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The return of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Sweating on the field but growing in Christ

By Chin Yi Oh | Echo 

After a three-year hiatus, the Taylor Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) chapter has revived and begins its first full year as an official club on campus.

FCA president and junior Christian Allen, a member of the men’s basketball team, was surprised to find Taylor did not have an FCA club despite being a Christian university. He made starting an FCA chapter one of his goals when he came to Taylor. With that, he found some students who were passionate about FCA to join him, along with their faculty advisor, coach Solomon Grimes from the men’s football team.

“(Student leaders) decided that we needed to get FCA going,” Allen said. “We were involved in FCA in high school or some point in our lives, and it has really changed how we (viewed) where we were at, whether it was high school or college.”

A typical FCA meeting lasts for 50 minutes, where the night begins with an ice-breaker game. Following that is a 15 minute sermon, usually by a leader or an invited guest, where the group digs into scripture together. Then, students break up into smaller groups to discuss the sermon and answer questions prompted by the speaker.

 Senior Nick Waskom and juniors Christian Allen, Bailey Zehr, Josh Lane, and Aubrey Wright together form the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. (Photograph provided by Christian Allen)

Senior Nick Waskom and juniors Christian Allen, Bailey Zehr, Josh Lane, and Aubrey Wright together form the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. (Photograph provided by Christian Allen)

During this time, students get together to hear each other speak and talk about what is going on in their lives. Before the night of fellowship ends, the whole group gathers to pray. Snacks are also provided at every meeting.

“One of the concerns for FCA at the beginning of the year was that we don’t want this to feel like chapel; Taylor has so many Christian-led events that we don’t want this to feel like another obligated Christian service,” Allen said. “We wanted this to be (a time) of hearing students talk and being with each other and having fun with games. One thing we really focus on is being with one another and hearing each other’s voices and being together.”

For student leader and junior Josh Lane, FCA is a great way to grow closer with students around campus, to help each other through struggles and celebrate each other’s victories.

Despite its name, the club is open to all, whether or not the student is a collegiate athlete. According to Allen, the word ‘athlete’ is used to interact with people who may come from an athletic background.

“Everybody is an athlete in their own way, whether it comes from playing intramural(s) to back in high school playing sports to horseback riding, anything that makes everybody an athlete, no matter what it is,” Allen said. “It doesn’t have to be anything even physical, we want to accept everyone, and we want everyone to be there because we enjoy being with one another and fellowshipping.”

Lane hopes FCA is a place where students can go to feel encouraged by God’s Word and by different students and athletes around campus who are going through similar things. He finds FCA encouraging and loves the friendships he has made there.

FCA is not restricted to Taylor’s campus, as the club has been in contact with multiple other FCA clubs, known as huddles, including being involved in Fields of Faith. The club is trying to get in contact with local Wes-Del High School’s FCA huddle to have college leaders share from a college-aged athlete’s point of view about what FCA is about and what it means to them.

The club is looking forward to joining the FCA College Night of Worship, where huddles from different universities meet and worship together.

“(FCA) is a really good experience to get to know other athletes and be able to talk about our faith on a deeper level than what is already exposed to us at Taylor,” women’s basketball player and sophomore Becca Buchs said. “I really like the lightheartedness at the beginning, to be able to just meet other people, and just have fun, but also get on a deeper level to learn more about other people’s faith and how to grow my own.”

FCA meets every Thursday at 8 p.m. in Jacobsen I.

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