FCA area director speaks to Cadence Church
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Alton McCallum, the area director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Heart of Texas West, paid a visit to Cadence Church in Copperas Cove on Sunday and shared how the FCA gets involved in local school districts along the I-14 corridor.
McCallum served more than 11 years in the United States Army and is an alum of the United States Military Academy at West Point. During his time at West Point, he played Division I football for four years and was also a track athlete.
While in the Army, he had multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, and during his final deployment was injured.
“After that, I went through some turmoil, but God brought me to a place of healing and deliverance. Part of my healing was through FCA. The Lord gave me a purpose in that,” McCallum said.
After his discharge from the military at Fort Hood, he has been on staff with the FCA. He is also a licensed professional counselor.
He said the FCA has played a big part in his life and helped keep his focus on Christ, and through the local FCA groups at area school districts, volunteers are helping coaches and students do the same.
“Our vision is to see the world impacted by Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes,” McCallum told the congregation. “There is a quote by Billy Graham that ‘a coach can be in contact with more students and kids and athletes in one single day than most people can in their entire lives.’ Think about the influence that a coach can have.”
One of the things the FCA does at local junior high and high school campuses is hold weekly Bible studies, called “huddles.”
“Myself and other volunteers go in the morning before school, and the students come in and eat, fellowship together, and they get strengthened by other believers at school.
“This is an open door for you to come in. if your heart is for middle school students, or teachers, or coaches, if you have a heart and a mission to minister to coaches and students in Copperas Cove, Lampasas, and be that influence.”
The FCA also holds what it calls “Fields of Faith” every October at locations like Bulldawg Stadium and other districts’ fields.
“We go onto the field – everyone, students, coaches, and we share the gospel,” he said. “It’s built on the notion that in the Old Testament, people forgot about God, and a young king, eight years old, told the people, ‘We will start reading the word of God in public. We will confess the Lord is our God again.’ So we modeled it after that.”
McCallum said that over the last five years, the area has had over 320 students give their lives to Christ.
“We’re talking young men and women in high school and middle school.”
Another campus, Killeen High School, brought in the musical artist Flame, whom McCallum said will be returning to the area again for another event.
“We want to try to draw our young men and women to hear what Christ has to say about their lives. The vision says that we will help them find their purpose….Our kids don’t have identity, they’re asking, what am I to do? What is my life to mean? We need people to come release the Word of God to them and say, this is what the Lord has done for me. This is path you can walk.”
He said people can get involved by praying for student athletes and coaches, with all the obstacles they face every day.
“When in season, football coaches leave the house at 5:30 in the morning, get to school, plan and teach, spend all day until after school, then practice and coach after school, and they’re not done until 7:00 or 8:00, and don’t get home until 9 p.m. as a coach. That’s four or five months straight and there’s not much time for family, marriage, or spiritual health. It’s important that we as the body of Christ go in and help them.”
He welcomed volunteers to be board members, along with people to be chaplains for teams or character coaches.
“There are plenty of ways to get involved,” McCallum said. More information can be found about the FCA at https://my.fca.org/altonmccallum. McCallum can be reached at (301) 448-9367 or firstname.lastname@example.org.