Fellowship of Christian Athletes Celebrates 60 Years

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Sixty years ago, a young basketball coach 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 seeks to serve athletes and coaches, all while bringing glory to Jesus Christ.

Now, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) 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.”

That young basketball coach with a vision was Don McClanen, who founded the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in 1954. But for seven years before that, he prayed about what the organization would look like and whom it would serve. He joined forces with the other FCA “Founding Fathers”—Dr. Louis H. Evans, Dr. Roe Johnston and Branch Rickey, among others—who made FCA come to life.

Evans had encouraged McClanen to write to other athletic greats who were also strong in their faith—greats like football stars Doak Walker and Otto Graham; baseball players Carl Erskine, Robin Roberts and Alvin Dark; Olympians Bob Mathias and Bob Richards; coaching and front office legends Amos Alonzo Stagg, Bud Wilkinson and Clarence “Biggie” Munn; and even broadcasters Tom Harmon and Red Barber.

In all, 19 letters were mailed, each carefully laying out McClanen’s God-given desire for what would become FCA…Read More

Source and Original Content by BCN

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