FishForce is a dynamic ministry whose purpose is to offer teenagers relevant encounters with the living God through edgy worship, interactive teaching, and tangible application of Scripture and the principles and ideas it contains. Using as much technology as possible to make it obvious that God’s creativity birthed these advances, and God wants all things to work for His glory and the advancement of His Kingdom!
FishForce began as a dream of its founder, Jamie Hudgins in the late 1980’s. At this point, Jamie was called on to lead worship for a youth program in Atlanta, GA. From there, the vision began to grow into a calling as requests began to come for Jamie to lead worship for youth events outside his local church. In 1993, believing God had a bigger plan, Jamie enrolled in seminary at Asbury Theological Seminary, and moved to Wilmore, Kentucky.
The idea of a team ministering to teenagers at special events was simmering in the back of Jamie’s mind, and in the beginning of the 1994-1995 school year, he met incoming seminary student, Tim Price who was having similar thoughts. Through many hours of discussion, and the addition of Steve Gross to the equation, also a seminary student, the three men formed the first FishForce team and began to minister at events in the Kentucky and Virginia area with another seminary student, Leanne Thixton (now Leanne Donaldson!).
It was during this time that Ichthus music festival saw a possibility for this ministry and offered FishForce the opportunity to participate as part of the teaching element for the 1996 festival, which draws in excess of 15,000 people each year. The team was very well received, the idea of team ministry was solidified, and FishForce was now a reality!
In the next few years, all of those original members graduated seminary and have embarked on different ministries in different parts of the nation. Leanne moved to Texas where her husband is a United Methodist pastor, and Leanne is now working with teenagers in their local church! Steve is a youth pastor at a United Methodist Church in Pensacola, Florida. Tim is still doing team ministry with teenagers under the name of Harvest Ministry Teams, and is working primarily in Illinois and the mid-West.
FishForce transferred its base of operation to Georgia in 1998 when Jamie graduated from Asbury Seminary, and has been continuing to grow and flourish. Jamie is still the central figure in the ministry and is called on for his individual ministry as well as for a team he coordinates for many events. The team has the appearance of a band, but is very focused on being a worship team.
When you have opportunity to worship with FishForce, you can expect rockin’ music, cool lights, video-projection, and every opportunity you can imagine to get out of the spectator mode and join in the fun, joy, love, and excitement that comes from living life in healthy relationship with Jesus Christ!
FishForce believes that the Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God, that Jesus Christ walked among us as totally human, and willingly offered Himself as a living sacrifice, dying on the cross for all of our sins, and that we each must have a personal relationship with Jesus, expressing Him as Lord of our life. We also believe that God raised Jesus from the grave on the third day, making Him the first to proceed into the Kingdom of God we describe as heaven. The only way we can follow Jesus into heaven is through our relationship with Him and the grace God extends though Him, and that is what we seek to help teenagers see and experience for themselves!