Paul Anderson and Clint Bidleman became inseparable friends in the eighth grade. Paul, a skater since
age 11, and Clint, since age 14, grew up in the San Luis Obispo, California skate culture in the late
70's and early 80's. Fellow teammates on the Central Coast Surfboards skate team, they both emerged
as top freestyle competitors.
Skating, drugs, alcohol, stealing wood to build skateboard ramps - it all went together. But at age 17,
they both underwent a radical lifestyle change when they individually came to know Jesus Christ as
Savior and Lord through the bold witness of obedient Christians.
In 1987, the 23-year-olds were sponsored amateur freestyle skaters attending a Portland Oregon Bible
College, and informally skateboarding with local neighborhood skaters. One night while studying, Paul
met some skaters on campus who had wandered away from a gym night at nearby Central Bible
Church. Returning the skaters to the gym, Paul was encouraged by Central Bible Youth Intern John
Stone to come weekly and minister to skaters who didn't fit in. Determined to follow the path Jesus
had for them, Paul and Clint then joined forces with Youth Pastor Mark DeYmaz and founded
Skatechurch in the Central Bible parking lot.
Tragically, Clint passed away in 1993 from the AIDS virus after contracting HIV in 1983 through a blood
transfusion he received following a near fatal motorcycle accident. His famous 180 tracts remain on
the merchandise page of the website as a memorial to his faithful service to Christ and the skaters of the world.
The Skatechurch building was completed and dedicated in 1996, through a sizeable donation from a member of Central Bible Church.
The past 30 years have been a testimony to answered prayer and God's power to save souls and change lives.
Paul and his staff affirm with wholehearted zeal, "The gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone
who believes" (Romans 1: 16), that prayer is the backbone of spiritual ministry, and that one plants, another
waters, but it is God who causes the increase (see 1 Corinthians 3:5, 6).
- Over 12,469 skaters in the greater Portland area have heard the Gospel through Skatechurch.
- Skatechurch has held three skate camps.
- 1,337 people locally have claimed Christ as Savior and Lord.
- 20 Skatechurch students have gone on to Bible College in some capacity.
- After getting saved, four skaters went on to teach at a Bible college or seminary.
- Skatechurch has assisted many other skate ministries in getting started and maintaining their own
skateboard ministries throughout the US, Canada, Australia, Europe, Africa and India.
- In 1998, Skatechurch produced a video to help other ministries start and run ministries to skaters.
The latest version of the "How To" Video,
produced in 2007, can now be viewed online for free.
- The skateboard demonstration team has preached the Gospel to
approximately 19,050 people throughout California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana,
Arkansas, Canada and Ireland.
- Gerald Griffin, Skatechurch pastor from 1999-2002, and Ben Thomas, Skatechurch pastor from
2003-2005, led a team of skaters to France and Ireland in the summer of 2002.
Joel Coombs led Skatechurch mission teams to Ireland in 2004 and 2005.
- 714 people have professed faith in Christ through the witness of the demo team.
- In addition to these demos, from 2000 to 2004 Skatechurch partnered
with the Luis Palau Evangelistic Association to do 11 demos at Palau
Festivals in the U.S. and Europe. These festivals included:
- building 4,500 to 9,000-square-foot skate parks.
- organizing teams of professional Christian skaters.
- preaching the Gospel to the large crowds that attend the skateboard demonstrations,
resulting in 1849 decisions or rededications.
- Paul Anderson, a partner evangelist to Luis Palau, and Skatechurch's involvement in these festivals became the seedbed
for Palau's ongoing Livin' It Action Sports Ministries.