When FCA, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, was founded in 1954 Don McClanen wanted to project the idea of athletes and coaches as Christian men strongly rooted in their faith, before the youth and athletes of the nation. The organization started in Norman, Oklahoma and now has coaches and athletes in over 60 countries. FCA headquarters are presently located in Kansas City, Missouri and is overseen by the current CEO, Shane Williamson.
The FCA chapter at Leesville was originally run by parents of students until 2001. The advisor position was then taken over by Mrs. Duncan who remains advisor to this day. “I’ve done this ever since I started teaching back in 1981. I’ve done [FCA] for a long time because I was involved in during high school and college,” said Mrs. Duncan.
The club is composed of a president, multiple officers, and snack coordinators who run each meeting, with the help of Mrs. Duncan. The president, with help from officers, plans the agenda for the year, invites speakers to meetings, organizes after school events, and coordinates outreach activities.
The current president of FCA, senior Sidney Credle, joined the club during his freshman year of high school. “I heard on the announcements that they were having a club meeting and I was automatically interested because of my personal relationship with Jesus Christ. My brother Austin was also a member of the club and spoke very highly of it,” said Credle.
If there is one thing FCA is known for besides being a loving, faith-based community, is the snacks provided at each meeting. Snack coordinators choose members to bring snacks to each meeting, ranging from chips to homemade brownies.
Meetings also include guest speakers who share a personal story that relates back to a Bible story or passage. Prayer requests are available at meetings for students who wish to pray for a specific person or subject. Each meeting always ends with a short prayer by the president, guest speaker, or one of the officers. Students will also sometimes meet before school in the morning and have a group prayer.
Club gatherings and meetings are not just confined to school grounds. Students meet at various houses every fourth Tuesday of the month to participate in Bible study. Going to meetings and Bible studies enables students to meet others who believe in the same ideals and have the same or similar religion principles. At the monthly Bible studies students hangout, eat food, and watch a video series which is currently about reasoning the existence of God.
Members of FCA enjoy going to Bible study because they find them really helpful for people who are on the fence about if God exists.
Joining FCA is an great opportunity to grow in and share faith with others who are interested or are curious about Christianity. “People should consider joining FCA because we offer an awesome opportunity of building a foundation of Jesus Christ in people’s lives,” said Credle.
Many times students become stressed and are caught up in the daily routine and chaos of high school and feel FCA provides a fun, and encouraging community.“My favorite part of FCA is that it is super refreshing during a school day. It is super helpful to remind me of the truth during the day,” said Caroline Thompson, a snack coordinator for FCA.
Although originally made for Christian athletes and coaches, all are welcome to join FCA and attend meetings whether you are an athlete, Christian, or neither. FCA is can serve as a doorway to developing your faith and learning more about Christianity. “I think [FCA] gives Christian’s a chance to meet other Christians in the school in fellowship and provides some friendships,” said Duncan.
Many past and current members have described FCA has a big, loving, growing family that inspires them to grow their faith on a daily basis. Balancing school work, extracurricular activities, social outings and faith can be a daily challenge for high schoolers. By joining FCA and attending gatherings ,students can have fun, hangout with friends, eat some good food, and still expand, strengthen, and learn more about an ever-growing and ever-changing faith.