The Story of SkateWorld
As many of you know, at the end of this month Rise will begin the transition into our future home. Out of respect for SkateWorld as a business, we have been very intentional about not going overly public with the story. Despite our excitement about the adventure of this building, we’ve sought to quietly honor SkateWorld.
Why? Because what SkateWorld and Rise share in common is a love for our city. We love this city, it’s people, and businesses. So, the last thing we’ve wanted to do is make the news of SkateWorld closing a big buzz and thus kill their last few months of business before doors officially lock. But with Rise closing the deal in the next couple weeks, we wanted to finally share a little more of the backstory.
From the beginning, the ownership of SkateWorld was an amazing family with an incredible vision for our community. They established SkateWorld as a place that youth, families, and individuals from all over town could come together for fun, friendship, and laughter. From its inception, the idea of SkateWorld has been one of community building. SkateWorld has been a continual asset to this city.
Over the last couple of decades, as cultural interests have shifted and the sale of the business was on the horizon, SkateWorld’s owners still had a heart for community-building. So, rather than allow the property to become something of little use to the community, they kept the sale of the business under the radar until they were able to find a buyer with the same community-focused values. That is when they connected with Rise, a church that shares the same love and burden for the city that SkateWorld was built upon. In SkateWorld’s final breaths, this godly, community-oriented family made their final community-serving move with this landmark space by selling the building to Rise City Church—ensuring SkateWorld’s legacy will last beyond it self.
Beautifully, the story of SkateWorld does not end in the rubble of a bulldozed facility, knocked down to become another unused parking lot. Instead, SkateWorld’s community-building legacy will now be multiplied outward by a church that has a vision to love, serve, and build into this city. From our name, to our vision, to our values, Rise City Church is a church that has openly, publicly, and unashamedly declared that we are for our city.
It is now our responsibility to carry this communal legacy forward. To be a church that is not focused inward, but outward. To continue our reputation of being active in our city. From partnering with ministries like My Father’s House to helping accelerate local foster care organizations like Thrive Ministries, we carry forward in demonstration of our love of, commitment to, and care for the Eastside.
What happens when a city-serving Church like Rise is moved to a landmark space like SkateWorld? SkateWorld’s owner has opened the opportunity for Rise to catalyze that city-serving vision. We are currently strategizing how to open up this space to local community-forming businesses—pushing into the next generation of community impact.
Rise City Church is not a church merely interested in drawing people inward but mobilizing people outward into our city— to love, serve, give, care, and create community in the neighborhoods scattered across our city. The original vision of SkateWorld does not die in this transition—it is given a rebirth. The community-creating, family-serving, life-giving vision of SkateWorld has been multiplied-out by offering its centrally located building to a church with a vision to raise people up to their truest calling and send them out to saturate our city with the love, hope, and compassion of the Gospel.
As SkateWorld closes its doors, it opens up an entirely new chapter of hope and community formation to this city.