About Break Free Ministries
We are convinced that the local church needs to be the primary initiator in a community to bring lasting social change, through the preaching and demonstration of the gospel. We are also convinced that the church operates most effectively when local men and women are serving. Through engaging, transforming and sending members of the Hip-Hop community, we want to supply the local church with passionate, Spirit-led servants.
- Intentionally Engage
- Distinctly Love
- Locally Lead
Who We Are
President and Chicago, IL Chapter Head
My name is Michael Swalley, aka bboy Bishop. I am an adopted son of God, born again at a young age through hearing the gospel. My wife (Ellen) and I live in the Chicagoland area and have three daughters and one foster son.
God has placed a passion on my heart for cross-cultural ministry, men embracing their role as husbands and fathers, and for racial unity. I started breaking at the age of 21. Initially, breaking was a fun hobby for me. But during an internship in Melbourne, Australia, I was fully introduced to the Hip-Hop community. Encouraged to start a ministry using breaking, I came back to the states in 2005 with a vision to see the Hip-Hop community passionately serving Christ.
In the last 12 years, I have lived in three major city centers in America. I have traveled the world and seen the Hip-Hop community in numerous countries. The time spent in these places has convinced me that Hip-Hop, through the power of the Spirit, is a uniquely effective method to make disciples. Local leaders serving in their local church, through the power of the gospel. That is my passion. Breaking is my method. God’s son is my identity.
Elgin, IL Chapter Head
My name is Joshua Meza, aka bboy Spiritual Warrior and I am a messenger of the gospel. I started breaking at the age of 12 and gave my life over to Christ at age 14. I am from Elgin, Illinois. I gave my life to Jesus after a series of life and family challenges that left my family separated.
In the midst of the brokenness of my situation, I walked away from God a started getting into many unhealthy relationships. After finding myself empty from the sin I had committed, I made the decision to trust God to give me a fresh start. I’ve never looked back, only been moving forward!
Since that day, God has been continually blessing, disciplining, and growing me in the faith. Dancing is one of the gifts God has given me to spread the love of Jesus Christ to his children. God has given me many opportunities to travel, compete and connect with other breakers on a national level. I became a member of Break Free in November of 2015 and am fired up to see what God has planned next for the Chicago area and for our ministry!
Madrid, Spain Staff
My name is Alex, I’m from Bolivia and I’m 24 years old. I’ve been breaking since I was 17. At that time I had a lot of insecurity and felt inferior. I trained a lot, but even after all the effort I put into it, I never really believed that I would be able to get somewhere with it.
A group who used art to make God known came to my city, Tudela. I had been looking for recognition, fame and money, but I saw something different in them. I liked what they did so much that I wanted to be apart of it.
Some time after that, I found out that a group like this was emerging in Madrid. They invited me to participate in one of their get-togethers. I learned that dancing is not the only thing and they challenged me to have a personal relationship with God. I knew God, but I had not experienced one of those moments of true transformation in my life.
But God truly found me.
Now I’m a part of this team. I work fulltime in the ministry, Impact World, in Spain. I love it because in these past 4 years God has brought many changes in my life, and he has given me a larger passion for the people of the Hip-Hop Community. One of the ways that God has showed me this is through Break Free Ministries!
I never imagined I could find people that were a part of the breaking community and at the same time have a passion for God and making disciples in a way that engages Hip-Hop.
I want to continue to see and be a part of what God is doing in this community!
Tokyo, Japan Chapter Head
I’m Vicente Alvarado, better known as Bboy Cente. I’m Honduran-American. I started breaking in the early 2000’s at the age of 14, although I never took it very seriously because I thought of it as just another hobby.
In 2009, I met Bboy Bishop and he introduced me Break Free Ministries. At that time, I had just re-dedicated my life to the Lord and the desire to serve Him was so new and beautiful. It was then that I heard the idea of serving God through dance. It completely blew my mind and it was at that point I realized what my purpose was in breaking.
Today I live in Tokyo, Japan with my wife and two daughters. We assist a small church through discipleship and breaking.
Chicago, IL Staff
My name is Jethnam (Jetnam) Fabara. I live on the south side of Chicago (Little Village area) with my wife and son.
