Ocean Springs Church Shoots the Hoops

A local church is wants to teach young people that God is in their court. Emmanuel Baptist Church in Ocean Springs is building a new gymnasium that will house a Christian youth sports league called "Upward Basketball".

Not only will children play a team sport, they'll also take part in devotions during practices and time-outs.

Church members say the idea came after children starting coming in droves to shoot hoops in the church parking lot but it's not just the children Emmanuel Baptist hopes to attract.

"There are people out there that other churches don't want. I don't mean that ugly but other churches don't want certain kinds of people, but our church wants them. We want to reach out to people. We want to love people. We want them to start where they are. We don't want them to clean their act up before they come. We want them to come. We'll love them where they are and try to lead them to know God personally," Rev. Hal Selby said.

Most of the work on the gym including the painting, insulation installment and carpentry is being done by volunteers.

Church leaders expect the new league to start in January.