Steve "Leapin" Lillis
President & Founder of Gospel Trick Shots Ministries, Inc.
8-Ball, 9-Ball, Straight Pool, Artistic Pool & Trick Shot Expos
Participated in all disciplines at all levels. Semi-retired from U.S. pro tour competition. Formerly ranked in the top 10 in the world in the 1970's and 1980's and ranked in the top 32 throughout 2003-2008 (U.S. Professional Pool Association rankings sanctioned by the BCA).
M03E Africa Cue with an i-2 Shaft
Break Shaft: Stinger shaft
Jump Shaft: i-1 Big Boy shaft
McDermott Ambassador Since: 2010
Home Clubs: Clifton Billiards & Sandcastle Billiards—New Jersey
Favorite Venue: Derby City Classic
Tips/advice for aspiring players:
Practice and prepare your heart off the table!
Best advice he received from someone:
Stay down on the shot!
Steve Lillis is a former state champion in Colorado, Georgia, Tennessee and Florida. He has finished in the top 10 in several World Championship events for 8-Ball, 9-Ball, and 14.1 Straight Pool. Steve has competed, done shows, coached, and served as an administrator of pool and billiards in 17 different foreign countries. In Germany, Ukraine, Albania, China and the Philippines—Steve has appeared on TV performing his Gospel Trick Shots before millions of people.
In the USA, Steve has appeared on ESPN and has had his life story broadcast on CBN TV with the "700 Club" and on 270 radio stations around the world through RBC Ministries of Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has done over 1,000 Gospel Trick Shots shows around the world over the past 20 years and continues to serve as President and Founder of the worldwide ministry, Gospel Trick Shot Ministries, Inc.
Steve currently serves as house pro for two billiards clubs in his home state of New Jersey, "Clifton Billiards" in Clifton and "Sandcastle Billiards" in Edison. He has ran 117 balls in straight pool past the age of 60. Over his pool playing career he has beaten 10 out of 17 Billiard Congress of America (BCA) Hall of Famers whom he has faced in world class competitions. In 2014 he took 2nd place in the New Jersey State One Pocket Championship—competing against other top professionals from the NY/NJ/PA tri-state area.
Steve plays with a McDermott “African model” pool playing cue with an i-2 shaft made by McDermott in honor of his 2010 African “pool safari,” which was partially sponsored by McDermott. He breaks with the McDermott Stinger break cue and jumps with the McDermott i-1 Big Boy shaft. McDermott also helped send Steve and his Gospel Trick Shot team to the Philippines in 2012 and 2015.
Steve currently resides in Haledon, NJ with his wife and former pool playing road partner Camille. They have been married for 35 years and have two married daughters, Amanda and Sarah, with one grandson Jayden and one granddaughter Isabelle. Steve and Camille once traveled 85,000 miles by car in a three year period to play pool all over the USA in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Currently, Steve is an adjunct professor of English at William Paterson University and Kean University in New Jerse. He has authored a book about his life story entitled “But You Must!” which is available on Amazon.com.
*Gospel Trick Shot Ministires (GTS)
*GTS/RACK team members are Mike Massey, Tom Rossman, and Steve Gelle
- "Back to School" 8-Ball Open Tournment — 1st Place — Phoenixville, PA Classic Billiards
- 2004-2010, 2012 & 2015: Lillis did a series of GTS Shows at the U.S. Open 9 Ball Championships in Chesapeake, Virginia, and Norfolk, Virginia.
- In 2006 & 2007 Steve was given permission by tournament promoter to eulogize fallen pool players, share and pray over the PA system.
- 2002-2015: GTS RACK Team appeared at the Hopkin’s Super Billiard Expo for shows & outreach—Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
- 2014 & 2015: Two GTS shows at the Monmouth Park Race Track in New Jersey for the jockeys, trainers, and staff
- Summer 2013, 2014 & 2015: GTS did a series of shows with the GTS portable pool table in Jones Beach Boardwalk, New York; the Asbury Park and Ocean Grove Boardwalks, New Jersey; and 4 times in Central Park at the band shell off 72nd Street, New York City
- GTS RACK Team appeared at the BCA National 8-Ball Championship and Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada, for shows and outreach.
