“COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD”
Young people often dream of scoring in overtime to lift their team to an unexpected victory. Sometimes the most valuable things they learn in life are taught by a coach or teammates, lessons that can play a much greater role in their future than one brief moment of sports glory.
Playing for Christ and not your own glory deepens the athletic experience and puts sports competition into a healthy perspective. The Rev. Billy Graham once said, “A coach will impact more people in one year than the average person will in an entire lifetime.” That message is at the heart of this year’s Sports Hall of Fame Community Service Award winner the Greater St. Louis Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
God has been dis-invited from our schools and communities. As a consequence, our youth and our culture are in trouble. FCA engages with the coaches – the greatest influencer of our youth today, equips them as “Coaches for Christ,” and empowers them to serve in the mission field of sports. FCA creates a safe place for coaches and athletes to connect and grow in their sport and faith in Jesus Christ.
FCA holds a long tradition of service in St. Louis that dates back to 1965 when Branch Rickey chartered the chapter. Over the years our values have not wavered. Our relationships will demonstrate steadfast commitment to Jesus Christ and His Word through Integrity, Serving, Teamwork and Excellence.
As an inter-denominational ministry, FCA supports over 7,000 student athletes in 180 schools across the Greater St. Louis area each year. FCA groups, or “huddles,” exist on middle school, high school and college campuses and among professional sports organizations in St. Louis. The ministry extends across the U.S. and into 84 countries around the world.Overseas, FCA staff utilize the international language of sports to build relationships and share the news of Jesus Christ.
The St. Louis FCA has built a strong relationship with FCA in the Ukraine by sending coaches and staff there to help with summer camps. Here at home, each summer, over 600 local athletes attend FCA sport-specific camps and leadership camps. These overnight camps provide opportunities for students to build their athletic and leadership skills. Our hope is that campers leave understanding how their sports are a platform to bring glory to God.
We provide nearly 1,400 Bibles to athletes and coaches each year. Each FCA Bible has helpful resources and tools. For many students this is the first Bible they have ever received, and it is essential to help them grow in their understanding of God. FCA also provides resources for both the coach and athlete to be empowered to start huddles on their campuses. These huddles provide Bible-based athletically themed studies, led by the student athletes. Huddles meet 2-4 times per month and foster an environment of
Student athletes are often among the most admired young people in a school. We desire to use this influence of an athlete and coach to make a lasting impact on campuses across St. Louis, leaving a legacy for Christ. By committing to a faith based organization like FCA, these coaches and athletes become positive, influential role models within their school communities.