Fellowship for Christian Athletes (FCA) is calling more laborers into its expanding vineyard to reap the fruit of its 50 years of work. Recently, the campus ministry is reflecting its growth through the new appointment of Brandon Smith as Northeast Arkansas’ area representative.
Kentucky FCA Director Max Appel said FCA is the bridge for "getting Jesus Christ in schools." Also recently, Miguel Echevarria was hired as the first full-time staff in Russellville, KY.
As the new area representative, Smith support the growth of schools with FCA programs through his visits and providing resources such as speakers for them.
“My duties are to develop FCA groups or huddles in every single school in Northeast Arkansas, whether it’s junior high, senior high or college,” Smith said. “My job is to travel to schools and develop groups and continue the development of their group once they get started. Finding them speakers and devotional material for them to use to develop their FCA in their school.”
On April 5, Smith has arranged for Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden to speak at Jonesboro High School.
“Coach Bowden enjoys sharing his testimony to athletes, coaches and the general public and likes sharing how Christ has affected his life and got him where he is today,” said Smith. Bowden, who has won two national championships and 11 bowl games between 1985-1995, speaks regularly at FCA locations nationwide.
“Some athletes may or may not go to church all the time so if there is any way we can come up with events and speakers to come to their school that have an opportunity to share with them — that’s what I enjoy doing.”
Although some programs FCA offers to students is organized through public events, the core of FCA lies within the spiritual relationship the FCA leaders have with the students.
“A lot of people think that FCA is just a school organization,” Smith said. “They don’t realize it’s actually a ministry and my main job is to minister to athletes and coaches and that’s what I enjoy the most of. I truly enjoy developing relationships with coaches, players and the community but I also enjoy getting the opportunity to share about Christ.”
Smith said he wants the students to feel encouraged when they see him in the stands.
FCA operates in many schools, including 40 area high schools in 8 countries. Smith hopes to increase the number of students and people involved in the ministry.
“There’s not FCAs in every high school right now but my job is to develop FCAs and find coaches that want to be sponsors and students that want to be leaders.”