- Mike Massey, Tom "Dr. Cue" Rossman, and Steve Lillis were the featured performers for most BCAPL events.
- 2011-2013: The GTS RACK Team of Mike Massey, Tom "Dr. Cue" Rossman and Steve Lillis, launch "RACK Up A Victory" world tour with first stop at the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida to honor our abled and disabled U.S. Vets and Military.
- 2008 & 2013: Lillis did a series of GTS Shows in conjunction with Dr. Cue Promotions, the “Classic Cup” event and the Derby City Classic—produced and directed by Diamond Billiard Products. Steve also helped organize and direct the first RACK Room Sunday morning service for pool players and by pool players.
- Appearances at the (CSRM) The Christian Sports and Recreation Ministry Summit:
- Phoenix 2009
- Atlanta 2010
- Indianapolis 2011
- Dallas 2012
- 2002-2007 & 2013: GTS RACK Team appeared at the APA National Championships for shows and outreach—Las Vegas
- GTS “In Memory of Ella” show at the Alexander Hamilton Public School in Paterson, New Jersey, on the GTS portable pool table for the entire school of 700 students
- GTS “In Memory of Ella” show on the portable pool table for the Anaheim, CA public school “Released Time” for religious instruction program end of the year banquet celebration
- Saturday night GTS show at Sandcastle Billiards in Edison, New Jersey, as part of the "Classic Cup VIII" artistic pool event with a RACK Room Sunday morning service
- Lillis was on a “pool safari” on the islands of Lake Victoria in Tanzania, Africa conducting pool tournaments and doing a series of Gospel Trick Shot shows for the island people in conjunction with missionaries from the Hawthorne Gospel Church (Hawthorne, New Jersey)
- Steve did GTS Shows as part of "Radiate 2010," produced and directed by Campus Crusade for Christ, which had 1,500 students in attendance—Baltimore, Maryland
- 2003-2010: GTS RACK Team appeared at the BCA Trade Shows at various venues for shows and outreach
- Steve did GTS shows as part of "Urbana 2009," produced and directed by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, which was attended by 17,000 college students—St. Louis, Missouri
- 2003-2009: Lillis did GTS Shows at various UPA Tour events in Phoenix, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Jacksonville, New York, and Chesapeake, Virginia, on the U.S. Open 9-Ball Tour
- 2003-2008: Ranked in the top 32 pool players according to the UPA (United States Professional Pool Players Association) rankings, with sanctioning by the BCA
- Lillis did a series of GTS Shows at the “Derby City Classic,” working in conjunction with GTS/RACK team member Robin Dodson in her booth, Robin’s Pro Shop—Louisville, Kentucky
- Steve Lillis did a series of GTS Shows at the Olympics Billiard Event—Louisville, Kentucky
- Lillis was invited by the President of the Albanian Billiard Federation to start a billiard academy with a focus on artistic pool. Steve's title was the "Professor of Bilardo Artistica". The academy was attended by an elite group of players and their coaches called Team Albania.
- Lillis performed a Gospel Trick Shot Show on the campus of the University of Tirana in Albania and partnered with Campus Crusade for Christ
- Lillis performed 14 trick shot shows at the 16th Annual International Sports Show—Shanghai, China
- 2002-2005: Lillis did GTS Shows at the NJ State 14.1 Straight Pool Championship—Parsippany, New Jersey
- GTS RACK Team appeared at the (VNEA) Valley National 8-Ball Championships—Las Vegas
- Performed Gospel Trick Shot Show at Grand Central Station—New York City
- GTS RACK Team appeared at the Midwest Billiard Expo for shows and outreach—Chicago, Illinois
- Lillis did GTS Shows for the Southeast Pro 9-Ball Tour—Florida
- Selected as 1st Vice President and then Chairman of the World Pool and Billiard Association Artistic Division
- GTS RACK Team appeared at various WPA World Artistic Pool Tour events for shows and outreach in both the USA and overseas
- Came out of retirement to compete in the first ever WPA World Artistic Pool Championship and BCA North American Championship
- The first major public Gospel Trick Shot show as part of the Hawthorne Gospel Church Summer Bible Conference
- Gospel Trick Shot Ministries, Inc.—Incorporated on June 8th
- Founded Gospel Trick Shot Ministries, Inc.
