Armour Up began in the summer of 2011 in the backyard of a home in University Park. Five boy moms dreamt up the idea of having a fun, interactive Bible study during the summer that catered specifically to the needs of boys. Emails were sent out to a few friends and before long the registration had grown to over 100 boys. These boys met once a week during the summer and studied the concept of ‘putting on the full armour of God’ in Ephesians 6:11-18 (hence the name, Armour Up). Each week had a different theme, such as neon night, Friday night lights, red white & blue, etc. games were played and tons of energy was expended. Adults from the community volunteered to bring snacks & water, and some even stayed to help with crowd control. A committee of five families also met frequently to keep things running smoothly behind the scenes. It definitely took a village to pull this off and it was a complete success.
Each summer we have continued to grow and share the gospel with many boys. We now have over 600 boys on our roster. We look forward to seeing how God will use this ministry to bring our community closer to Him.
Chris Hinckley joined our team in the 2017 as a co-executive summer director. Chris is a native of Oklahoma, but moved to Dallas to pursue full time ministry. He will begin an internship at Watermark Community Church in the college department this fall, but is excited about the opportunity to lead our boys this summer. Hinckley is no stranger to ministry, as he led a successful bible study while at Oklahoma State University, and spent last summer in Florida spreading the gospel and training college students to do the same at Kaleo, a Stumo organization. Chris is an avid sports fan and his favorite team is the New York Yankees. He is a twin and comes from a family of 3 boys and 1 girl. That 1 girl just so happens to be our own Cari Trotter. Yes, that Cari. Now you are starting to get the picture that this guy comes from a passionate family and is ON FIRE FOR THE LORD. Welcome to the team, Chris!
Josh Barnard joined our AU family in 2017 as co-executive director. grew up in Los Angeles, California and attended Westmont College where he played on the tennis team for four years. He graduated with a degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis on Occupational Therapy. Josh planned to go to OT school until his first summer working at Kanakuk Kamps. The Lord completely changed his heart that summer and gave him a passion for student ministries. That passion led him to move to Dallas and work with Highland Park KLIFE. Josh has worked three summers at Kanakuk and is in his second year as Chapter Director of Highland Park KLIFE. Josh has a passion for discipleship, knowing Christ, and making Christ known. Josh will never turn down an opportunity to shoot hoops or grab coffee with people and he is thrilled to be a part of the Armour Up team this summer!
Will grew up in Highland Park, including being a proud Bradfield Bronco alumni and graduating from Highland Park High School in 2009. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2012 with a B.A. in Philosophy and minors in Psychology and Religion, and graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary in May 2017. Will’s ministry experience includes working as a counselor and Program Director at T Bar M Sports Camp, working in youth ministry at a few churches, being a Young Life leader, teaching a Bible class at Cornerstone Crossroads Academy, and founding and leading Iron Sharpens Iron (a ministry at Highland Park High School). In ministry, he is passionate about gospel-centered discipleship (1 Thessalonians 2:8) and servant leadership (Philippians 2:3-11). He is also passionate about his Oklahoma Sooners, Dallas Stars, and Boston Red Sox. Will recently accepted a position in youth leadership at Park Cities Presbyterian Church. He remains a part of the family by acting on our Board of Directors.
Nathan grew up in Friendswood, TX playing sports and graduated from Friendswood High School in 2008. He graduated from Sam Houston State University in 2012 with a B.S. in Kinesiology and minors in Biomechanics and Secondary Education. In 2015 he completed his Master’s degree in Teaching from the University of Texas at Dallas. Nathan’s ministry experience began during the many summers spent as a counselor and Program Director at T Bar M Camps before moving to Dallas. Nathan now spends his school year teaching in Coppell ISD at Austin Elementary. He is passionate about leadership (Mark 10:45) and relationships (1 Corinthians 11:1) and loves putting people in the position to do great things. Other passions include the Oregon Ducks, Houston Rockets, and Houston Astros.