KANSAS CITY, Mo., Dec. 19, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — Sixty years ago, a young basketball coach, Don McClanen, wondered why athletes endorsed products like shaving cream and cigarettes, but not a Christian lifestyle. That insight became the backbone for one of the largest organizations in the world that serves athletes and coaches, all while bringing glory to Jesus Christ.
Now, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA, www.fca.org), founded by McClanen in 1954, is celebrating six decades of touching lives—one heart at a time.
“To look back over 60 years and realize the athletes and coaches who have been shaped by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes is remarkable,” said Les Steckel, FCA President and CEO. “We are so thankful for all who have helped FCA grow to where it is today and have encouraged young athletes to lead lives that are dedicated to Christ, both on and off the playing field. Athletics offers continual opportunity either to portray Christ or to elevate the world’s standards. By choosing to honor Christ, players and coaches impact not only their own teams but also all who interact with them, look up to them and even oppose them on the playing fields.”
The first FCA National Conference was held in 1956 in Estes Park, Colo.—a precursor to today’s FCA Camps, which are a staple of FCA’s ministry, growing to 516 camps in 40 states and 33 countries with an attendance of 86,557 in 2014. This past summer, 10,137 campers made a first-time commitment to Christ, and 9,642 more rededicated their lives to Him.
Building on the words of Billy Graham, who said, “A coach will influence more people in a year than most people will in a lifetime,” FCA focuses on reaching coaches as well as athletes.
According to the FCA web site, “For 60 years, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes has never stopped moving, never stopped growing. Whether it existed only in the form of a dream and stack of old magazine articles in a basketball coach’s dresser drawer, or in the very real possibility of reaching every corner of the earth, the vision remains the same: to see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes.”
For more information about the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, visit www.fca.org.
MADISON, Wis., July 16, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ — 4 Winds Christian Athletics, a world-class track and field ministry, just completed a ten day ministry outreach at the USA Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Oregon.
The Olympic track and field team is well represented by a good core of Christian athletes who are ready to tell the world about their Christian faith.
USA Track and Field has a goal of winning thirty medals at the London Olympic Games. The track and field portion of the Olympics will begin on August 3rd and end on the 12th.
4 Winds President Steve McConkey is asking Christians to pray for the USA Olympic track and field team, “Since 1981, we have seen a good core of Christians on the USA teams. We are asking Christians everywhere to pray for the Olympic Athletes. Pray for protection, peace, strength, and boldness.”
During the ten days of the Olympic Trials, 4 Winds had the opportunity to minister to the athletes. Private ministry meetings were held with many who made the Olympic Team. The gospel was shared and testimonies were collected.
Steve McConkey is the President of 4 Winds Christian Athletics. Steve and his wife Liz have been in world-class track and field ministries since 1981.
From 1982 through 1992, Steve was a Director/Coach of elite Christian track and field teams. In 1992, 4 Winds started working with athletes on all teams.
At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, 4 Winds distributed testimonies throughout the world, including in the underground Chinese church, estimated to be 100 million people.
The four Olympic Athletes whose testimonies were distributed were supposed to win two medals. The athletes won three golds, two silvers.
After their victories, the athletes were able to tell the world about their Christian faith and carried the USA flag around the Beijing track.
Also, 4 Winds provides a website, TrackandFieldReport.com, that provides updated news in track and field. This site keeps athletes, coaches, and fans informed in the world of track and field.
Through the year, Steve and his wife Liz keep in contact with the athletes. 4 Winds provides apologetic articles every month to give spiritual direction.
NOTE: If you would like to find out who the Christian athletes are, please contact us.
4 Winds Christian Athletics is a 501c3 non-profit organization that was formed in 1988. The current headquarters is in Madison, Wisconsin.
- 2012 London Olympic Track and Field Ministry (faithinspires.wordpress.com)
- Greece sends 105 athletes to the London Olympics (ekathimerini.com)
- Auburn To Send 28 Representatives To London Olympic Games (whnt.com)