On September 23rd, coaches, athletes, and volunteers gathered to be encouraged, empowered, resourced, and inspired for their leadership role with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. It was an exciting afternoon to see these leaders come together from all over the Greater Charlotte area for the first time.
Shane Williamson, Regional Vice President FCA opened the day with his experience and observations of the influence of a coach. This set the tone to pursue a strategy for ministry that begins “To and Through” the coaches.
Mark Talbot, Metro Director FCA Greater Charlotte led the practical aspects of the session along with many of the Area Staff. Staff participating included Bryan Woodell, Ryan Gloer, Lincoln Lawing, Stuart Ramirez, Warren Stukes, and Bethany Trouville. Details on coaches bible studies, team bible studies, Huddles, and events such as Fields of Faith and missions were discussed and planned.
The highlight of the day was the FCA super deluxe Ice Cream Sundaes served by a group of awesome volunteers in bow ties and hats. It looked like the Mayberry Soda Shoppe re-created. These coaches and athletes had no problem piling on the over abundant toppings.
The featured presenter of the day was Shanta Crichlow, FCA Atlanta. Shanta inspired the crowd with her story of how God has sustained and guided her through victories as a Georgia Tech sprinter and the challenges of bone cancer.Her story of faith and courage was powerful and gave us encouragement for our own individual role in the Kingdom of God and the ministry of FCA.
Thanks to all who participated and we look forward to another event like this in the future.
Stuart Ramirez was raised in San Francisco California. His family never attended church and the only spiritual contact he had was a grandfather that was Catholic. Athletics were his life growing up and after high school he had the opportunity to attend San Francisco City College and then East Carolina University on a football scholarship. Unfortunately many poor decisions resulted in his returning to California and continuing his football career at California State Hayward University.
After college Stuart had the opportunity to attend several NFL Camps and while preparing for one of them he met his future wife Robin and God began to work. She invited him to church and shortly afterwards Stuart surrendered his life to Jesus Christ. Today Robin and Stuart live in Matthews, NC and are blessed with two children, Collin 15 and Alexa 12.
In 2008 Stuart realized his desire to do ministry while using the platform of sports. He became a leader in the middle school ministry at his church, coached his son’s football team, and started having opportunities to share his testimony and his faith with young people.
In 2010 Stuart was hit by the economic downturn and lost his job of ten years unexpectantly. After the initial shock he realized that God was leading him into a new career. After two years of praying and seeking out opportunities to do ministry in sports, Stuart was introduced to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. FCA is the oldest and largest Sports Ministry in the world and offers Stuart the support, structure, and resources to do the work he has been called to do.
Stuart is presently in the process of raising support for his ministry and looks forward to serving FCA as an Area Representative in some of the South Charlotte Metro schools.
Gaston County Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) hosted its annual golf tournament at Gaston Country Club on August 23rd, 2012. Over 85 golfers and volunteers came out to show their support, including 65 golfers, 12 adult volunteers, and 12 student volunteers from Ashbrook High School and South Point High School.
This year’s tournament was in Memory of Cindy Cloninger. Cindy was the definition of someone who had a true heart for Christ and sharing His Word. She spent her time doing everything in her power to share the love of Christ at East Gaston High School, where she was a guidance counselor. She was also the FCA huddle leader there and she always challenged students and coaches to live for The Lord. Cindy lost a long battle with cancer in January and went home to be with Jesus. However, her legacy lives on at East Gaston High School and throughout the community where she influenced so many lives.
Gaston County FCA Representative Lincoln Lawing
A lot of people came out to show their support for Cindy and a few of them had the opportunity to share a few words. The speakers included Ken Howell (Retired East Gaston Athletic Director), Dale Lawing (Cindy’s pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church), and Hannah McGee (a former student of Cindy’s). The morning was capped off by a few words from Cindy’s parents, Ray and Ann Cloninger and a plaque was presented to them in honor of all the work Cindy had done for FCA during her time at East Gaston.