Bethel alumnus brings community to the inner city

December 7, 2012 | 11 a.m.

Bethel alumnus brings community to the inner city

Culture | Lucy Hayes for The Clarion

Bethel alumnus brings community to the inner city

Ace in the City founder Tim Anderson and his wife Emily have expanded their ministry to reach children in both the Twin Cities and Mexico. | Photo for The Clarion courtesy of David O'Reilly

Bethel alumnus Tim Anderson started his own ministry, Ace in the City, a few years ago as a young graduate. His inspiration for this ministry stemmed from one of his good friends, Andy (“Ace”), who died in July of 2008. According to Anderson, Ace was an incredibly kind man who had a heart for serving others and always glorified God in whatever he did, including basketball.

Anderson also loves basketball. He played for Bethel as a student and later coached for the Bethel women's basketball team. Anderson decided to combine his heart for ministry, his respect for his friend Ace and his own love for basketball by starting a ministry here in the Twin Cities.

Ace in the City started as Ace Hoops, an inner-city ministry based on building community through a passion for basketball. Kids from all over the city would come to share in the fellowship and fun. Now the ministry has expanded to playing in the park and working on homework with the kids, which is why they’ve recently changed the name.

Ace in the City works to get involved abroad. In addition, Anderson stated that Ace in the City is really driven by “a heart for community, a heart to be authentic hands and feet in a broken and hurting world, a heart to use the gifts God's given us to bless others and invest in His Kingdom, and a heart to see the bride of Christ – the Church – moving and acting with passion and purpose.”

Not only is Ace in the City a ministry that serves in the Twin Cities, but it is also involved with Bethel. One way that the ministry engages with Bethel students is by hosting a spring break mission trip to Juarez, Mexico. This trip is less expensive than many of the other options for Bethel students, and it gives students a chance to plug into a ministry that they can continue serving with even after the trip ends.
Bethel senior David O’Reilly has developed an interest in this ministry, and he said that Ace in the City is “more dynamic” than other ministries. Because of this, more Bethel students may look to get involved.

When asked what Ace in the City’s vision for the future is, Anderson shared that he hopes for “the Church to be empowered to be the transformative agent of healing and reconciliation that God desires for us to be.”

Matthew 28:19 commands us to “go and make disciples of all nations,” and Ace in the City has clung to that. They won’t be the sole catalyst for change, but “God willing, [Ace] can play a part in bringing God’s Kingdom here and now,” Anderson said.

If interested in getting involved with this unique inner-city ministry, there are many ways to do so. Whether it’s donating online at, going on their spring break mission trip or volunteering locally, Ace in the City offers many ways for people to use their gifts and passions to spread God’s Kingdom.


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