Professional Shooter Gebben Miles Takes Aim at the Ministry Village Clay Shoot Fundraiser
PART 2 – Gebben Miles Shoots to Put God First
In last week’s blog, we met Arizona native Gebben Miles, who began making a name for himself during the early 2000’s in the sport of professional shooting thanks to his skills and natural instincts. After winning several competitions, Gebben chose to follow his mentor’s suggestion to focus on shooting and find a way to make that community his mission field. This week, we’ll see how he’s been forging his own path ever since.
Between 2006 and 2008, Gebben grew in his relationship with God and felt a burning passion to make sure people knew Jesus. He felt a mounting need to put faith first. “Accolades are great, but if I don’t do it with God for His glory, it doesn’t matter,” explained Gebben. During that time, he attended the Ultimate Training Camp by Athletes in Action (AIA), an organization dedicated to training athletes in all sports to become influencers in the world – “building spiritual movements everywhere through the platform of sport, so that everyone knows someone who truly follows Jesus.” Training with AIA inspired Gebben to use his community of amateur and professional shooters as his spiritual mission field. He had never heard anyone talk about God at any of his competitive events, so he decided to make that happen. In 2008, Gebben began holding Bible studies at his shooting events and tournaments, and those studies quickly grew into something more akin to impromptu church services reaching large numbers of attendees.
After a few years on the circuit, Gebben was led to begin a shooting academy in Texas, a business he believed God wanted him to pursue. But soon after opening the academy, he felt burned out from the business and the toll of continuing on the professional circuit. “I felt like I was getting complacent with my faith. I wasn’t growing with God, and I needed to step away from being focused on shooting and focus on Him.” One of his younger sisters had attended Hillsong College, a Bible college in Australia, and Gebben had been impressed at the passion she developed, the experiences she and her husband had there, and how much their faith had developed. Gebben decided he wanted that experience too, so in 2019, he moved to Sydney, Australia to attend Hillsong College and learn more about the Bible.
After a year at Hillsong, Gebben returned to Arizona, and connected with a friend who was working to plant a church in Tucson. Then the Covid pandemic happened to the world. Unable to immediately open a physical church, Gebben and his friends began an online church community in March 2020 to reach people during the shutdown. Just over 1 year later, on Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021, they finally opened Deus Church. “Deus,” which means “God” in Latin, is a nondenominational church in Tucson, AZ, whose mission is “Relentlessly creating spaces of opportunity for people to walk into a relationship with God and live out powerful lives!” Gebben’s friend, Dr. Herman Solorzano, is the lead pastor, and Gebben, along with 2 other men, took on voluntary roles as teaching pastors for the church. Gebben also rejoined the professional shooting circuit, and began coaching and teaching shooting lessons again – bringing his professional platform and his ministry platform together in a very unique way.
In early 2021, Pensacola native David Miller, a supporter of Ministry Village at Olive and member of Olive Baptist Church, read some articles written by and about Gebben that discussed how he used his professional shooting career as a platform to discuss his faith. Intrigued, David went to Gebben’s website to learn more about him, and soon decided to reach out to Gebben and ask if he would be willing to speak at the Clay Shoot or other Olive ministry event. Gebben responded right away, and after the two men spoke, David connected Gebben with Jeremy Portmann, the Executive Director at Ministry Village at Olive. Jeremy told Gebben more about the Clay Shoot fundraiser, as well as the programs it funds at MVO – specifically the Charis House addiction recovery program for women. That connection sealed the deal for Gebben.
Gebben was happy to speak and participate at the MVO Clay Shoot, not only because of his passion for shooting and his love for the Lord, but also because of his family’s personal experience with addiction and redemption. One of Gebben’s sisters found the Lord through an AA program in South Florida after her own struggle with addiction. Watching her change, inspire, and encourage others has also inspired Gebben. He knows the work done through ministries like the Charis House is difficult but vital, and he wants to help encourage those struggling with addiction as well as their families. Supporting the MVO fundraiser was a perfect way to connect his professional expertise with his own personal experiences and passion for sharing Jesus. Another connection made by prioritizing his faith part of his life’s work.
We are excited for Gebben Miles to share his expertise with us for the Clay Shoot. But more than that, we are thankful he is willing to share his story and his love for Jesus with the world. We hope you’ll join us at the Friday night dinner and demo and the Saturday tournament. You can find details for both events below, and register online at MinistryVillage.org/ClayShoot.
What: 5th Annual Ministry Village Clay Shoot
When: Friday & Saturday, October 8 & 9, 2021
Friday, 5:30 PM : On Friday night, Gebben and his girlfriend Karen Shedd, one of the top professional shooters in the world, will hold a shooting demonstration, showing targets as they encounter them on the professional event level. They will talk through how they approach each shot, and give attendees basic tips on stance, posture, and ways to (hopefully) break more targets in Saturday’s tournament. They will also show off their pro-skills as they demo some more challenging shots. Friday night’s catered dinner will follow the shooting demonstration, and Gebben will also share his testimony. Tickets for Friday night’s event are just $10 and include dinner. Purchase your tickets online at www.MinistryVillage.org/ClayShoot.
Saturday, 7:30 AM: Saturday’s tournament event kicks off at 7:30 AM with registration, followed by the safety meeting. Station shooting will begin at 9 AM, and Gebben and Karen will be on hand to provide coaching tips to shooters, as well as to shoot mulligans for donations to Ministry Village. Lunch will follow the Saturday shoot, and awards, door prizes, auction items and raffle prizes will be announced. Cash prizes will be awarded to the First Place Team ($500) and Second Place Team ($200), and special prizes and recognition will be awarded to the Highest Individual Score, Lowest Individual Score, and Best Junior Shooter.
Register Now!: http://www.ministryvillage.org/ClayShoot
Registration is now open and sponsorships are also available. Register online, or simply make a donation to the Charis House and Ministry Village at Olive.
For more information on Ministry Village at Olive, including the Charis House and our other ministries, visit our website at MinistryVillageELC.org.