Fellowship for Christian Athletes boasts theme of “courage”

Kelly Powell

The Fellowship for Christian Athletes (FCA) is implementing a “courage” theme this year through their services Tuesdays at 9 p.m., primarily held in the KIVA.

FCA is a faith-based organization intended to connect to Kent State’s athletic community. Alongside of services, FCA is a host for male and female Bible studies and administers “field outreach,” a time when its directors simply attend practices and games of various sports teams.

“We just hang around them,” FCA Director Ted Schumacher said. “We don’t force things on people, but after a while, by our lifestyle and by just being around us, they notice something different.”

Schumacher remembers first becoming a Christian.

“I said, ‘Lord, I’d like to help other people get in the kingdom,’” he said.

He intends to reach this goal by equipping students to gain courage.

“That’s what God asks us to do and be. He’s for real, He’s faithful, He’s trustworthy,” he said.

Schumacher understands that not everyone will be receptive to the challenge. However, he says that there are benefits to bringing this message to a secular campus.

Frank Kurtz, FCA associate, agrees.

“At a liberal place like Kent State, there’s lots of people that really just don’t want to hear it,” Kurtz said. “There are lots of situations that I’ve been in where I’ve had to explain myself to people. It’s courageous just to stand your ground. We’re talking about the courage to do the right thing. There are many avenues to courage.”

Kurtz described one of those avenues as attending the Tuesday night services.

“We don’t close our door to anyone,” he said.

Both athletes and non-athletes are invited to participate.

“I think there are too many on-campus organizations that are exclusive in nature,” Kurtz said.

Last year, FCA averaged 91 people attending their services every week. One of those people, Zack Ehrhardt, junior psychology major, is passionate about this year’s courage theme.

“I have had many struggles in my life, and once I became a Christian and gave my life to Christ, it got easier to get out of my bad habits and easier to help others get out of their bad habits,” he said. “It takes courage to do these things. It takes courage to give your life to Christ and to step up and be willing to stand up for what you believe in.”

Schumacher has first-hand experience with this idea.

“Five people came to Christ through other students. That’s when you know it’s happening,” he said. “Students are seeing it and wanting that for other people.”

FCA wants to make it very simple for people to find that courage by coming on Tuesday nights. They aim to make their services realistic and applicable to students’ lives.

“We try to keep (the messages) where all of you are,” Kurtz said.

Kelly Powell is the religion reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].