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Westmont uses wrestling events as fund-raiserscomment (0)

April 28, 2011

At Westmont Baptist Church, Birmingham, youth leaders are blazing the trail with a new fund-raising idea — wrestling matches.

But the events are more than a way to raise money for youth missions trips. Youth Pastor Burke Wren said they are an opportunity to reach “people that might not ever step foot in a church.”

It all started last year, when Wren and his wife, Leigh, who have led the youth at the Birmingham Baptist Association church for two years, needed a way to raise funds for a trip to Centrifuge, a LifeWay Christian Resources camp being held in Mobile. Enter Westmont deacon Mike Jackson — better known as former professional wrestler “Action” Mike Jackson.

After some brainstorming and planning, Wren and Jackson decided to hold a wrestling event at the church, a first for Jackson who had never been a part of a church fund-raiser.

Westmont hosted its second Wrestling With the Devil event April 10, and in June, the youth will use the funds raised to take a missions trip to Panama City, Fla. Much like last year, the youth were involved in the entire process from organizing to selling concessions to cleanup, Wren said.

At the event, there was special music; an opening prayer; three wrestling matches; a testimony by Judson Armstrong, a professional Christian counselor and professional wrestler; and a message and altar call by Jamie Weathers, minister of students at Maytown Baptist Church.

About 300 people attended the event, and two stepped forward to accept Christ.

“[The match] is all about God,” Jackson said. “The wrestling takes a back seat.”

C.B. Scott is pastor.

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