Feb. 27, 2019-- Athletes and coaches from both Hart and Elbert county schools have been supported by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes organization for several years, but Tuesday marked the inaugural FCA Banquet, which included FCA Hart Board Members, guest speakers and tables hosted by sponsors and their guests.
Now in its 65th year, FCA was founded by Don McClanen, with the mission of leading coaches and athletes into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ, while likewise transforming these participants to live out a Christ-filled life through the support of mentors, churches and peers.
Through the use of the 3E theory, FCA seeks to engage, empower and equip student athletes alongside their coaches to lead a faith-based life while likewise developing teamwork skills and the sense of dedication needed to compete in sports.
During the Lake Hartwell FCA banquet, the gym of Sardis Baptist Church was filled with attendees looking to celebrate both Hart and Elbert county school’s FCA programs, as well as hear from the special guest speaker, Shane Williamson.
A resident of Hart County, Williamson is also the president and CEO of the national FCA organization. Along with a 12-year career as a coach, Williamson, too, has been a member of FCA since his days at Wofford College where he played football. Williamson joined the FCA movement as a staff member in 2002 as the Upstate South Carolina Director. He then became the Multi-Area Director for Metro Atlanta FCA from 2005-2011. His roles in FCA continued to expand as he went on to serve as the Vice President of Field Ministry for the Carolinas from 2012-2014, and followed by leading all of FCA's U.S. Field Ministry as the Executive Director from 2014-2016, before becoming CEO and president of the organization in 2017.
Seeing the Hart and Elbert counties’ FCA programs grow in the past three years has been a remarkable achievement, Williamson said. Three years ago, Hart and Elbert FCA programs had zero members attending its’ offered camps, such as the Fields of Faith program. Last year, though, 300 students took part in the program, with 500 students attending this specific camp this year.
This statistic is just one example of how FCA has become a mainstay in Hart and Elbert counties’ school culture. From little league to high school, about 4,500 student athletes and coaches have attended FCA-based programs and camps, developing a shining presence both on and off the playing field or court, Williamson said, noting that in the course of two years, some $38,960 has been raised for FCA scholarship for students and coaches to attend the organization’s camps and programs.
“I am seeing God here in our community,” Williamson said. “I want to share that with you. We are seeing this program make a difference in the lives of our student athletes and our coaches. Every coach makes an imprint. And an imprint makes an impact that lasts a lifetime.”
Also speaking during the evening event was Hart School Superintendent and FCA Board Chairman Jay Floyd, Leadership Board Member Dennis Cobb, Lake Hartwell Area FCA Director Chad Posey and FCA Board Member Kristie Rucker.
Along with a dinner served with assistance from current FCA members and the speaking engagements, a silent auction was also held to help support the efforts of Hart and Elbert counties FCA programs. To learn more about FCA, visit www.fca.org