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"Receiving Jesus" is a football ministry aimed at fatherless boys in low-income innercity communities that combines faith, football and fun.
It is a staggering fact that over 43% of U.S. children live without their father. This causes all kinds of problems later in life, from drug/alcohol abuse rates that are 10 times the average and suicide rates that are 5 times the average to runaway/homeless rates that are 32 times the average and incarceration rates that are 20 times the average. Our goal is not to completely replace a missing father but to at least help set a strong, Biblically-based foundation for these boys' young lives. We will do this by way of the fun, highly-disciplined sport of football.
The football camps are completely free to participants and include instruction in football (with an emphasis on receiving skills) as well as Biblically-driven discussions of faith-related topics that specifically tie into the football lessons being learned on the field. The goal is to seamlessly weave the two together in every practice session so that they become one in the minds of these young, impressionable children.
The camps are run by Chad Petterson, a former Academic All-Big Ten wide receiver, Rose Bowl Champion and Merrill Lynch-Heisman Award recipient for the University of Michigan Football Team. They are supported by current high school players and current/former college and professional football players.
This effort started in the summer of 2018 in innercity Nashville with a goal to create a model that can taken to other financially-poor innercity locations around the country.
In partnership with First Wesleyan Church and the Martha O'Bryan Center, our first Receiving Jesus Football Camp was held at Litton Middle School in the projects of East Nashville from June 11-15. It was an amazing week of faith, football and fun and a good time was had by all...children and volunteers alike. We even had a visit from the Nashville Knights women's professional football team who generously gave of their time to encourage and inspire our campers. Overall, it was a very successful first camp and a great beginning for the ministry.
(To see photos from this first camp, please visit...
Receiving Jesus Football Camps Photo Albums)
Prior to this first camp, we set a fund-raising goal of $3,000, which was met --- and exceeded --- by our generous supporters. These initial funds were used for...
- the specific camp in East Nashville on June 11-15
- the initial start-up costs of the ministry as a whole --- the equipment (footballs, jerseys, flags, cones and other football equipment), promotional materials (yard signs, banners and other promotional items) and administrative costs (logo development, website expenses, email hosting, etc.); MOST OF THESE COSTS WILL BE ABLE TO BE SPREAD OVER MULTIPLE CAMPS, MULTIPLE YEARS AND MULTIPLE LOCATIONS; for example, when a door opens to start a camp in Bridgeport, CT, Flint, MI and other impoverished innercity communities (all of which we are praying for and believing will happen), we will be able to do so quickly with limited additional costs
We have now expanded our goal to $6,000 to allow us to purchase additional equipment for the camps, do additional promotions and to explore additional camp locations and partnership opportunities. As a reminder, the ministry is completely run by volunteers, meaning all of the funds raised directly benefit the children.
FUTURE GOAL: SELF-SUSTAINING
Going forward, our goal is to make this ministry completely self-sustaining through holding additional camps in more affluent communities, the proceeds of which will allow the children in innercity communities to attend the camps for free. The first of these camps was held the week of June 18th on the campus of Fellowship Bible Church in Brentwood, TN. During next summer's camp season, we are very hopeful to hold another "fund-raising" camp in Brentwood as well as a second one in the neighboring suburb of Franklin, TN.
In the meantime, we ask that you please prayerfully consider giving financially to this ministry. We also ask that you please keep us and the children in your prayers. In addition, if you live in the Nashville area and would like to get involved in the camp (either in a coaching capacity or helping with registrations, sign-ins, field set-up, etc.), we would really appreciate the help as we are an all-volunteer organization.
Thank you and may God bless you in a mighty way!
Chad and The Receiving Jesus Team
P.S. Please consider "liking" our Facebook page at...
Receiving Jesus Football Camps Facebook Page