On Friday night after the Gladiator ball-game, Cornerstone on Main Street hosted the last 5th Quarter of the football season. Kids from 7th-12th were invited to participate in games, food and a Christian atmosphere. Chris Talleri, youth minister for Central Baptist Church in Italy, welcomed all students in this age group to have fun in a Christian environment. Names were drawn for prizes as well as wonderful food, like homemade hamburgers from the grill were offered.
A special guest, John Barnard, of Middleman Skateboards of Brenham was present. He was inspirational and shared a message of hope and Christ’s love. “Middleman really started out as a chance to equip some friends who wanted to build relationships with skateboarders in their community. I would give away free boards that companies donated to us when we ran a skate park. From there I felt the prompting to create a skateboard company that was different from any other I knew about; one that worked to build a positive community and that focused on kids who enjoyed skateboarding as opposed to stressing pro riders, soul-oppressing behavior and making a profit,” Barnard said. John went on to say that he wanted to stress relationship with skateboarding and faith.
John began student ministry in 1985 and skated as an amateur. He also wanted to help build the kingdom and glorify God. John began to minister to students with skateboarding. He wanted to show non-skaters that kids were not bad just because they used skateboards, just equipping people in the community. Barnard also wanted to help youth learn about Christ, “Empowering the kids and earning their trust-totally befriending the skaters.” He worked as a youth minister in Tomball. In fact, John was Chris’ youth minister and has known him since the 8th grade.
Middleman offers skate camp during spring break. John said, “We have more conversions (kids turning their life over to Christ) at camp than any other function. We are building relationships with an opportunity in Grace.”
John and his wife, Mandi, live in Brenham with their two children, Dylin and Levi. John has been an avid skateboarder since 1985 when he got a Sure Grip International skateboard for Christmas while in the 5th grade. Since then skateboarding has offered him the chance to compete as a sponsored amateur, travel the country, build and maintain skate parks and meet lots of great people along the way. John currently serves Brenham’s First Baptist Church as the Minister to Students.
To learn more about Middleman Skateboards, go to their website or for the youth schedule contact Chris Talleri at Central Baptist Church at 972-483-7474.