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Fellowship of Christian Athletes promotes growth and community

Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) is a nondenominational, nonprofit ministry connecting sports with faith. The program’s primary mission is to lead every coach and athlete into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His church.

Senior Hunter Strickland, the Oklahoma Christian University FCA co-chapter president, utilizes the meetings to host guest speakers and create prayer lists.

“Our FCA meetings typically include a mix of guest speakers who address the group and a discussion about the speaker that follows the next week,” Strickland said. “We also coordinate prayer nights where we discuss struggles we are currently facing. Afterwards, people pair up with fellow athletes to pray for each other and act as outlets the athletes can talk to.”

Strickland said they make a point to get new guests introduced to a few athletes early in the meeting to take the nerves away and start building friendships early in the event.

“There is typically a fun little game to get everyone relaxed and mingling with people outside their own sport,” Strickland said. “If someone new attends FCA, we will introduce them to other athletes to make them feel as comfortable as possible.”

Sophomore Kellen Rowe, the FCA co-chapter president opposite Strickland, said he wants their mission to be easily defined as a fellowship-based event.

“My personal goal for FCA is to be a place where athletes are excited to meet and be in attendance,” Rowe said. “It needs to be a place where they can grow, myself included, in faith while meeting new people and developing tight bonds with other athletes.”

Oklahoma Christian alumnus Chad Kennedy said he was an avid participant and guest speaker during his years as an Eagle and said FCA is an outlet and opportunity to connect with other athletes who have similar experiences.

“It is an awesome place to express the struggles we face,” Kennedy said. “The discussions challenge you and the fellowship shows you there are other people who are genuinely going through the same things as you, so you really feel at home.”

Kennedy said he was given the opportunity to speak last year and the experience was equally as impactful for him as it was to those listening.

“When I got to speak last year, I learned just as much about myself and my relationship with God as anyone listening would have,” Kennedy said. “It was an introspective look into my own faith, which really allowed me to grow in my relationship with God.”

Kennedy’s testimony highlights what Strickland and Rowe want FCA to create: a positive community where athletes can come together and relax, an educational and spiritual support and a place where better connections with other athletes during their time at Oklahoma Christian can be facilitated.

Oklahoma Christian’s FCA chapter meets Sundays at 8:30 p.m. in the softball meeting room, meetings are Kudo-approved. Updates about scheduling or off-campus events can be found on the group’s Twitter.

FCA’s next event, Fields of Faith, starts tonight at 8:00 p.m. at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Wantland Stadium and will bring together other local FCA chapters and universities. The event will include worship, free food and a testimony from former NFL and University of Oklahoma football player Curtis Lofton.

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