FBC of Spartansburg holds camp at Middlesboro High School

Published 12:32 pm Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Members of First Baptist Church from Spartanburg, S.C., partnered with Upward Basketball, came to Middlesboro this week to put on a free basketball camp at Middlesboro High School for grades K-8. The camps began on Monday and will end on Friday at noon.

Camp founder and organizer Max Gillespie has been putting on basketball camps in the area for a decade and says that it is about spreading the message of Christ, while also having fun and learning the game of basketball.

“I started the Middlesboro camp a while back,” said Gillespie. “We used to hold it at Bell County before a few other locations and eventually wound up back here at Middlesboro High School. I’ve been doing these camps for about 10 years now, and I love it.

Email newsletter signup

“We love these kids. We just do some basic drills and competitions. It more about Jesus than it is about basketball. We’ve had kids that came in at a young age that are now going off to the military, going to college and becoming parents. We get close to these kids.”

First Baptist Church of Spartanburg has been coming to the area for 50 years. “First Baptist has been doing this for 50 years,” said Gillespie. “It’s not the 50th year that we’ve been doing basketball, but we partnered with Upward about 15 years ago up here in this area.

“This community has a big impact on us. There are a lot of people in this area who have it a lot rougher than most, and a lot of people have lost hope or are close to losing hope. We really enjoy being able to give these kids something to look forward to, no matter what their circumstances, good or bad.

“There’s a few that I can pull up to their house in the van, and they’re already there waiting on me, even though it’s been a year since I’ve been there. That tells us that we are making an impact on these kids’ lives, and we love that. They touch our hearts.”

With approximately 95 campers in attendance on Tuesday, they were all divided into groups according to age and took part in a multitude of drills and competitions. All camp activities are free and include lunch.