VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - You won't see baptisms or communions with this ministry. Instead, you'll see layups and three-pointers as children learn and play basketball.
This ministry is called 1Died4All, and it mixes basketball with the gospel.
“Basketball is like a language," Founder and CEO Ronnie McAdoo told News 3. “Kids love basketball, and Coach Mac loves basketball."
McAdoo, who is also a basketball hall-of-famer from Old Dominion University, started 1Died4All basketball camp. He said the purpose is to teach children not only the sport, but to build their character.
He added it is to also keep children away from trouble as school is now out for the summer.
“It keeps them away from the gang influence, being attracted to some of the things that happen in the neighborhood that they shouldn’t be involved in,” McAdoo said. “Here they can come to play basketball and learn life skills and learn about the love of Jesus Christ."
His organization has teamed up with local ministry Trinity Church. Pastor Randy Singer is one of the coaches.
"We don’t want this to be a one-and-done, one week and done,” Singer said. “We want to bond with these kids over time."
Trinity Church provides volunteer coaches and logistical support to 1Die4All. Singer added the program has also been a benefit to the volunteers and coaches and also sees the benefit for the children.
“It doesn’t matter what background you came from,” Singer said. “The floor is even, the floor is level, everybody plays with the same ball, and we’re out here teaching these kids sportsmanship and how to be a good teammate."
Right here, there are a little more than 100 children during this week’s camp, which began on Monday and ends on Thursday. The children come from mixed backgrounds - those disenfranchised to whom they try to reach out, but also those who are not.
The basketball ministry itself has been around for about 20 years. McAdoo said it started in a backyard in Norfolk.
"I had no idea that God would start something like this in my backyard and just the growth that we have seen,” McAdoo said. “I just hope they take away that they’re special no matter what the world says."
1Died4All continues to host basketball camps for children, even hosting camps internationally. McAdoo said the COVID-19 pandemic forced the ministry to suspend their international camps.
If you would like to sign your child up for the next camp, more information can be found on 1Died4All’s webpage through Trinity Church. McAdoo and Singer said the next camp will be in Norfolk in two weeks.