What is FCA?
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes is touching millions of lives … one heart at a time. Since 1954, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes has been challenging coaches and athletes on the professional, college, high school, junior high and youth levels to use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus Christ. FCA is the largest interdenominational, school-based, Christian sports ministry in America. FCA focuses on serving local communities by equipping, empowering and encouraging people to make a difference for Christ.
What can you tell me about the impact of FCA?
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes is on the front lines doing battle for the lives of young people in our community. For over 60 years, FCA has focused on instilling character and values in the lives of students across America---and now throughout the world. Highlights include:
- In 2017, through God’s power and with nearly 1,600 staff, over 93,000 donors and thousands of volunteers, FCA had a record-breaking year, reaching nearly two million people through our Four C’s of Ministry: Coaches, Campus, Camp and Community. 49,959 known commitments to Christ were celebrated across the United States and around the world!
- The largest and fastest-growing Christian sports ministry in the world (62 countries), last year over 500,000 students were reached in 17,783 campus-based FCA Huddles. Fields of Faith events reached more than 192,000 people on approximately 519 athletic fields. Of those attendees, 7,414 committed to Christ, 8,612 recommitted to Christ, and 8,781 committed to read the Bible. God has used Fields of Faith to impact over one million people since it first began in 2004.
- FCA distributed 169,815 Bibles worldwide in 2017. One of the most diverse and largest distributors of Bibles in the world, FCA has 14 different versions and recently released the first-ever Spanish and Russian athlete’s Bibles, along with a handbook for athletes in Korean. An astonishing 2.5 million Bibles have been distributed through FCA since 2004.
- On-line resources continue to grow in impacting lives each year. More than 500,000 people visited an FCA-related website in 2017 to learn about the ministry, download free resources and connect with ministry in their area. Each month over 150,000 people visit FCA on-line resources that offer videos, bible apps, reading plans, inspirational stories and much more. FCA has 25 bible reading plans with over 103,000 completions since 2013.
- Camp Ministry experienced another record-breaking year with a total attendance of 113,470 at 772 FCA Camps in 45 states and 60 countries. Many lives were impacted and transformed by outstanding competition and spiritual growth during FCA’s 60th camp season. The 2017 theme, “One” and theme verse (Philippians 1:27) challenged attendees to have one purpose and one mind. That is exactly what happened with 8,788 salvation decisions and 11,256 recommitments. Outside of the United States, 40,068 athletes attended 294 camps.
- Over the past year, we saw incredible impact with a record 1,374 certified Coaches Huddles. Also, God continues to use the 3Dimensional Coaching program, an online curriculum that has allowed thousands of coaches to determine their transformational purpose in coaching, while “capturing the heart behind the jersey.” FCA offers workshops, seminars, small groups, national conferences, conventions and high-impact on-line resources for coaches at all levels.
Has FCA been recognized nationally?
Yes. FCA continues to set a high standard in stewardship excellence and has been honored by two highly prestigious organizations: Charity Navigator has given FCA a top Four Star rating for FCA’s development efforts (for a 11th consecutive year) and Chronicle of Philanthropy has named FCA in the top 400 non-profits in the United States. This puts FCA in the top 1% of all charities rated.
What is the vision and mission for FCA?
To see Eastern Iowa impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes. Our goal is to present to coaches and athletes and all whom they influence the challenge and adventure of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, serving Him in their relationships and in the fellowship of the church. The FCA Ministries encourage, equip and empower coaches and athletes on the professional, college, high school, junior high and youth levels to use the powerful medium of sports to impact their world for Jesus Christ. The FCA Ministries are: Coaches Ministry, Campus Ministry, Camp Ministry and Community Ministry
Why does FCA hold a banquet?
Banquets are a great way to cast the local vision of FCA, share the story, celebrate the work of FCA and encourage people to join the support team. The goal of the banquet is to emphasize the fact that everyone who cares about coaches and athletes can help through his or her involvement and investment. Our goal at each banquet is to continue to grow our “Home Team” (investors who give a minimum of $300/per year or $25/per month). Our theme for this year’s banquet is “Strong”, based on 2 Timothy 4:7.
Why is your support now so important?
The Eastern Iowa FCA ministry was launched in June of 2004. Your support now is vital in further establishing the ministry in this part of the state. Our annual banquet is our major fundraising event to expand programs in local schools, hire more staff, send more kids to camp, distribute Bibles and resources and to create additional ministry opportunities to coaches. Your support this year will help us to truly expand the work of the ministry. Throughout our 13-county area in Eastern Iowa, there is great interest in FCA, so the time is right to expand the impact!
How will my support directly impact FCA?
All funds raised go in support of the work of the local ministry including camp scholarships, the development of school huddles throughout Eastern Iowa, coach’s ministry events, and for the hiring of new staff members. The FCA Leadership Board plans to hire at least three new field staff members as soon as possible.
Can you tell me some of the local highlights that have happened recently?
- We estimate that over 3,500 people are involved in FCA in Eastern Iowa in any given week in our 13-county area!
- We recently hired new Office Manager, Heather Runyan, to help with the growth of the Eastern Iowa FCA Ministry. Heather is a great addition to our team!
