Last week this paper was gracious in announcing I had just been inducted into the National Fellowship of Christian Athletes Hall of Champions. It is a humbling thing to be listed among the outstanding members of the Hall which includes such members as Branch Rickey, Bobby Bowden, Tom Landry, Tony Dungy, Larry Nelson, Tom Osborn, Roger Staubach, Betsy King, Carl Erskin, Grant Teaff, Joan Cronan, Paul Anderson, Mike Singletary, Otto Graham, and Bobby Jones. Being Posted in the Hall is special.
I served as the National Chairman of the FCA Board for six years, the longest continuous tenure in the history of the organization. FCA now has over 2,000 field staff members in America and 106 foreign countries, making it the world’s largest international Christian sports organization.
There are several things I had a part in of which I am most grateful. One is in making four trips too Hawaii to help start FCS in Hawaii. One of the trips included a week long camp on the Parker Ranch. This expansive ranch make a rival to any on our continent. Another was a week long camp held on the campus of the Punahou School which overlooks Honolulu. On a third trip I was the guest of the University of Hawaii staying on Kalakaua Avenue, the main street of Honolulu. Many of the outstanding Christian athletes coming into NCAA colleges now are products FCA.
Working with retired Navy Captain Bill Lewis, who was serving as a FCA staff member, we started a Sunday morning prayer time on the 18th green of the Atlanta PGA tournament. Subsequently several other tournaments have done the same.
I served as board chairman when we built the FCA national headquarters which overlooks the KC Chief’s stadium. Coach Tom Landry was a member of the board at the time. When he died Dal Shealy, FCA CEO, and I visited Mrs. Landry in her home. During the visit we asked her for an item of Coach to put in the lobby of the headquarters. She suggested his hat for which he was known. It is now in the lobby.
As an aside, just before Coach Landry’s funeral we were standing back stage just off the platform with Roger Staubach who evidenced he was very nervous. Finally, he sighed and commented, “It has just hit me what is happening here today. I don’t know what I will do if I get out there and get overcome. I guess I will just think of some of the dumb plays I called during the Super Bowl and how he chewed me out. That will bring me out of it.” It did.
I have spoken to 9 NFL teams, 6 NBA and 8 NCAA teams over the years. I spoke to 11 Georgia football teams and 9 Georgia Tech football teams. I have had the honor of speaking at the 50th, 60th, and 65th national anniversary celebrations.
FCA has long held retreats for athletes and coached. Black Mountain in North Carolina, and Estes Park, Colorado are legendary sights for retreats.
It is my honor and humbling joy to be associated with FCA.
In our county most high schools and many middle schools now have FCA huddle groups.