God drew me to the Lawndale/Little Village area a few years ago. I found my self working with Pastor Phil Jackson and the FireHouse Community Arts Center starting around 2011. The vision I see working with the FireHouse is for all youth to be welcomed and for them to learn what they’re passionate about. That’s also where I met Mike Swalley and found out about the concept of Break Free Ministries.
I started breaking in high school around 2004. I used breaking as a vehicle for healing from family brokenness and an outlet for my life. Ironically, going to different practice spots and venturing to farther places to dance is where I found out about Christ and God’s love through sessions and battles integrated into service and worship.
Although I put a heavy emphasis on breaking and dancing in general, I found myself yearning for more. I realized what was my missing was my relationship with God. I recognize and know now, that although dance is a part of me, it is not ALL of me.
Kiev, Ukraine Staff
Hey everyone! My name Artem Usov, aka bboy Artek.
I believe that God has called me to serve him by reaching my brothers and sisters from the Hip-Hop community. I was saved when i was 16, the same year I started breaking. I have a beautiful wife Olga, and newborn twin boys Martin & Levi. We are from the Ukraine, currently living in Kiev.
I have been breaking professionally since 2006. I have felt God wanting to use my art to serve him since my first performance at an outreach jam. My real journey with God started in 2014 when I was a student of SMS (Steiger Mission School) in Germany. I’ve been part of Steiger’s outreach tour (NLM) for over 3 years. More then 20 countries, 100 shows and 60,000 people have heard clear, relevant messages of the Gospel because of the work this band has been doing.
Since 2017, we have lived in Kiev and got involved a lot in a Hip-Hop community. Last year I took 1st place in one of the major breaking events in Ukraine, Breakidz. I am a member of Lost Law, one of top crew’s in Ukraine. Last year we started developing Saint Rockers crew, a group of people who believe in Jesus and have a Hip-Hop background.
Our eternal purpose to grow leaders in the Hip-Hop community with christian values. Missionaries with a passion for the broken world. We see breaking is a huge tool for God, and we want to use this tool to change the world.
Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN Staff
My name is Nathan Maliscke, aka bboy Nate Crash and I am a messenger of the gospel. I started breaking at the age of 14 and gave my life over to christ at age 16. I am originally from North Dakota but moved to Minneapolis in 2015 to attend college at Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
I gave my life to Jesus after a series of life and family challenges that left me and my sisters in a foster home. In the midst of the brokenness of my situation I made the decision to trust God and never looked back. Since that day, God has been continually blessing, disciplining, and growing me in the faith.
Dancing is one of the gifts that God has given me to spread the love of Jesus Christ to his children. God has given me many opportunities to travel, compete and connect with other breakers on a national and international scale. I became a member of Break Free in February of 2016 and am fired up to see what God has planned next!
Nairobi, Kenya Staff
My name is Joseph Omondi (bboy Drift). I am 27 years old and I’m from Nairobi, Kenya. I’m born again and I love Christ. I was saved as a child, but I lost my way as I was growing up. My spiritual journey started when I was about 6 years old. My uncle introduced me to church. At this time in my life I lived with my mom and my mom’s siblings in the same house. I had never met my real dad until I was 18 and this really affected my childhood, and later on my teenage years going to my adult life.
I was in church from when I was 6 years to when I was 9. Then my mom decided to move in with my step-dad, who later on in life became very abusive to my mom and family. As a result of what I was going through at home, I opted to choose drugs as a way out. On top of that, my main goal in life was to train physically to defend my mom and myself from my abusive step-dad. My addiction got worse and I started getting in trouble with my family, to the point where I got arrested, kicked out of school and out of homes of close relatives who lived with me with the aim of giving me a better life.
My mom opted to take me to rehab. I was at rehab for 3 months and came out clean. Just before I went to rehab, my uncle brought me back to my childhood church. It had been ten years and I had been through a lot in life. I went back to school after my rehab. After I finished school, I joined Bible School. It was around this time that I started breaking. I have always had the desire to minister with this unique and universal culture. Bboying and hip-hop have been a very special part of my life and they have helped me in the journey of discovering who I really am. This is also an art form to express my worship to God. I now use this art form to minister to those practicing it and also other people outside of the culture.
I’m thankful for Break Free Ministries for making me a part of their team.
