Community Features

Church Surf

Photo courtesy of Renee Reed.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many churches cannot have indoor services, but there’s one that meets outside with a lovely view. This glimmer of hope is Church Surf, founded by Will Allen, a former PLNU student.

Jake Hennesey, a junior at PLNU, said it started in Palos Verdes, California and attendees meet on the beach, pray together and surf afterward. 

“The mission is to spread the gospel among the surfing community. From personal experience, the group embodied what it means to have a ‘child-like faith,” said Hennesey. To have child-like faith is to fully rely on God for guidance just as a child does with their parents. “We should be in awe at who God is and should remain curious to know more about Him.” 

Hennesey said Allen has the qualities of someone with child-like faith and his character rubs off on the people around him. According to Hennesey, Church Surf made its way to Point Loma Nazarene University’s campus his sophomore year, where they met on the grass in front of Young Hall to hear the message and pray.

“It’s impacted a lot of people, and Will started a Church Surf website and is in the process of planning more outreach events; I can’t wait to see where God will lead the group in the future,” Hennessey said.

According to Hennessey, they haven’t met recently because of COVID-19 and school. However, they’ve done board raffles for the World Help organization and posted videos online explaining what the Gospel is.

Allen explained how and why he started the group, and what he sees for its future. He said what inspired him to start were the kids he surfs with at home and how their energy gets him stoked.

“I wanted to start a little group for these kids so we can surf and learn about Jesus together,” Allen said.

He decided to go for it with the help of some buddies. What inspired the name was one of his friend’s youth groups in La Jolla called “Surf Church.” Allen said they met on the beach every Thursday, worshipped, heard a message and surfed after. It was convenient for them to meet because they all lived in the same neighborhood and got creative by doing surf competitions with prizes.

“We have a website and emailing list for updates and events as well as a fundraiser going on right now,” Allen said. “A big part of Church Surf is to do fundraisers for people and serve our community for those in need.”

His hope for the future of Church Surf is for the kids to start youth groups in their hometowns. Allen hopes Church Surf can travel the world and spread the Gospel while teaching kids how to surf. 

Written By: Imani Espino

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