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FCA builds Christian character

The Bainbridge High School Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) helps build Christian character in Bearcat and Lady Cat athletes and other students.

Bearcats head baseball coach Scott Miller, who has been an FCA huddle coach with Bearcats and Lady Cats head cross country coach Mandi O’Mara, says FCA includes members from all Christian faiths.

“You don’t have to be an athlete to be in FCA,” Miller said. “You just have to be a Christian and love the Lord.”

Dan McClanen, an assistant basketball coach in Oklahoma, founded FCA more than 40 years ago. An early member of the organization was New York Giants shortstop Alvin Dark.

McClanen, Dark and other early members felt that if athletes could endorse products they could also stand up and testify for the Lord.

When early FCA leaders like McClanen and Dark began giving their testimony, other athletes followed their lead. The work of McClanen, Dark and other early FCA leaders also included positively influencing everyone they came in contact with while bringing them the saving message of the Lord Jesus Christ.

BHS student FCA leaders this year include Mitchell Massingill, Alex Hughes, Tiera Nixon and Bill Holt.

This summer Bearcats head football coach Ed Pilcher took his team to a three-day FCA football camp at Georgia Southwestern University in Americus.

In attendance at the camp, coordinated by FCA Albany area director Bill Cox, were more than 500 players and approximately 100 coaches from 11 high schools.

There were morning and afternoon seven-on-seven passing drills and a section of drills and clinics for linemen.

In the evenings, Vance Watts from Tallahassee, Fla., led the worship service, and Georgia Tech FCA football chaplain Derrick Moore spoke.

Director Cox said the things FCA camps offer are so much different from the things the world offers.

“We don’t just give the young men the physical element of competition,” he said. “We also give them the spiritual element, which is most important as well. Everyone gets a Bible and a T-shirt and hears the gospel. Lives are changed. That’s what it’s all about. We are the only Christian organization with a camp that offers the physical, mental and spiritual.”

Schools attending camp with the Bearcats were Americus-Sumter County, Brantley County, Brookwood School, Clark Central, Dougherty, Thomas County Central, Thomasville, Tift-area Academy, Tift County and Westover.