“And the Lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” ~Luke 23:14
Although the Oct. 3 Fields of Faith is set to be on the football field, the Campbell County student-athletes are already working to fill the stadium to capacity. With an expectancy of well over 1,000 people, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) is already excited.
“We’re very excited because last year was such a success,” basketball player Gunner St. John said. “With the numbers we had last year, we’re planning to have more this year. We want to have more of an impact than last year.”
For many, last year’s experience was one they won’t forget. According to St. John, seeing other student-athletes make a change for Christ was an amazing experience. Following last year’s meeting, FCA on Friday mornings exploded.
“People are just crazy about being closer to God, and that’s what we like to see,” he said.
The high school age group is also one of the most important. To Tucker Cain, this generation is no longer the church of tomorrow, but rather the church of today. Because of that, he says that his age group needs to be able to go tell the world about God and what His son has done.
“I can be an example to other people,” Cain said. “It’s a really great experience just to be able to get out there and tell other people about Christ and what He’s done for us. I can be able to let Him shine through me, so people can know Him better.”
To Victoria McCullah, the high school age group is the easiest place to be a witness.
“This age is where the most impact is,” she said. “We’re in our schools, and this is the biggest battlefield. This is where we see our age group all the time. Then, after high school, you don’t see all those people like you did. You don’t get that opportunity to impact the lives like you do in high school.”
Not only can these students be an impact, but that impact can be greater simply because of their sport.
The group was unanimous in saying that being an athlete puts them on a little bit of a pedestal. Because of athletics, other students look up to them in a way.
“I think it can definitely help (being an athlete),” Cain said. “As athletes, we’re kind of on a pedestal and people look up to us. We sort of set the standard. People, they find it really uplifting when they see athletes uplifting God.”
However, this event certainly isn’t just for athletes. In fact, FCA isn’t just for athletes. According to McCullah, band members, art members and others are coming to the meetings.
For next Wednesday’s event, the community is welcome and encouraged to attend.
“People are starting to figure out that it’s not just for athletes,” McCullah said. “We just need everybody in on it. Jesus didn’t just go to one group. He wants everybody. I believe that He set us apart to save the world and get everybody in on it. It’s not just one select group.”
This year, Down South Disciples and the Birdsongs will lead the congregation in song. The speaker, Roger Woods, is the Chaplin for the University of Tennessee Athletic Department.
Head football coach Justin Price, Ethan Jeffers, Brooke Baine and Cain will all be giving their testimony or saying a message during the service on the football field.
“Campbell County is obviously a mission field, but it tells us in the Bible not to stop there,” St. John said. “We’ve got to keep on going overseas and everything with mission trips. We’ve got to spread it out and keep spreading until His love is all over the world.”