REACHGathering proved itself a great experience. REACH was a great experience on many levels that I would like to reflect on and share with you. Trusting you too have spent some time hearing and responding to what God may be asking of you in sports ministry.
REACH was a great experience as a result of the good folks at Bellevue Baptist. The hospitality, the care, and the genuine desire to host an event that glorified Christ. Thanks to Chris, Jessica, Tanner, and Derek and the many others who played a significant role. With details removed, we were provided a place to rest, work, and play.
REACH was a great experience because the people of God were gathered. Over thirteen countries present to share in the worship of God and hear of His mighty works around the globe. It’s refreshing to see the bigger picture and walk with those serving in a variety of locations.
REACH was a great experience because it solidified the conversations of a movement. Over the years we have talked about a sports ministry movement and what are all the elements involved. This season of the conference, I experienced conversations around the tables and in the classrooms that celebrated the history of recreation and sports, but also challenged the present activites of church recreation and sports. Any movement always begins with good questions.I experienced conversations with people that are asking the same questions without prior conversations. There seems to be a renewal of our purpose and discovering that purpose. Thanks to all the teachers and presenters for be vulnerable and open. Thanks to the practitioners for sharing their stories that cause each of us to continue to fight the good fight.
REACH was a great experience because it participates in the joy of gathering different denominations and organizations together for one purpose. Thank you to the REACH leadership for their hard work and vision.
It’s my desire we will gather in the in between to continue dialogue and gather again next April at LakePointe in Rockwall Texas to once again listen and hear the movements of God.
Cool Spring Recreation Ministry
Dr. Greg Linville is a Sports Outreach Ministry Visionary, a leading Theologian, Apologist for Sports Ministry, and a tireless Advocate for the Local Church Sports Outreach Movement.
Linville’s Sports Ministry Career began as an Urban Director for the YMCA and Young Life ministries with inner-city kids and gangs and continued as a highly successful High School and College Basketball Coach including receiving two Coach of the year awards for the state of Ohio athletic association. Linville’s local church sports ministry included 15 years as the Director of Sports & Recreation Outreach at an Evangelical Friends Church where he supervised the efforts of over 500 volunteers and a dozen staff and interns reaching over 2,000 people per week. Dr. Greg has served as CSRM’s Executive Director since 1999.
Linville has long been regarded as a leading Academician in the Sports Outreach Ministry field including being awarded the world’s first Honorary Doctorate of Divinity in Sports Ministry from Briercrest Seminary as well as completing the first earned Doctorate with a concentration in Sports Outreach. His other Academic roles include many years as a Tenure-track, Assistant Professor of Ministry and as an adjunct Professor at various Seminaries, Universities and Colleges in three different countries. He currently serves as the Dean of The AGON Institute of Sports Ministry and as an adjunct Professor for South African Theological Seminary (SATS) and Talbot Seminary.
In addition to being an author of many articles, an editor for numerous sports ministry manuals, a contributor of chapters to various Sports Ministry books and hosting a regular CSRM blog he was chosen to write the insert/commentary for the official Olympic Bible given to all Salt Lake City Olympic athletes. His seminal book Christmanship: A Theology of Competition and Sport was published in 2014 by Oliver House Publishing and considered by many the definitive theological foundation for the Sports Outreach Movement. Dr. Greg is currently serving as the General Editor for the CSRM twelve book series: The Institutes of Local Church Sports Outreach.
Linville is a Licensed Christian Worker through the Evangelical Friends – Eastern Region and preaches on the average of 25 Sundays per year in various churches. One little known fact about Dr. Greg is that he had a Black Bear join him one night as he rowed a boat on Lake Saranac in the Adirondack Mountains.
Married since 1982 he and his wife reside in Ohio, have two married children and enjoy a growing number of Grandchildren.
BIOS FOR REACHgathering PLENARY SPEAKERS - 2017
Rev. Dr. Felicia Howell LaBoy
Associate Dean, Black Church Studies and Advanced Learning (2015- present)
As scholar, pastor, community activist, entrepreneur and workshop leader, Dr. LaBoy works with churches, businesses and community organizations. Her passion is reconciling and restoring churches and communities by educating and equipping persons, and building teams. She is often described as one who moves from the “seminary to the street, from the pulpit to the pavement.” She specializes in helping others to understand and utilize complex theological and business concepts to create solutions for communities and organizations. While Dr. LaBoy is most recognized in Academic Circles she has a strong history of Pastoral Ministry including leading an urban Chicago church in which she initiated a Sports Outreach Ministry.
Academic credentials include a B.S. in Marketing from Lehigh University, an MBA in Marketing and Finance from Duke University, an M.A. in Christian Ministries from Indiana Christian University, and an M. Div. with a concentration in Evangelism from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Dr. LaBoy recently completed her Ph.D. at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in theology, history and ethics.
Her dissertation, Personal and Social Holiness: The Sacraments and the Mandate of Christian Community Development for the Black Church, analyzes the disconnect between mainline middleclass, Black congregations in the midst of poor communities and their historical counterparts. Her work questions their faithfulness to the Christian heritage and provides a practical solution using sacramental theology and faith-based community and economic development strategies.
An Elder in Full Connection with the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church, Dr. LaBoy has 14 years of urban and multicultural pastoral ministry with 10 of those as the Senior Pastor. Dr. LaBoy served as the Metro Seminar Instructor for Community Development for Chicago Semester, an urban intensive, experiential-based program of several Reformed colleges that seeks to integrate faith and practice utilizing the city of Chicago as a living laboratory.
Most recently, Dr. LaBoy served as the Assistant Professor of Evangelization in the Heisel Chair at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH. On July 1, 2015, Dr. LaBoy became the Associate Dean of Black Church Studies and Advanced Learning, which includes both the Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree and Non-degree areas at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Dr. LaBoy teaches in the areas of evangelism, church renewal, and black and urban church studies. Her special interests are in the connections between evangelism and social justice, urban ministry, racial reconciliation, faith-based community and economic development, and Black Church religious history and leadership.
As an author her forthcoming book Table Matters: The Sacraments, Evangelism and Social Justice, published by Wipf and Stock, will be released in 2016.
Her favorite passage of Scripture is Philippians 3: 12 – 14: “I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward--to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back.”
Dr. LaBoy is married to Adrian LaBoy. They are the proud parents three children and grandparents of eleven grandchildren. They currently reside in Blue Island, IL.