Monday evening was a special evening of fun, food and fellowship at Westmoreland Baptist Church as we celebrated the second annual Upward Award Celebration, closing out the 2008-09 Basketball Season.
Sixty-Four Players and Cheerleaders gathered in our sanctuary to celebrate the end of the season, and receive their awards for participating in this ministry. The children were individually introduced in the spotlight in the darkened church, with loud music playing over the PA system. Coaches and other volunteers were recognized by WBC Upward Basketball Commissioner, Jim Bailey. Over 250 people were present, and enjoyed the work and Bible lesson from Christian magician and ventriloquist Keith Metheney. After the Award Ceremony, the kids and adults were treated to pizza, chips and soft drinks in our gymnasium.
Tonight's activities completed 100 days of prayer, in which 106 members of Westmoreland Baptist Church made a covenant to pray for this ministry. We believe the prayers were instrumental in a wonderful season for everyone involved. There were no injuries, no bad incidents, one of our cheerleaders accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and was baptized this past Sunday, and another new family has committed to worship at Westmoreland Baptist.
I can't say enough about the wonderful volunteers who provided and served the meal, coached the teams and cheer squads, set up the gym, officiated, kept the clock, gave half time devotionals, sold concessions, helped with registration and evaluations, prayed, and cleaned up after each game. With 106 people praying for 100 days, one would have expected to see god's blessing.
Upward Basketball and Cheerleading grew wonderfully over the past two seasons. A number of dedicated Christian volunteers are necessary to pull this off. We will soon begin meetings to begin planning for the 2009-10 season. After a 40% growth in the number of participants this year, we expect another great increase this coming year as well. Our hope is that God will use Upward Sports Ministry to lead many children and their families to faith in Jesus Christ.