Reaching kids through sports

  • Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Chris Sokoloski/South Strand News Warren McCord of Georgetown, 10, tries to score during his evaluation for Upward Soccer.

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Upward Soccer is more than just a sports program for First Baptist Church in Georgetown.

“Our No. 1 goal is to share the love of Christ with [the kids] through soccer,” said The Rev. Jay Holmes, the church’s minister of music.

The church also hosts Upward basketball and cheerleading programs.

Evaluations for this year’s soccer program wrapped up last week with more than 165 kids signed up. That’s the most participants in the last four years.

“We’re very pleased,” Holmes said.

Along with the sports, Upward programs also include devotionals. It’s a mix of fellowship, camaraderie and life lessons, Holmes said.

Games are played on Saturday mornings in September and October at Screven Baptist Church.

“It’s been a really good partnership between the two churches,” Holmes said.

Volunteers make the program run, Holmes added.

There are about 60 coaches, 15 referees, and dozens of timekeepers, scorekeepers and concession stand workers.

And that doesn’t include the prayer warriors. Each church has 100 people praying for everybody involved.

“It gives the whole church family the opportunity to be involved,” Holmes said.

This year the prayer warriors will be given specific team and player names to pray for.

Although the soccer program just started, the church is already getting ready for the basketball and cheerleading.

Registration for those programs begins Oct. 1.

Holmes said many of the kids who play soccer in the early fall, come back for basketball in the winter.

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