- 1988-1995: In retirement from professional pool competition
- BCA Florida State 9-Ball Champion
- Miller Lite Tennessee State 8-Ball Champion
- Miller Lite Tennessee State 9-Ball Champion
- Miller Lite Southeastern State 8-Ball Champion
- Miller Lite Southeastern State 9-Ball Champion
- BCA Georgia State 9-Ball Champion
- BCA Colorado State 8-Ball Champion
- Represented the U.S. Navy in world championship competitions
- Finished in the top ten at the World 14.1 Straight Pool Championships and the World 9-Ball Championships
- Philippines 2012, 2015
- Kenya 2010, 2012
- Tanzania 2010
- Dubai & Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) 2009
- Kuwait 2009
- Bahrain 2009
- Greece 2007
- China 2005
- Taiwan 2004
- Korea 2004
- Ukraine 2003
- Albania 2003, 2006, 2007
- Germany 2002, 2004
- England 2001
- GTS RACK Team appeared in many newspapers, magazines, brochures, flyers, and other printed material both inside and outside the billiard industry.
- Steve appeared on the front page of the June 2004 issue of Professor Q Balls Nationwide Billiard Newspaper.
- GTS RACK Team members have appeared numerous times on the ESPN broadcast entitled Trick Shot Magic for competition and interviews.
- The life story of Steve Lillis “But You Must!” published by Gospel Trick Shot Ministries, Inc. and released on Amazon.com
- GTS RACK Team World Tour continues in the Philippines as Mike Massey, Tom "Dr. Cue" Rossman, and Steve Lillis perform 24 shows in 15 cities on three islands with local, national, and world TV and newspaper coverage. Special interview was done by the 700 Club in their TV studios in Manila.
- Steve Lillis and Jason Lynch were featured in billiard publications as part of GTS Africa Tour in conjunction with Thomas Aaron Billiards and McDermott Cues. A GTS team of three Kenyans was formed to minister in East Africa.
- Lillis was featured in billiard publications highlighting a GTS tour of the Arabian Peninsula which included working with mission organizations, the U.S. Navy, and the National Billiard Teams of Kuwait, U.A.E., and Bahrain.
- Steve choreographed an artistic billiard show for Telesports TV using his own Gospel Trick Shots and included 10 Albanians demonstrating shots they learned at the academy. RACK Team members Tony "The Comic" Anthony, Marcel Kaiser of Germany and Christian Coffey of Canada participated. The three hour broadcast received about 40 hours of air time in Albania.
- Lillis was interviewed by David Virkler of Dedication Evangelism for the national radio broadcast of "Word and the World"
- Lillis appeared on the national TV broadcast of the "700 Club" on ABC Family and other affiliate television stations. The show was rebroadcast in 2007.
- Steve interview and trick shot show taped for broadcast on Chinese National TV
- Lillis appeared on ESPN TV as the Master of Ceremonies and Head Table Judge for both the 2004 Women's and Men's International Trick Shot Challenge at Mohegan Sun Casino—Connecticut
- GTS RACK Team did a show that was taped in Kiev, Ukraine and broadcast on Russian Television. It aired to potentially 290 million people in the former Soviet Union.
- Lillis did a GTS Show and interview taped by Telesports in Tirana, Albania— which aired throughout the country of Albania.
- GTS RACK Team did a show that was taped in Willingen, Germany and broadcast on German Television at the conclusion of the 2002 WPA World Artistic Pool Championship.
- GTS RACK Team featured in “Inside Pool” magazine article entitled “GTS RACK Power Team Hits the Road.”
- Steve was featured on 270 worldwide radio stations as part of RBC’s Ministries broadcast entitled “Words to Live By”.