St. Luke's United Methodist Church


4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Road
Orlando, FL 32819
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A Special Message from Coach Chris

Posted on October 21, 2021 at 9:03 am in .

Dear St. Lukers,

I have been a St. Luker my whole life, and there are so many memories I have that involve this wonderful church. I have grown up here, literally, and one of the coolest things I have been a part of was the first St. Luke’s sports team. When the church decided they needed a gym for kids to play in and use as outreach, I don’t think I truly understood the impact it would have. They wanted to create a safe place for thousands of kids to come play sports and experience God’s love all at the same time, and I’m proud to say that I took part in the first group of kids who got to use the space. I’m also proud to say that my father helped start the sports program you all see today! There might have only been 10-15 kids, but we had a blast and I loved every minute of it.

I loved having my dad as my coach for all those years of basketball, and listening to him share his faith with us. I couldn’t wait to do the same and help him coach my younger brother when I was too old to play in the league myself. St. Luke’s Sports Ministry has had a tremendous impact on our family and in my life personally, and I’m not sure that St. Luke’s truly understood the significance that a simple basketball court could have. For someone to tell me I would spend the last six and a half years running the Sports Ministry, and continue what my father helped start with Wayne Boss and John Ladd, gives me chills each time I think about it. It has been an honor being the one sharing my faith with thousands of kids, and creating a safe place for them to grow, play, and experience God’s love firsthand. I have gotten to see these kids grow up and embrace their faith, all while playing a simple game like soccer, basketball, or flag football. I have been that one of five people we talk about for countless kids, and I have loved every moment. I have also met other parents and adults who have a passion for children just like I do, and have been molded by these individuals.

This ministry has done so much for me, I can’t quite put it all into just one letter. I met my wife, Jackie, and we have grown our own little family surrounded by families in the Sports Ministry who love and care for us. Families who will bring you meals, love on our little boy, and even take over so I can go be with Jackie and our son Joshua. I have loved my time running this amazing ministry here at St. Luke’s, and it’s hard to say these next words but it is time for me to move on. In an effort to try and spend more time with my family it is time to change my career path. I will always cherish my time here as the Director of Family and Recreational Ministries, and I can’t wait to be a part of it with Joshua one day. I am excited to see what else St. Luke’s will come up with and how it will impact families in our community in ways we could never have dreamed.


Coach Chris Smith

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