First Focus


Athletic programs are a great way for children to get and stay physically fit, to learn discipline, and also to learn how to develop relationships with other children their age.

This winter, First Baptist Church is proud to partner again with Upwards Sports to provide basketball and cheerleading for children in Kindergarten through 8th grade. The mission of Upward Sports is to help church leaders leverage the power of sports to connect with families in their community. Their mission ties in greatly with the mission of FBCTLH to be a church that is here… for life.

Under the guidance of Tom Grubbs, the new Director of Recreation at FBCTLH, the upcoming Upwards Basketball and Cheerleading programs will focus heavily on the Gospel and also on building and developing skills for kids to become better athletes.

young boys participating in basketball drills


If you’re wondering what to expect of Upward Sports at FBCTLH, Tom has this to say. “We want to build the skills that your athlete is going to need to pursue basketball or cheer. In other words, we are going to provide solid basketball and cheerleading fundamental training and we are going to have fun while we do it.”

The emphasis on fun is very intentional. According to a study by the Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), around 38% of boys and girls quit team sports because they’re not having any fun. “I’ll tell athletes all the time, if you’re not having fun playing a sport then why are you doing it? So we want to learn valuable skills but we also want to have lots of fun.”


Winter basketball isn’t the only option for elementary-aged children available for Tallahassee youth. Tom says, “Our next sporting event for Kindergarten through 8th grade will begin in March 2020. We are partnering with The Fellowship of Christian Athletes to bring Tallahassee a flag football sports league. Soon after that, we hope to start a soccer league in August 2020 as well.” If you’re thinking all this sounds great for kids, but what about adults? Adult basketball and volleyball leagues are hosted by Downtown Fitness, downtown Tallahassee’s hidden gym located on FBCTLH’s campus (Learn more at

As the recreational ministry helps connect FBCTLH to the greater Tallahassee community, the hope is that the seeds of the gospel planted and watered would grow, developing not only great athletes, but faithful servants of Christ as well.

If you’d like to learn more about recreational ministry at FBCTLH, or if you’re interested in volunteering your time, contact Tom Grubbs (x402) or visit