Long before the Manassas Football team was featured in the Academy Award Winning Documentary, Undefeated, Hope could be found there. Oasis of Hope, a non-profit ministry of Hope Church, is entrenched in the community where Manassas High School is located, one of the poorest communities in Memphis.
Most of the kids in Oasis’ neighborhood go to high school at Manassas, so for 10 years we have had a connection with the school and its students and players. Says Terry Hoff, Director of Oasis of Hope, “6 years ago Coach Bill Courtney and Coach Jim Tipton asked us if we would host Manassas for a pre-season football camp at Hope Church. We agreed and that ramped up our involvement with the team dramatically. Once our volunteers met and worked with the players at Hope, it was a natural progression to help during the season.” Help came in various ways from Hope including volunteers for coaching the team, Hope’s kitchen ministry providing pre-game meals, Hope members cheering for them at games and volunteers staying in touch with the players on and off the field.
The relationship doesn’t end with football, either. Hope recently hosted the Manassas High School Baseball Team’s 2-day spring training and several Hope volunteers will be putting the finishing touches on an ongoing refurbishment project of the baseball field on Manassas’ school grounds this year.
Oasis of Hope continues its outreach ministry in the North Memphis neighborhood. “It is far more than hosting them for a sports camp,” Says Hoff, “there are Hope people in the lives of the kids every week—on and off the field.”
March 20, 2012