Mountain Park Church

Mountain Park Church’s stunning campus on 48th Street near Pecos Park was designed by architect and congregation member Steve Bardusan of Ahwatukee.

I enjoy giving golf lessons because cool things usually happen. 

First, I make money; nothing wrong with that. Second, it’s fun to see the look on people’s face when they hit a nice shot – possibly for the first time ever.  And third, sometimes these people end up being your friends.

That’s what happened when a guy named Robin came to me for lessons way back in the early 80’s. We both lived in Casper, Wyoming, at the time and he was the new associate pastor at the church I was attending. 

I gave Robin a couple golf lessons and we soon discovered we had more in common than just golf. After that we spent countless hours trying to beat each other in racquetball, basketball and Ping-Pong. 

Unfortunately, he usually won. Plus we both loved God and challenged each other in our spiritual lives.

About that time, I moved to Phoenix to be able to golf year-round and try out for the PGA Tour.

 A few years later Robin called me and said, “Hey, I’m moving to Phoenix to start a new church.  Wanna help?” 

“Sure,” I said, “Where?” 

“I guess there’s this place called Ahwatukee that has been really growing and could use another church.” 

“Sounds good. How do we do it?” 

“I found this telemarketing approach that supposedly works really well. We just call up people and ask them if they are active in a church. If they say ‘yes’ we say ‘Good job, keep it up’ and if they say ‘no,’ we ask them if they would like a brochure on a new church we are starting. 

“Supposedly, 10 percent of the people we call will ask for a brochure and 10 percent of those people will actually show up at the first service.” 

“So how many phone calls do you want to make?” I asked.

“I’m thinking 20,000,” Robin said. 

“Dude, that could cut into our golfing time!” I said jokingly. 

So, Robin recruited about a dozen other people to help and we started making phone calls. After 23,000 conversations we had 2,300 people wanting a brochure. 

And, believe it or not, just about 230 of those people showed up at the first service. How cool is that! 

The date was Oct. 18, 1987. We started out in Pueblo Middle School’s cafeteria, then moved to Mountain Pointe High School’s auditorium and finally into a building on 24th and Pecos.

It cracks me up now to walk into the Sunday service and have an energetic greeter hand me a bulletin and say, “Welcome to Mountain Park Church. Is this your first time?”

 “No,” I say, “I’ve been coming here for awhile.”

I look forward to the next new person I give a golf lesson to. 

I just hope it’s not a pastor saying, “Can you help me make a few phone calls?"

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.