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Upward Unlimited Complex Sold
Upward Unlimited
Oct. 5, 2023

SPARTANBURG, S.C., Oct. 5, 2023 /Christian Newswire/ -- Upward Unlimited, a Spartanburg-based sports ministry, has sold its Wellford campus, including the Star Center sports complex. After much prayerful thought and consideration, Upward's Board of Directors and leadership team have concluded that the ownership and operation of these significant real estate assets is no longer necessary for the furtherance of its mission and purpose.
The Startex-Jackson-Wellford-Duncan Water District has purchased the corporate office building, while the Windsor/Aughtry Company, a Greenville-based development firm, has bought Upward's distribution center.
Global Academy and a supporting investment group has purchased the Star Center and surrounding property to house a charter school and for further development.

Through partnerships with local churches and the new owners, Upward youth sports programs will continue for the approximately 1,600 children who utilize the Star Center.

The sale of the campus will allow Upward Unlimited to put all of its energy into its core ministry of helping local churches reach their communities through sports.

The Star Center was built nine years ago to extend the organization's mission, but it didn't effectively serve that purpose. Upward CEO Kevin Drake said the sale will usher in a new era for Upward. "Our mission is to promote the discovery of Christ through sports, and we are called to do that across the nation and throughout the world," he said. "The Star Center represented a small portion of this ministry, but it consumed a disproportionate share of Upward's attention and resources."
Upward has grown its core ministry, recruiting 420 new church partners over the past 24 months, and recently acquired Run For God Ministries in Dalton, Georgia to expand into adult programming to further the gospel. "We have been blessed with tremendous growth across the nation. The sale of the campus will enable our organization to concentrate on helping churches spread the gospel through sports," Drake said.
In 2020, Upward launched a new business model, allowing church partners customization of their programs. Under this model, Upward now distributes through Augusta Sportswear Brands, a leading provider in sports apparel. This change made the distribution center in Spartanburg unnecessary.
The sale of the property will free up a large portion of the organization's assets and will allow Upward's staff to refocus their efforts on matters that are central to its mission. "For our team and our board, this is about being good stewards of the resources God has given us. We want to maximize the impact of those resources to reach the next generation for Christ, which is why we chose to sell the campus," Drake said.
The chairman of the Upward Board of Directors, Tully Brewer, said: "We are praising God for this sale and for the renewed growth in Upward over the past two years. We are excited to see how the Lord will use this ministry going forward."
Upward will continue to operate in the corporate building on the campus.
SOURCE Upward Unlimited

CONTACT: Jennifer McCraw, Jmccraw@upward.org