Hands of Providence Award
Coach Willis Bridges has been a vital part of Mission First for the past 15 years where he serves as Director of Sports Ministry. Prior to coming Mission First, Coach Bridges was the Dean of Students and football coach at the Mississippi School for the Deaf. During that time, he even led his football team to 2 national championships. During his years of coaching, Bridges felt a call to ministry in a new venue. This desire to be involved in ministry led Coach Bridges to his position at Mission First.
Recently, he was honored by Southern Christian Services for Children and Youth, Inc. and received their Hands of Providence Award. The organization defines providence as, “the protective nature of giving divine guidance and care to children and youth.” Recipients of this award are chosen because they have made a significant and positive impact on the lives of children and youth through faith commitment. Anyone who has worked with Coach Bridges or witnessed his work with children and youth, can see that he is an exemplary honoree for this award.
It is evident that Coach has a passion for students and for them to see who they are in Christ. He wants for them to be changed and empowered by the Gospel. For many students, he is able to be an encouragement throughout their career in sports, time spent at Mission First and into their adult life. Under Coach Bridges’ faithful direction, Sports Ministry at Mission First is a great outlet for youth in the metro area. This ministry not only gives them a place to go after school, but it allows them to receive tutoring, coaching, and a time to grow in their faith.
Coach Bridges is a humble man who lives for the One who loved us first. Galatians 2:20 has been his life verse that says, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” He feels “blessed to work at Mission First and to be in a position in life to be able to make an impact on young people’s lives.” We are thankful for the impact he has had on countless students in the metro area, both in and out of Sports Ministry at Mission First.