SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Upward Unlimited, a Spartanburg-based sports ministry, recently sold their 120,000-square-foot Star Sports Complex to Global Academy of South Carolina. They said it’s in an effort to focus on their current national impact while keeping their mission going. 

“We know it’s in good hands and it’s going to be a really good thing for Spartanburg, it’ll be further development,” said Kevin Drake, executive director of Upward Unlimited Sports.

Upward Unlimited said they aim to intersect sports with ministry, and in the last few years, their growth has been incredible.

“We’ve experienced double-digit growth across the nation, having added over 440 churches in the last 24 months, this is really a relief for us so we can focus on what God has called us to do, which is spread the gospel across the nation,” said Drake.

As Upward Unlimited transitions into focusing on its churches across the country, the Global Academy of South Carolina charter school is open. After opening the first week of September, the school has almost 300 students enrolled. Drake said while that was the school’s max capacity for this year, they’re hoping they can up that number to 1,200 in the future. Sports will continue to play a big role on campus.

“They’re going to maintain sports on the campus,” said Drake. “As a matter of fact, Upward has a local league that has about 1,600 kids. Through partnerships with churches and the owners, we’re going to continue to have those programs.”

The school, modeled after Global’s charter schools in Florida, said they specialize in teaching foreign languages to create global leaders. Upward Unlimited feels like its objectives align, and the impact on the community will only grow stronger. 

“For the Spartanburg community, I think it’s a great opportunity to see growth along this corridor and for us as a ministry, it’s exciting to hand it off into good hands,” said Drake.

We reached out to the Global Academy of South Carolina for a comment and are waiting to hear back. Spartanburg County tells us the SC Department of Education approves charter schools like this one for the county.