The Fellowship of Christian Athletes Spreads Across Brunswick County
When it comes to a school’s identity and student body, the athletic program can be an influential force. When it comes to Americans, athletes themselves are some of the most powerful figures in our society. According to statistics, television and sports are the most widely consumed forms of entertainment in pop culture.
Knowing this, Scott Holden wants to tap into that power and encourage athletes to be the most positive influences possible. And so Holden began to work with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). About three years ago, he took his passion on the road in Brunswick County, encouraging schools to start and embrace the FCA on their campuses.
“I want to help coaches and athletes influence their community,” Holden says. “The crime rate in Brunswick County schools increased slightly in 2016, and statistically 80% of our athletes don’t have fathers at home. Our solution is influence. We want athletes and coaches to have the support they need to be good role models.”
FCA is a worldwide nonprofit that was founded in 1954. In 2015, FCAs reached over 450,000 students through 14,689 campus huddles and had a record number of 981 coach huddles. And while the name indicates a focus on athletics, the organization itself and Holden are very clear that participation in FCA events is open to everyone.
“We want all students to be involved. Sports are just our platform.”
Holden himself was a student athlete and the beneficiary of Brunswick County education. He attended Leland Middle School, played high school soccer at North Brunswick High School, attended Brunswick Community College for a time and graduated from UNCW. He has a lot of community ties.
When he was 13, between soccer practices and working towards his Eagle Scout certification, Holden felt a call from God to help students find a path that was life-affirming and could provide some direction in a turbulent world. He found the FCA has proven results in their work with students.
When he was hired as the FCA’s Brunswick County Representative, there was a pocket of activity at South Brunswick Middle School, but nothing formal in the County.
Today, thanks to Holden’s work alongside some dedicated volunteers, there are active FCA chapters at Cedar Grove Middle School, Leland Middle, Shallotte Middle, South Brunswick Middle, Waccamaw School, the Early College of Brunswick County, North Brunswick High School, South Brunswick High School, West Brunswick High School and Brunswick Community College.
“This is not a job, it’s a ministry,” he says. “I have a lot of ties to Brunswick County and I have a big heart for this County.”
Students who elect to participate in the FCA at their school do not have to be athletes and can expect a variety of opportunities to serve their school and community. A very popular nationwide event organized by the FCA is “See You at the Pole,” where students and parents gather at the school’s flagpole to pray for their school. Other events in Brunswick County include the well-attended Fields of Faith, coach breakfasts, summer camps, training for coaches, luncheons organized by students for the community, guest speakers, soccer tournaments, clinics, and more.
Holden and the Brunswick County FCA love student-led and inspired events and will support anything school FCAs want to do as long as they follow the main values: Integrity, Serving, Teamwork, Excellence.
Work and luncheon to honor First Responders held by the Shallotte Middle School FCA:
Currently, in order to strengthen and continue to grow the FCA, Holden is seeking volunteers as well as organizations to Adopt-a-Coach. Anyone interested in supporting or volunteering with the Brunswick County FCA can email Scott at ScottHolden@fca.org.
Ultimately, Holden wants the FCA to help kids around the County realize they are special and that the community believes in them.
“We want well-balanced kids with healthy lives,” Holden says. “We want young people to become whole and complete, the way God designed them to be. We want to prepare them personally, morally and spiritually so they can have great marriages and families and positively affect the next generation.”
For upcoming events and to get involved, follow the Brunswick County FCA at www.facebook.com/1BrunswickFCA.