister said.
“Our group is very sports enthusiastic, and they have a desire to do missions as well,” said Eric Medford, Black Mountain First Baptist’s youth director.
“We were really looking for a mission trip, and we got the training as a boost. We never really thought about using sports as missions before. The kids in our group who are really sports-minded are really seeing how it can work,” Medford said.

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  • Terri Lackey