FaithSkate founder, Matt Wright, along with his wife Missy, prayed for and financially supported SkateChurch Portland for three years until led to start a similar group in the Memphis area. Matt spoke with anybody that would listen for another THREE YEARS until God finally opened the doors to start FaithSkate.
In June 2008, Matt started in the Faith Baptist parking lot with one ramp and 5 kids. The ministry quickly grew and Matt brought on Brad Wood, a long time friend and fellow skate enthusiast, to partner in the effort. Within 3 months, FaithSkate averaged 25 skaters and developed a good team of volunteers to help with the effort. The ministry now has 5 ramps, 2 fun boxes, 2 rails and a dedicated space to house all the skate equipment. This June FaithSkate hosted its first skate competition and had over 125 people show up!
Skating on Faith
Here is what Matt Wright has to say about founding Faithskate:
"Faith plays a large role in my life as a Christian and it really played a large role when I felt led to start FaithSkate. Faith is simply doing or taking action without really being guaranteed of a certain outcome. We all exercise faith to some extent, such as going to college without really knowing if we will get a good job or marrying someone without knowing what our spouse will be like in ten years.
As our biography shows it took years, literally, to have someone say "yes" to the ministry instead of "no." My Christian faith is not much different from dropping in on a big gnarly ramp. You have to have faith that your board will catch you rather then splatting on the bottom.
When you look down from the top of the ramp , you think "no way man, I'll fall and get hurt." But when you gather up that courage to do it and it works there's no feeling like that in the world. At age 13, I accepted by faith what the Christian Faith was offering- a free gift. A free gift to hang out with God, for forever, was too good to pass up. So, I accepted by faith that God existed, that he knew what he was doing and could run my life better then I could. That doesn't mean I'm perfect, and just like dropping in I screw up all the time, but I still have faith that God's there for me.
Here are some of my favorite verses from the Bible that pick me up after having a “life splatting” experience.
I Peter 1 6-9
"(6) So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. (7) These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold-though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
(8) You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. (9) The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls."
Faith is the driving force that sustains a new idea or skate trick from its conception to reality and what I am trying to show the skaters is that if you think putting your faith in those tiny four wheels is a thrill, come and see what thrill awaits you when you check out what Jesus Christ has in store for your life. "
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