Crossfire: A Silly Little Thing Called Basketball

Randy Shepherd ministers to a group of campers at the Asheville Christian Academy (Phillip Greene Photo)

“God has allowed us to use the silly platform of basketball to share His gospel throughout the world.”

Those the words of Crossfire co-founder Randy Shepherd.  Shepherd founded Randy Shepherd Basketball Camp in 1990 as a ministry to young people; in 1993 Jamie Johnson joined Shepherd to develop the Crossfire Camps.  Johnson is the son of West Asheville Baptist Minister Dr. James Johnson and the two got their start together as part of the Spirit Express in Memphis and continue now the ministry that God has called them into.

Crossfire is now in the 20th year of doing camps, and through those camps, more than 10,000 young people have been awarded the chance to learn the game of basketball from Shepherd and Johnson, as well as a great group of coaches that work to not only teach the game of basketball to the youth who attend, but also strive to teach life lessons.

“We have had more than 10,000 kids come through the camps,” explained Shepherd, “and more than 8,000 decisions for Christ have occurred through the camp.  Sports have become a God for the world today and it shouldn’t be like that, but as the Apostle Paul stated, we should use any means necessary to preach the Gospel.

“Out of 10,000 kids that have come through the camp, only one I think, Rashaad McCants, is the only player to make it to the NBA.  Statistics tell us that a young person has a better chance of getting struck by lightning than making it to the NBA or the NFL.  It shows that many things will fail you in life, but Jesus will never fail you.”

Crossfire is more than just a basketball camp, however, with a number of ministry opportunities that arise on a daily basis.  From basketball camps to street evangelism, one thing remains the same Shepherd, Johnson and their coaches and players strive to take the gospel to a needy and hurting world.

Through the years, Shepherd and Johnson have been given the opportunity to share the Gospel with some of the most influential people in the world.  Shepherd has shared with President Barak Obama, Michael Jordan, Paris Hilton and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. just to name a few.  Their testimony is one of young men who have grown into leaders because of a willingness to accept the calling that God placed on their lives.

“I started the camp because when I was growing up and going to camp, the only time you heard the name of Jesus was when someone was cussing,” continued Shepherd.  “This camp is a tool to draw someone out that may not go to church or youth group, but will come out to play the game of basketball.”

The camp runs for 7 weeks during the summer, giving hundreds of youth the opportunity to learn the game of basketball, as well as hear the Good News of how Christ can change someone’s life.  They use many stories from scripture to share the greatness of God to a group of youth from many walks of life, from the upper scale to the ghetto and everywhere in between, the Crossfire ministry has one mission: to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The camp also offers scholarships to low-income youth, giving them the opportunity to attend, so that they may be awarded the chance to hear how God can change their lives as well.

If you would like to attend, or send your child, there is still an opportunity to attend this year at Mars Hill College with the Overnight or Day Camp options.  The Day Camp is $225 for the week, and the Overnight camp is $350 and both take place at Mars Hill College the week of July 18-22.  If you would like to attend please fill out the registration form included below and fax it to (828) 255-4364.

For more information, call Crossfire at (828) 255-9111.


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