Fellowship of Christian Athletes, or FCA, was founded in the 1950s, and has been a part of many college and high school campuses ever since. The program was established when its founders noticed athletes endorsing brands and products, and they thought that creating a fellowship group for Christian athletes would encourage them to start promoting their faith the same way they did brands. Samford’s FCA was officially founded in 2016, by three students who had heard about it at other schools and wanted to see it happen on their own campus. Currently, there are nine student leaders, including volleyball player Lauren Deaton, who holds the position of president. FCA meets on Monday nights at 8 p.m on the third floor of Cooney Fieldhouse. According to alumni director Sarah Gackle, Samford’s hope with FCA is that they can bring together the original mission and a new mission.
“We want to continue the original mission that FCA’s founders had, which is to have athletes promoting their faith with their influence and fan-bases like they would with any brand deals they have,” Gackle said. “But it’s also important that we give these athletes a place to grow in their own relationships with the Lord and meet other young Christians. We want to encourage them to grow together with their teammates and coaches and help each other in their walks of faith.”
Junior Ella Simpson, a regular attendee, said that she has found a great community of athletes through FCA.
“It’s really great to be in fellowship together when we’re all having hard, busy weeks from sports and school,” Simpson said. “It’s a good end to the day to just have time to relax, hang out, play games, and learn about Jesus.”