- The Waterloo-Cedar Falls area (called Greater Cedar Valley FCA) has expanded in hiring an Area Director (Ben Schmidt) and is now become a separate “region” reaching 12-counties.
- Over $14,000 was dedicated last summer to impact the lives of young people at an FCA Sports Camp or Leadership Camp through our annual Camp Scholarship Fund. Over the past 10 years alone, we have allocated over $90,000 for camp scholarships to bless and encourage young people from our area to attend an FCA Camp.
- This past summer a record 320-plus (another “full house”) attended the FCA Sports Camp in Pella, Iowa with over nine different sports offered in our week of “inspiration and perspiration.’
- For the fourth straight year, we took a bus of local student leaders to the FCA Leadership Camp in Minnesota and provided scholarships to every attendee.
- Ray Reasland, a former head high school and college coach, is our 3D Coaches Ministry Coordinator. We are expanding the scope and impact of 3Dimensional Coaching through workshops, seminars, personal visits and by helping with on-line resources and small group studies.
- Several “Fields of Faith” events were held in our area, with over 5,000 people in attendance.
- Last year’s FCA Golf Day at Elmcrest Country Club (September 2017) was a very successful event with over $20,000 raised and a near-record 76 golfers participating.
- A growing number of FCA Huddles are starting in schools throughout our area including new chapters at several middle schools & high schools.
- The 2017 FCA Home Team Drive and Banquet was a great success with over 525 people in attendance. Our guest speaker was Dan “KC Wolf” Meers, a hall of fame mascot for the Kansas City Chiefs.
- Our outstanding Leadership Board of Directors (now 13 members) have established some exciting new ministry goals for 2017-2018.
- We are seeing massive growth in many ministry areas, including sending more kids to camp each summer, starting new huddles, expanding our 3Dimensional Coach program, and many other exciting ministry events and programs---including See You At The Pole, Fields of Faith, outreach & training events and much more!
- We continue to build bridges with local churches, schools, parents, community leaders and others interested in programs that positively impact the lives of young people....and we are experiencing rapid growth in every ministry area!
- Our goal in the coming years is to impact more coaches and athletes through the vehicle of FCA!
What schools have an FCA presence in Eastern Iowa? (includes the Greater Cedar Valley area)
We have a growing number of schools with an FCA Huddle including: Alburnett High School, Cedar Falls High School, Cedar Valley Christian, Center Point-Urbana High School, Coe College, Cornell College, Fairfield High School, George Washington High School, Holmes Junior High School, Iowa City West High School, Iowa City High School, Iowa Wesleyan College, Janesville High School, Kennedy High School, Kirkwood Community College, Linn-Mar High School, Luther College, Maquoketa Valley High School, Marion High School, McKinley Middle School, Mid-Prairie High School, Mount Mercy University, Mount Vernon Middle School, Mount Vernon High School, University of Northern Iowa, North Linn Senior High School, Oelwein High School, Prairie Senior High School, Solon High School, South Tama County High School, University of Northern Iowa*, Union High School, Upper Iowa University, Valley Lutheran High School, Vinton-Shellsburg High School, Waterloo West High School, Wartburg College, Waverly Shell-Rock High School, Waverly Shell-Rock Middle School, Washington (IA) High School, West Delaware High School, Williamsburg High School. (*UNI also has 10 sport-specific bible study huddles).
We also have numerous expressions of interest from schools such as: Aplington-Parkersburg High School, Benton Community High School, Charles City High School, Cresco High School, Dike-New Hartford, Grundy Center High School, Harding Middle School, Highland-Riverside High School, Independence High School, Isaac Newton School, Jefferson High School, Lisbon High School, Nashua-Plainfield High School, North Cedar High School, Osage High School, Ottumwa High School, Peet Junior High School, Postville High School, Roosevelt Middle School, Twin Cedars High School, Waterloo East High School, West Branch High School, West Liberty High School, Xavier High School, among several others.
Who oversees FCA in Eastern Iowa?
There is an established Board of Directors who oversees all aspects of the ministry. Carl Gonder is the Area Director and Jim Anderson is the Chairman of the local Leadership Board. Dave Turnball is the Iowa FCA State Director and Tim Johnson is the FCA Midwest Regional Director.
Why should I support the work of FCA?
God uses your prayers and financial support to make this ministry happen. Our practice has been to avoid sending out numerous mailings to persons in the community requesting contributions. This is the major fundraiser for the year for Eastern Iowa FCA. If God lays it on your heart to be part of something significant that impacts the lives of many throughout Eastern Iowa, then we would be very thankful.
Who is the guest speaker this year?
NFL Hall of Famer Kurt Warner will be our guest speaker for the 14th annual Eastern Iowa FCA Home Team Drive and Banquet on Sunday, April 22, 2018 at the Cedar Rapids Marriott. Warner is the first native Iowan to be inducted into the Hall of Fame and a Super Bowl Champion. He is one of the most unique speakers in the sports world today, has spoken at many FCA events around the country and will share an inspirational story of God’s grace, power and provision. It is a night you won’t want to miss!
What is the next step?
Call the Eastern Iowa FCA office on 319-832-1461 to be a Banquet Sponsor, Home Team member or a Table Host for the 2018 FCA Home Team Drive and Banquet.