Fellowship of Christian Athletes experiences tremendous membership growth.
The River sponsors a multitude of clubs, making it possible for any of the over 1,000 students to find their place. Among the 32 clubs the school has to offer, only one is religion-centered: the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), an international club, focuses on bringing teenagers together to build relationships with God.
The FCA huddle at the River has been operating for several years but has undergone rapid growth in membership within the past year. The widening of FCA caused Thursday morning meetings to be moved from history teacher Eric Nelson’s room to the auditorium.
“I would attribute [the growth] to the two guys who sort-of started revamping it, the original two leaders Jeremy Rinehart and Jack O’Donnell, because they were really faithful and really passionate about it,” senior and FCA leader Daniel Sipes said. “They put a lot of work into it and I think God blessed that.”
When the club was first organized, there were only five to ten members. However, the leaders did not give up and instead prayed for new and consistent membership.
“All of the leaders have been praying for growth for so long, we’ve been putting so much into it: not just making ourselves be at the center of it but putting God at the center,” FCA leader Riley Mullis said. “It’s grown a lot. We’re all really happy with that because He’s answered our prayers through it, and we can’t wait to see how He continues to answer our prayers.”
The leaders give credit for the growth to God in addition to working hard in trying to promote the club in any way they can.
“We’ve got our Instagram, we’ve got a Remind, posters up around the school and sometimes we get an announcement over the sound system at the end of the day, but then we’ll also do commercials on the news,” Sipes said.
To the leaders, FCA is not just a club but a blessing that God placed upon them, and they are more than overjoyed for new members.
“I see FCA getting bigger and better and fast, too,” FCA leader Faith Gilray said. “So many new kids come to the auditorium that I keep forgetting their names on accident. Honestly, it’s not just the leaders that get the word out about FCA. We were blessed with so many kids with a voice who are not afraid to stand up and tell other kids about FCA. Some people say they used to go only for the donuts but then, because of the message and presence of God they felt, they decided to stay.”