Deena C. Bouknight – Contributing Writer
When area archery clubs waned or disappeared, Beau Bishop and his father,
Dennis Bishop, decided to found Believer Archery, a Scholastic 3D Archery (S3DA) organization. At events such as last weekend’s Realistic 3D tournament, archers of all levels and ages sign up to try their skill at hitting 25 3D targets that resemble various animals. S3DA is similar to golf in that participants walk from station to station and shoot targets – foam animals – to score points.
“These targets are set to present a physically, mentally, and spiritually challenging course. In fact, we host a shoot about once a month from about January through September,” Beau Bishop explained.
Believer Archery was started three years ago as both a Christian ministry and an activity that can earn participating students scholarship opportunities typically available to traditional athletes, such as football players or cross country runners, but seldom accessible for archers.
Believer Archery shoots involve various activities including opportunities to swap, trade, and sell hunting, fishing, or archery gear as well as raffles.
“I’ve been involved in archery for about 15 years,” said Beau. “I began competing on a national level and determined there are programs out there to get kids involved. S3DA is a national program that offers students starting at eight years old a chance to accumulate scholarships. A few have gotten full rides through Believer Archery in the past few years.”
Beau learned archery from his father.
“He got me into it when I was little, and I began to hunt deer with a compound bow.”
Beau pointed out that Believer Archery is as much about sportsmanship and skill as it is about hearing and sharing the gospel of Jesus.
“Sometimes before our events, a local pastor will give a message and offer a prayer. Whatever the Lord lays on our hearts is what we share with others.”
He added, “Our main goal is to spread the gospel and we do something we love through this sport. With the shoots, we have a printed gospel presentation out on the course.”
Beau has competed on the national level through the Archery Shooters Association and has achieved up to 45 yards in competitions. He placed third nationally this year as Shooter of the Year.
“The biggest benefit of archery is the camaraderie and fellowship,” pointed out Beau. “We go to events and we might be with 2,000 other shooters. Great people. They help and encourage one another. It’s like a big family. I’ve even met shooters from other countries.”
Money raised during Believer Archery events goes to purchasing food, targets, and other supplies for the club. Plus, donations are made to local charities, such as Baptist Children’s Home.
“Many local families have become involved in Believer Archery, and we’ve had people come from surrounding counties and states to participate in our events,” said Beau. “It’s the only club of its kind in this area.”
More information on Believer Archery is available on its social media sites or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.