A Valdosta church pastor is training to fight in his first MMA competition. But at 44-years old he's not doing it for the title, he's doing it for his church.
Ten years ago, Kelly Barcol moved his family from Kentucky to Valdosta with dreams of opening his own church.
"We came here with just my family. We had no friends, no family in the city, no church support, like a lot of new church plants. So we came and started from scratch with five people," said Barcol.
His church, House of Joy, now has 175 members. Barcol holds Sunday service at Valwood School. The only thing missing is their own building.
And Barcol is going to fight in a Mixed Martial Arts competition to help raise the money. All proceeds from Valdosta's Winter Heat competition will go towards House of Joy.
"I called my friend James Corbett who puts on Winter Heat and Summer Heat in the past, and I asked him and before I could get it out of my mouth he said, 'Let's do it,'" said Barcol.
After four years of getting in shape at Crossfit, and months of training, Barcol will enter the cage on Saturday January 26th to fight.
"I do care about winning or losing, but also in the back of my mind I'm thinking if I give it my best and I still lose, it's still a big win for the church and really for God's kingdom," said Barcol.
Barcol's training partner says after they met, he started attending House of Joy and became inspired by Barcol's passion in the gym and at church.
"I work out with my pastor so why not live by what he's talking about on Sunday's," said Emilliano Kaku.
"It's just been so exciting to see the church unfold and what it's turned into, and I feel like the one thing that we're lacking is that building - not that a structure is anything but to have that central location, we're just so community minded," said Barcol.
The church has purchased 11 acres of land on Park Avenue, and with proceeds from Winter Heat, they're expecting to raise anywhere from $10,000-$20,000 dollars to build the church.
The Winter Heat fight is January 26th at 6 p.m. at Mathis City Auditorium. To get tickets call 229-253-8549. All proceeds go directly to House of Joy.
Tuesday, August 19 2014 4:10 PM EDT2014-08-19 20:10:07 GMT
The police chief for Gulf Shores along Alabama's coast is weighing-in on the actions of the law enforcement commander in charge of Ferguson, Missouri's in the wake of an escalating crisis brought on byMore >>
Gulf Shores Police Chief Ed Delmore wrote a blistering open letter to Captain Ronald S. Johnson, who was given command of law enforcement operations following days of looting and rioting in the city.More >>
Friday, August 22 2014 3:11 PM EDT2014-08-22 19:11:37 GMT
A 22-year-old woman and a 4-month-old baby are recovering in the hospital after being struck on the sidewalk in a hit-skip accident. The driver is in custody, but the passenger remains on the run. More >>
A 22-year-old woman and a 4-month-old baby are recovering in the hospital after being struck on the sidewalk by a driver who didn't stop at the scene of the accident. The driver is in custody, but the passenger remains on the run. More >>
A fisherman off the coast of Bonita Springs, Florida thinks he has a pretty nice catch. As he reels in a four-foot shark, his catch is stolen by an even bigger fish. A massive grouper pulls the sharkMore >>
A massive grouper steals a four-foot shark from a fisherman's line off the coast of Florida.More >>