|Installing the gym floor in 1967|
The Baptist Temple gym was completed in 1967 as a way to provide physical fitness opportunities for our community. BT has a long and storied history of sports activity. Our oldest trophy is dated 1936 for a softball championship. Since then, there have been numerous championships in multiple sports.
The gym has been used for a variety of activities including basketball, volleyball, badminton, martial arts and more. However, as the membership of BT aged, gym usage declined. By the start of the 21st century it was rarely used.
When the church resolved to increase its community involvement, things began to change. A new charter school used the gym daily during the school year and our summer day camp used it when school was out. In the evenings, we had karate. On the weekends a variety of recreational activities.
As word got out, youth basketball teams started using the gym for practice in the evenings and, occasionally, for tournaments. Additionally, mission groups that stay on our campus overnight use our locker room showers.
Today, the gym is used day and night, seven days a week all year long. Along with the youth basketball clubs, four adult recreation groups use it as well.
San Antonio has a higher than average number of diabetics and its related problems. Fighting childhood obesity, a nation-wide problem, is key to preventing “lifestyle” diseases, including diabetes. Organized recreational activity is not only improves physical health but, also, provides a healthy after school environment. In fact, studies consistently show a connection between activity and better school performance.
As to be expected, the years have taken their toll, so we are launching a fund raising campaign to renovate the gym. The highest priority is repairing and re-striping the gym floor. Beyond that, we, also, need to repair the surrounding tile, remodel the restrooms and update the showers. As funds allow, we will also renovate the back staircase.
The fundraising effort began with a special Mother’s Day offering and will include a variety of events and grant applications. We want to partner with as many people as possible who want to invest in the physical and spiritual health of our community.
You can contribute online here or send a contribution to Baptist Temple, 901 E Drexel, San Antonio, TX 78210.