One of the goals of the new Sports Spectrum is to highlight local ministries doing awesome work through sports. Today we feature All In Sports Outreach as told by their co-founder and president, Stewart Hardy.
In today’s culture, there are many things in this life that divide us. Unfortunately, more divides us than unites us. Sports have an inherent ability to bring people together, regardless of their background. Teammates and fans are regularly able to put aside their differences and unite under the banner of sports.
In 2015, All In Sports Outreach began as a conversation between two friends who share passions for youth, sports, and JESUS. Out of this hour-long dialogue, God created an organization that has continued to grow beyond our wildest dreams. The ministry began in the historic town of Selma, Alabama, home to the organization’s co-founders. Today, Selma is still home to high unemployment, rampant poverty, downward spiraling drug abuse and rising gang violence. Even with sports’ capability to unite, there is only one true source of reconciliation. We believe there is no divide too great for the Gospel to bridge. The name comes from Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
We launched our 1st outreach event in June, 2015 by hosting a Basketball Camp at 3 different locations throughout Selma. We have continued with the annual basketball camp each year and added a football camp at a local high school last summer. This year will be our 3rd year of the annual basketball camp. Following the 1st camp, God began to open new doors for outreach through both baseball and softball camps through a partnership with the City of Selma Recreation Department.
All sports camps offered by All In Sports Outreach are free to attend. As a result of our desire for relationships with the community and a focus on giving back, we started an annual coat/blanket drive where we collect items from many churches and community members. These items are distributed at the historic Brown Chapel AME on the Saturday before Christmas each year. Another incredible outreach opportunity is with a local high school where an area Pastor serves as a volunteer team chaplain for the football team and conducts a weekly chapel service with the team. Through this and the summer football camp we have seen a few of the team members say yes to JESUS. Our goal of each outreach event is to point everyone to JESUS as the answer to everything.
In the summer of 2016, GOD once again opened the door with a conversation between two friends to begin ministry focused on a specific community in the Dallas, TX area in close proximity to where one of the co-founders now lives. We began with monthly speed/agility camps and shortly after, a weekly Bible study on Sunday evenings was birthed with some young men in the community. Today, the weekly gathering, called “Wings and The Word” is the foundation of our N. Dallas ministry. The weekly gathering consists of food, sports, and a Bible teaching time. We have ages 1 and up that attend now. We have seen around 10 young people say YES to JESUS in this short time.
Our prayer and desire is that all we do will glorify the name of Jesus. We hope our words and actions point others toward a faith in Christ and His redeeming salvation. We are humbled and honored that GOD allows us to be a part of spreading the Gospel through sports in 2 separate communities.
The mission of All In Sports Outreach is to share the hope and power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and promote unity and racial reconciliation.
For more information, please visit www.allinsportsoutreach.org or find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/allinsportsoutreach/
–STEWART HARDY, CO-FOUNDER, PRESIDENT — All In Sports Outreach