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Crossville church hits streets with edgy outreachcomment (0)

May 22, 2008

By Megan Norris Jones

Members at Liberty Baptist Church, Crossville, have found an edgy way to reach their community for Christ.

On May 3, the DeKalb Baptist Association church held its third annual skateboarding outreach event, aimed at introducing area skateboarders — and anyone else who enjoys a good show — to the gospel.

Roger White, pastor of Liberty Baptist, estimates 300 people attended the event. The church provided free food and drinks, including hot dogs, ice cream, cookies and chips, and handed out Bibles, church information and a special skateboarding tract developed by the state evangelism office.

The face on the front of that skateboarding tract was that of Will Brock, He is also the face behind this event. Brock, an avid skateboarder, came up with the idea of starting a ministry event after he had been at Liberty Baptist for about three years.

"I was trying to think of something I could do to glorify God with my talents," Brock said. His father-in-law suggested he come up with a way to use his passion for skateboarding.

Brock remembered the suggestion later, when a Christian skateboarding group called Untitled sent a mailing to the church. He arranged for the group to perform for the church’s first skateboarding outreach event, which proved quite successful.

Brock sought a different team for the second year, settling on King of Kings Skateboard Ministry International. The Arizona-based group sends teams to events across the United States and around the world.

Buoyed by a two-year success streak, Liberty Baptist designated regular funding for the event as part of the church budget, and Brock went into the third year with high hopes. But the morning of May 3 dawned to rainy skies and impossible skateboarding conditions.

Fortunately, the event began with indoor performances by local bands 3 Times Driven and Uncertain Glory and the church’s youth praise team Hands of Praise, which uses sign language. "There were people of all ages in attendance," White said. "Our church people worked really hard in putting this all together."

Despite their planning, no one could control the rain, and Brock was nervous that the wet conditions would cancel the skateboarding.

"God showed himself," Brock said of that day. "He cleared the sky and dried the ground."

Once the rain cleared and they set up the ramps, the show began. After performing for about an hour, two King of Kings skateboarders gave their testimonies and opened an invitation for anyone interested in being saved to come down to the ramps and pray with the skaters. Twenty-one people came forward, and 15 made professions of faith.

"I was just excited to see God move on that day with what we had," Brock said.

White was also enthusiastic about the event’s success, even in the face of inclement weather: "It was truly a God thing, in that God really showed up in spite of the weather and wonderfully saved these people."

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