UNITING THE COMMUNITY
12TH ROCK is bringing its region together through sports, and trusting God to increase its impact.
By Kevin Mercer
Brothers Greg and Mark Jaloszynski have what they call a God-sized vision for their ministry. 12th Rock, and the area around Middletown, NY. It’s one which sees kids around the Northeast come together in one 120,000-square-foot complex to play sports and learn to be adults with strong faith and high character. 12th Rock already has the kids and the sports; now all it needs is the building.
It’s not hard for the Jaloszynski brothers to have faith that He will turn their God-sized aspirations into reality.
“Seeing what God has done,” Mark said, “I’m believing and trusting that He’s going to make this happen.”
Greg and Mark formed 12th Rock in 2011 to introduce children to Jesus through sports, and the ministry has ballooned in size and scope since. It now offers sports like archery in addition to its thriving basketball programs. Nearly 3,000 children each year—a few of whom have never heard the word “God”—are introduced to Jesus as a result of 12th Rock.
The ministry’s name sets a theme of remembrance as an aid to faith. In the book of Joshua, God led the Israelites through the Jordan River on dry land. He instructed one person from each of Israel’s 12 tribes to gather a rock from the river and lay them where they camped, as a reminder of God’s goodness and faithfulness.
“That remembering is really a foundational pillar in our ministry,” Mark said. “I believe we’re called to let people know what God has done in the past and what He can do in their lives today.”
At the core of 12th Rock are camps, leagues, and missions. The camps primarily run in the summer, while 12th Rock offers leagues and travel teams throughout the year. The organization’s mission are often service-based outreach programs designed to meet community needs. Usually they are some of the most powerful weeks of ministry all year.
The Jaloszynski brothers are glad to see the ways in which 12th Rock has united the place they call home. Through the missions and partnerships with local churches, not to mention the sports, 12th Rock has brought a community together that lacked quality sports programming and lacked a sense of togetherness.
“We want to bring something really excellent to our community,” Mark said.
He and his brother originally looked to head south for their ministry, but God kept calling them to Middletown. He opened their eyes to see what could been done right where they were.
This summer, in the midst of camps and missions, Greg and Mark will press on toward their God-sized vision. The goal is to have the complex open for the fall of 2021, but more money is needed. The Jaloszynski brothers are certain it will come. Like the Israelites, they too have a memorial stone—a page on their website with a long list of ways God blessed them with past donations. HERE
The plans are not in any human hands, and that’s fine with Mark.
“God’s got to open thos doors,” he said. “We’ll walk through them when the chance happens.”