We Believe Statements
We believe that the Bible is the infallible (able to accomplish its purpose), inerrant (without error) and authoritative Word of God written down by men who were led by the Holy Spirit. The Bible is the source of truth in which we can come to know the only true God and His Son Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Bible convicts us of sin, shows us how to know God personally, and is a roadmap in how to live a life that is pleasing to God. 2 Timothy 3:16,17; 2 Peter 1:20,21; Hebrews 4:12; John 17:17; Psalm 119:9,11,105
We believe that God is one and that He eternally exists in three distinct persons: The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. Each person of the Godhead is equally God and are worthy of the same worship, and work together in fulfilling the plan of God, which is to bring glory to Himself. Love, faithfulness, justice, truth, judgment, grace, and wrath are all different attributes of God. The God of the Bible is the only true God. Exodus 34:6-7; Deuteronomy 6:4; Luke 3:21,22
We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. He is sinless and perfect. He shared fully in our humanity and was also fully God at the same time when he came to earth, full of grace and truth. His purpose was to fulfill prophecy, testify to the Truth, die for the sins of the world, and rise from the dead to offer forgiveness of sin, a relationship with God and eternal life by faith in His finished work on the cross. His death was substitutionary, the righteous for the unrighteous. After His bodily resurrection, He ascended into heaven and is sitting at the right hand of the Father. He will return to earth again to bring judgment. He is the only source of salvation for the world. Romans 5:6-8; John 3:16-18; Hebrews 2:14,15,4:15; John 1:1-12; Colossians 1:19, 2:9; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:35
We believe the Holy Spirit is part of the Godhead who is fully God and dwells inside followers of Christ. His purpose is to guide believers into all truth, convict the world of sin, empower us to live a Godly life, to comfort us, and to help us understand the Bible. Believers must be filled with the Holy Spirit daily in order to live a life that is pleasing to God. He has emotions which can be quenched and grieved when disobeyed. John 14:26, 16:13; Acts 1:8, 5:3,4; 1 Corinthians 2:1-5; Ephesians 4:30; Thessalonians 5:18
We believe that humanity was created in the image of God, but as the result of the sin of one man (Adam), all people lost their spiritual life and became dead in sins. Because of this, we believe that man is born a sinner. Everyone in the past, present, and future has sinned against God, no one living the perfect life that He demands. Sin is disobeying Gods Word by breaking His laws and commandments, and not doing what we should do. Sin separates us from a relationship God wants to have with us. The sin to reject Gods free gift of salvation has eternal consequences in Hell. Jesus took the punishment we deserve for our sins by dying on a cross for us to offer an opportunity to have eternal life. Romans 3:10-11, 23; Romans 6:23; Isaiah 59:1; 1 John 3:4; 2 Corinthians 5:21
Salvation is a free gift paid with a high price of Christ’s precious blood shed on the cross for our sins. We believe that salvation comes through grace alone, by faith alone, and in Jesus Christ alone. This gift is received by faith when one believes in their heart that only Jesus can forgive, justify, and give eternal life, and repents from their life of sin and rebellion. An individual can be at peace with God by faith in Jesus Christ alone. Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3;21-28, 5:1; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Titus 3:5; 2 Timothy 1:9; John 3:16; Mark 1:15; Romans 10:9-10; John 14; Acts 4:12; John 10:1-10
We believe the gospel is the power of God for salvation to all who believe. The Gospel is good news to a world that is dead and lost spiritually due to sin. The good news is that Jesus, motivated by love, died on a cross for our sins, was buried and rose from the dead to bring salvation to a lost world. Jesus took the punishment we deserve for our sin on Himself, though He was perfect, and offers us forgiveness and freedom from sin. The gospel has the power to bring spiritually dead people and make them alive by believing the gospel. The gospel is what we desire to live out and preach to all nations. Romans 1:16-17; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Romans 10:14,15; 1 Corinthians 9:24; Acts 20:24
THE PURPOSE OF LIFE
We believe the sole purpose of life is to worship God by bringing Him glory. God is passionate about His glory and we are passionate about glorifying Him in all that we say, do, and think. To live the abundant life that Jesus offers, we must love God and love people. This is how we maximize our joy and bring Him the most honor that He rightly deserves. Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 42:8, 43:7; Matthew 22:36-40; Revelation 4-5