Students are finding new, personalized ways to reflect their faiths through extracurricular activities.
Fellowship of Christian Athletes is an on-campus organization that promotes spiritual bonding and support between Christian student athletes.
FCA is a worldwide organization. The OCU branch became an official Student Government Association-approved organization in Fall 2015, but the group met before then.
Since becoming an official organization, the group has grown from four active members to about 15.
“People we hang out with in FCA, if we didn’t have FCA, we probably would never talk to,” said Korey Walker, youth ministry sophomore and FCA co-president.
“It’s just that common interest we all have, that bond we have and share. It’s just one big family, and that’s one thing I love about it.”
The group meets at 7:45 p.m. Tuesdays in the Leichter Room in Henry J. Freede Wellness and Activity Center. Meetings consist of icebreakers and casual conversation, followed by a discussion centered around a particular message or subject.
The group occasionally invites guest speakers to their meetings. Past speakers include Jack Spates, former wrestling coach at the University of Oklahoma, who spoke alongside his wife Barby Spates, and Reggie Willits, former outfielder for the Los Angeles Angels.
“We try to make it discussion-based,” said Alyson Morse, exercise science junior and co-president. “I think it’s better because when you listen to something, you retain, and it’s so much more applicable when you actually talk about it and say ‘How is it relatable to me?’
“But we also do like playing games and being competitive because we’re athletes, so we usually start with something like that. It’s pretty funny to watch.”
FCA receives community support from several non-student sources.
Trayvon Smith, former FCA president, is their adviser. Several benefactors from the community also assist them, the most prominent of which are Matt Stewart, director of the OCU branch of the Baptist Collegiate Ministry, and Dillon Byrd, OCU alumnus and pastor at Frontline Church in Oklahoma City.
FCA members also attend events around the state.
Last fall, they attended “Fields of Faith,” a worldwide Christian athletic event. It was hosted at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, and it involved various branches of FCA from across Oklahoma. Thirteen members also attended “College Night Out” on Feb. 17 at Henderson Hills Baptist Church in Edmond.
The future of the organization looks bright, said Kevin Tankerson, first-year seminary student and member of FCA’s leadership team.
“The way our numbers are going, we should continue to grow,” he said. “It should be around for a long time. I don’t see it going anywhere, especially with the students who are committed to going and spreading the word.”
To become a member of FCA, join the OCU FCA Facebook group or follow them on Twitter @fca_ocu.
Due to the informal nature of the group, the most reliable way to become involved is to attend the weekly meetings. Students also can contact Morse at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.