ACTS started in 1988 with the Saturday Sports Program. Joe Martin, Executive Director, had a desire to present the gospel in a setting where non-churched children and their families would feel comfortable. The focus of the ministry has always been on adults playing and working alongside the youth, not coaching from the sidelines, because we understand the need to form relationships with youth in order to earn the right to speak into their lives. For ten years Joe and several volunteers ran the Saturday Sports Program on the weekend.
In 1998 Martin sold his business and began raising missionary support in order to devote himself full-time to the ministry. Since then, ACTS has grown to serve over 700 young people and their families annually in four weekly programs and several annual events.
Key Dates in ACTS History
Dec. 10th , 1988 – First Saturday Sports Program for boys 3rd – 6th grade.
May 29th, 1989 – First Seattle Mariners trip. Met with Harold Reynolds, player for the Mariners. Twenty five boys and adults participated. Six boys made decisions for Christ.
September, 1991 – First High School Leaders: Alan Hare & Marc McAllister.
January 1997 – First Bowl Bash.
August 1997 – First Timothy Training Group, leaders were Joe and Tara Martin.
Oct. 20th, 1997 – First A.C.T.S. International Executive Council meeting. Members: Jan Allen – Secretary, Jerry Clark – Treasurer, JuDee Clark, Paula Fairclo, Bob Guerrant – Chairman, Alan Hare, Jr. & Lynn Long.
Dec. 30th, 1997 – Began process for non-profit status for A.C.T.S. International.
Jan. 1st, 1998 – First missionary employed by A.C.T.S. International, Joe Martin Executive Director for A.C.T.S. International and Director of A.C.T.S. Chapter 1.
Feb. 6, 1999 – First Saturday Program for girls.
Sept. 26, 1999 – First Buddy Bowl. Approximately 80 boys and men participated.
Oct. 11, 1999 – First Advisory Council meeting for A.C.T.S. Chapter 1. Members: Susan Dufrense – Secretary, Kathy Kennedy, Mel Lyda, Bill Markman, Rhonda Neal – Vice Chairman, Fran Nisbet – Public Relations, Sandy Wheatley – Chairman & Treasurer.
Oct. 29, 1999 – Received 501(c)(3) non-profit status from IRS.
Dec. 22, 1999 – First Jingle Bowl Rock Christmas party.
April 11, 2000 – First A.C.T.S. After-School.
Aug. 26 & 27, 2000 – First A.C.T.S. Games, The Dalles, OR.
Jan. 2001 – First High School/College Open Gym Basketball.
Feb. 24, 2001 – First skating trip.
Fall 2001 – First Timothy Training Bible Study. Led by Joe Martin. Used “Experiencing God” Bible study.
May 10, 2002 – First A.C.T.S. Dessert and Auction.
May 2002 – First college-age Summer Intern – Willie Riese.
Aug. 7-11, 2002 – First A.C.T.S. Games mission trip and A.C.T.S. Games outside of The Dalles – Salem First Baptist Church. A group of six adults and 23 high school & college students made up the team.
Aug. 23-25, 2002 First A.C.T.S. Games mission trip from another city. Crossroads Community Church from Vancouver, WA., assisted with A.C.T.S. Games in The Dalles.
August 2002 – Male vocal group “Boy Band” performed live at the A.C.T.S. Games.
June 2003 – First high school-age Summer Intern, Kevin Judd from Vancouver, WA.
December 21st, 2004 – First “Pain Ball” event
January, 2005 – First Middle School Leaders
Feb. 11, 2005 – First ReaLife
Nov. 6, 2005 – First actsbay internet auction
March 1, 2006 – Willie Riese began raising missionary support and working for ACTS as Assistant Director.
April 15, 2006 – First High School/College Floor Hockey
April 20, 2006 – New logo finalized
April 21, 2006 – New website up and running
December 7, 2013 – ACTS 25th Anniversary Celebration