2023 Participants
Decatur – Lifepoint
Fayetteville – New Life
Middletown – All For One
Townsend – Townsend Church
Pensacola – Pursue Life (2)
Zephyrhills – New Walk Church
Fishers – Crosspoint Church
Indianapolis - Westlake Community (2)
Mooresville - Uncommon Ministries (2)
Plainfield – Plainfield Christian
Lexington – Madness Ministries
Mt. Sterling – Fellowship Christian
Mt. Sterling – United Churches
Salt Lick – Lakeview Community
Winchester – First Church of God
Sayville – Gospel Community Valor (2)
Hickory - Church of God
Lenoir – Living Hope Church
Morganton - Church of God
Dayton - Salem Church
Fairfield – One Church
Hamilton – ADG
London – Sons of Thunder
Middletown – Towne Church
Orrville – Orrville Christian
Ephrata – Church of the Brethren
Levittown – Church of God
Monroeville – Assembly of God
Punxsutawney – Church of God
Spring Grove – Spring Grove United
York – St. Mary’s
York – Touch of the Master
Buena Vista – Pentecostal Holiness
Chesapeake – One City Church
Chesterfield – Hope Point Church
Chilhowie – Chilhowie Baptist
Culpeper – Dunamis
Culpeper – Open Door Baptist
Elliston - Moore’s Chapel (2)
Fairfax – Saint Leo the Great
Fredericksburg – Riverside Church of God
Lynchburg – Living Water Ministry
Lynchburg - Missions Ministry (3)
Mechanicsville – Compass Christian (2)
Moneta – Ole Rugged Cross
Moneta – Westlake Baptist
Roanoke – Exalted Church
Roanoke – Harvest Baptist
Roanoke – Heights Community Church
Roanoke – Perfecting Unity
Roanoke – Valley Church
Rocky Mount – Henry Fork Brethren
Rustburg – New Hope
Weyers Cave – Life Christian Fellowship
Hedgesville – Hope Community Church (2)
Inwood – New Life Community

Interstate Softball Tournament History

Charlie Briscoe and Larry Desper
– Tournament Founder & Former Tournament Director of Officials

During the spring of 1978 the Interstate Softball Tournament was birthed through the leadership of Charles Briscoe and the Athletic committee of the Tacoma Church of God. The first two years of the tournament took place in Johnson City, TN. The name "Interstate" was selected because the first tourney featured teams from Princeton, WV, Groseclose and Broadford, VA and Kingsport, Greenville and Johnson City, TN. Tacoma Church of God, Johnson City won the first tourney played and Greenville First was the runner up. The second year of the tourney we had ten teams with Ohio and North Carolina joining in too as a part of the Saturday games. It was this year that the coaches Bob Bollinger, Hickory, Pastor Ed Lenzer, Concord and Ed Kelley, Salem Church became involved in the tournament.

In 1980 the Briscoe’s moved to the "Valley of the man made star," Roanoke Virginia. The tournament was a larger project than the Tacoma Church was able to continue so Charlie working with Pastor Stan Weidbroad of the First Church of God Roanoke moved the tournament to Oakey's Softball Complex of fields in Salem, VA. There were ten teams in the first effort in Virginia and first participant First Church of God of Columbia, SC won the even. During that weekend some of the coaches asked if we could do more than just play ball the next year. Interim Pastor Lowell Hunt assisted in putting in place a softball players worship service that started before the Sunday school hour and was over before the regular morning worship hour of the Roanoke First Church of God. We had over 200 persons at the first service in 1981 and once again ten teams. Brother Ed Lenzer was the first speaker for the softball player’s service and because he had played with the teams his message was received and many lives were changed.

Since 1984 the Interstate Softball Tournament has had anywhere from 24 to 65 teams each year to play in the weekend event. The exciting news beside the success of this tournament is that there have been three tournaments spun off from this exciting weekend. First was the west coast tournament when Pastor Dean Shields and his sons moved to Modesto, CA. Then the Pastor of Ivey Church at Wood River, IL, just outside of St. Louis started a tournament in the mid-west and in 2001 Pastor Ron Bower from South Carolina started one to serve the lower Southeast in Sumter, SC. The most wonderful thing to see is that all of these tournaments are not in competition with one another but that they are working to give the church a larger vehicle with which to fight the devil for the lives of the ball players of the church. There was a tournament started in Louisiana and they have since moved it to Oklahoma city to Mid America Bible College that is coordinated by Athletic Director and head Basketball Coach Willie Holley.

Lives have been changed through the fellowship on the fields and the worship services. There have been many outstanding speakers who have been enriching and uplifting as we have heard God's word shared by Ed Lenzer, Steve Burch, Doug Talley, Mitchell Burch, Dean Schield, Jeff Frymire, Rolland Daniels, Gary Ausbun, Ron Patty, Tom Planck, Denny Huebner, Bill Ellis, Sid Bream, Ted Power, and many more. Through the years we have seen players commit their lives to Christ at the alter of our worship services, ball fields, parking lots, and even on the edge of the road as the teams have been traveling home. We started wit out worship services at First Church Roanoke that seated 700, and moved after Salem High School auditorium that seated 900 then moved into the Gym that seated 1600 to the Salem Civic Center that would seat 8000. The largest number of worshippers at the "Ball Players Worship Service" over these years was 3,500 in 1999.

"Serving And Sharing Christ Through Softball While Raising Funds For Missions In Paraguay"
Interstate Softball Tournament - Since 1978