In June, 2015 a young white man entered a historic Black church in Charleston, SC and opened fire during a prayer meeting. Nine people lost their lives that night, and the ongoing conversation about race in our communities continued. There is much pain in the United States over race relations, and our churches must address it.
Living in Mississippi, our small group spent a couple weeks discussing this very topic, and what we were mandated to do as Christian believers. Our group realized that we each had a lot of room to improve in helping to improve race relations especially in our community. Our desire to connect with other believers of other races, and to extend the grace of the Gospel to those who needed to hear, caused us to seek answers about how to connect in a community that we knew very little of.
Our small city has an even smaller community called the “West End.” Our goal was to find a way to connect with the West End, and out of these discussions the idea to host a 3 on 3 basketball tournament unfolded. Having several athletic members in our group, the basketball idea took hold and rapidly expanded.
In November of 2015, our church sponsored event took place across a Friday and Saturday resulting in an outreach in our community like nothing any of us had been a part of before.