Who started the TEACH FLEET and why?
The Gospel Lightship was founded in 2004 by Rev. Wilbert McKinley Jr. a minister and ship designer. It was started as a community faith-based youth outreach program.
Since Rev. McKinley's background was in both ship design and christian education. The purpose of the Gospel Lightship is to demonstrate God's love through youth education.
In 2009 he partnered with Baltimore City Public Schools and was awarded a 2 year $200,000 grant to conduct an after school program to encourage elementary and middle school students to pursue careers in transportation.
During the performance of the grant Rev. McKinley discovered that people of all ages love LEGO and God blessed him with a gift to build LEGO ships from scratch without directions or any previous LEGO building experience.
Since 2010 he has built over 200 LEGO ships, including replicas for maritime and educational organizations such as the Sandy Hook Pilots Assn of NY & NJ and S.U.N.Y. Maritime Academy.
Since 2010 the TEACH FLEET has visited universities, colleges, schools, museums, and libraries. It has provided countless opportunities to share his testimony to thousands.