Slap Shot Service

Ashley and Tyler MorelandAshley and Tyler Moreland love hockey. They watch hockey, play hockey, and now, they minister with hockey.

From there, Lamp Lighters Hockey Ministry was born.

Started in 2011 by Ashley and Tyler, both Huntington University Adult Degree Program students, this shoes-only hockey program in Fort Wayne currently operates at three churches, as well as the downtown Salvation Army. Each week, the Morelands play street hockey with the kids, all the while, sharing their personal faiths.

"Our mission is to develop fully mature disciples of Jesus Christ through hockey," Ashley said. "We are helping people to develop all areas of their life: Their mind, body, spirit, service and leadership."

The ministry follows a curriculum, called "Lighting the Way," that engages everyone from the young to the young at heart by creating a holistic lifestyle while building a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

"I definitely think Lamp Lighters has been a success, simply because of the ways God has opened doors that we could not have on our own," Tyler said.

The newest addition to Lamp Lighters is "Hockey Mobile," a mobile trailer packed with all of the equipment needed to play street hockey.

"We always joked about this 'Hockey Mobile' that would travel around like an ice cream truck and just beckon kids from the neighborhood to come play street hockey," Ashley said. "It was always just this joke we had, and then one day I turned to Tyler and I said, 'Maybe this Hockey Mobile is exactly what God wants us to do,' and we haven't looked back since."

This November, the couple is hosting a fundraiser, "10,000 Pucks World Record," to help launch their mobile ministry. The goal is to set a world record by taking 10,000 street hockey shots in one day, the most ever by a group of people. Each shooter will be responsible for raising $1 for every shot they commit to take. The event will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Nov. 17 at Spiece Fitness, 5310 Merchandise Drive, in Fort Wayne. Contact to learn more.

With all that has happened with the Morelands' ministry over the last year, they give a lot of credit back to Huntington University and their professors and classmates for making it a success.

"We often agree that Lamp Lighters Hockey Ministry was born out of Huntington University," Ashley said. "We've had several professors who have directly impacted our organization, and it would not be what it is today if it weren't for them."

Ashley and Tyler will both graduate from HU in May 2013 Ashley with degrees in not-for-profit leadership and human resource management and Tyler with degrees in not-for-profit leadership and marketing.

"(Being at HU), it has strengthened our relationship and our professional abilities," Tyler said.

"It's taught us how to work through when we don't agree on how to proceed with things," Ashley added. "It's those times that are priceless and wouldn't be possible if we didn't do this together."