University of Akron "Roovival"
The annual "Roovival" was held at InfoCision Stadium on the University of Akron campus on Monday April 24, 2017. Over 100 football players and coaches showed up to hear testimonies from a player and coach. Additionally, Roy Hall made his second appearance at an FCA Akron event in as many days. Roy shared his personal testimony and challenged the folks in attendance to know the playbook (a.k.a. The Bible) and to serve God in all that they do.
14 University of Akron football players accepted Christ as their personal Lord and Savior at this event. Praise God!
Student-athletes, coaches, and community members had the pleasure of listening to former Ohio State Buckeye and Indianapolis Colt, Roy Hall, on Sunday, April 23rd at Grace Church's Bath Extension.
Roy spoke to the crowd about his faith in Christ, and in particular how we as Christians should not be willing to accept any other label than that of a servant of God, how we must take personal accountability for our actions and decisions, and how we should filter the information we are receiving to determine whether it is of God or of man.
Je'Rod Cherry, 3-time Super Bowl Champion as a New England Patriot, visited our Twinsburg high school huddle. He spoke about life "at the top" and how it was mostly empty without Jesus.
At our most recent 3E Leadership meeting, we had a guest speaker, Dr. Ajay Seth, of Canton, OH. Dr. Seth is an orthopedic surgeon who shared an incredible story.
A patient who had been bitten by a raccoon came to see Dr. Seth. She had an infection in her arm that would not go away. The infection became serious to the point that sepsis set in, and her kidneys stopped working. That is when Dr. Seth's focus shifted from saving his patient's arm to saving her life.
Having never worked with prosthetics before, he knew his patient deserved the best after what she went through, and decided he would do whatever it took to make her the highest-functioning amputee in the world. More than a handful of scenarios worked out in order to make all of this possible, and Dr. Seth and his patient made history. She became the first amputee with a prosthetic arm to be able to feel her fingers.
Dr. Seth's final message was that we alone cannot take credit for our achievements. He gave all the glory to God for this achievement. He stated that he would have been unable to figure out how to rewire his patient's nerves in order to trick her brain into believing that her body regrew the arm without God.
Dr. Seth is specifically gifted as a surgeon. "I may be able to perform surgery, but I wouldn't know the first thing about fixing a pipe," he stated. We each have a gift. Do not limit your gifts and talents. Each gift has its own worth.
Additionally, NE Ohio FCA Representative, Tyler Barney, spoke to the 3E students about the importance of prayer, and he gave them a easy-to-remember template for praying, PRAY (Praise, Repent, Ask, Yield). The students were then challenged to use this template to pray out loud for their huddle group. Each student answered the challenge with great courage! Stay tuned for answered prayers...
FCA Akron 2016 Year-End Video
Innes Middle School Huddle
On November 29, we kicked off our newest huddle in the Akron area at Innes Middle School. Over the past four weeks, we have discussed the Gospel from the point of view of God's plan for each of us, man's problem with sin, Jesus's substitution and atonement for our sins, and our faith response. Additionally, we talked about what it means for Jesus to be our Lord and Savior, and last Tuesday we spoke about the real meaning of Christmas. These kids are excited to learn about God and do not hold back their thoughts and opinions on the subject. Praise God that we have reached yet another school in the City of Akron!
Huddle Update: On April 11, 2017, 5 Innes Middle School students accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Praise God!
FCA Akron Tailgate Festivities
On Saturday, October 15, FCA Akron hosted a tailgate at the University of Akron football game. Ohio was in rare form...it was a beautiful, warm, sunny OCTOBER day as the Zips took on the #24 Western Michigan Broncos. Although the Zips struggled on the field, God's Kingdom flourished at our tailgate. Over 35 local student athletes were in attendance at the event. The festivities included hamburgers, yard games, and a couple of pick-up football games. But the event that stole the show was a combined student-athlete prayer with some of the Zips football players before the game. Amen!
This was a tremendous opportunity for our middle school and high school huddle members to look into the future by shaking hands and praying with a college athlete. It is our hope that this interaction would give them the ability to see where their road might lead if they keep their eyes, ears, and hearts on God. We are certainly thankful that God provided the idea, venue, and platform to impact these young lives for Christ!
Kenmore High School Football Huddle
Thursday evenings after long practices, the Kenmore High School football team enjoys a time of fellowship with their peers. Last Thursday FCA Akron board member, Mark Bernlohr, lead the team in discussion about what is means to be "in fellowship" and what it means to be a Christian.
University of Akron Coaches' Huddle
Every Thursday at the University of Akron, coaches campus-wide gather together to study God's word. Each study has a coach and athletic-based theme that makes it easy for the coaches to give their input and grow together in their walk, as well as encourage one another to empower their student-athletes with the Word.
FCA Akron Goes on Tri-State Christian Television
On August 9th, FCA Akron's University of Akron football chaplain, Kali Brandon, and Area Director, Tristan Griffin, were invited to be guests on Tri-State Christian Television's "Celebrate Live - Ohio". The television show celebrates local ministries and gives viewers an opportunity to worship through testimonies and Bible lessons. In a Q and A interview, Tristan and Kali shared the FCA Akron vision with viewers, told stories of lives that have been changed through the impact of Fellowship of Christian Athletes Akron, and challenged viewers to do their part in supporting ministries through prayer and financial contributions.
FCA Staff Picture at Portage Country Club
On August 5th, FCA President and CEO, Les "Coach" Steckel, visited Portage Country Club in Akron to share his testimony and thoughts on FCA with local businessmen. Les Steckel is in his last year as the President and CEO of FCA. He has left a tremendous mark on the ministry. Coach Steckel became the seventh President and CEO of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes on March 1, 2005. Steckel's extensive involvement with FCA dates back to 1972 when, as a college football coach, he attended his first FCA conference. In the 44 years since then, Steckel has served as Huddle Leader, platform speaker, camp dean, football clinician at various FCA camps across the nation and served regularly as a guest speaker at FCA events. Steckel and his wife, Chris, also speak at FCA marriage enrichment weekends, and prior to his selection as FCA President and CEO, both he and Chris served on the FCA National Board of Trustees.
Steckel’s football coaching career spans over 32 years. After spending five years as a college coach at the University of Colorado and the U.S. Naval Academy, Steckel began his NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers in 1978. His 23 years of coaching experience in the NFL includes serving as head coach of the Minnesota Vikings and offensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans, whom he helped guide to the 2000 Super Bowl. He also was an offensive coach for the New England Patriots during their 1985 Super Bowl season.
Additionally, he held the position of offensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was a position coach with the Denver Broncos, Houston Oilers and Buffalo Bills.
A Golden Gloves boxing champion at the University of Kansas, Steckel graduated from Kansas in 1968 with a triple-major bachelor’s degree in political science, social work and human relations. He then enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and, after completing Officer Candidate School in early 1969, served in Vietnam as an infantry officer. In 1972, Steckel joined the Marine Corps Reserves and served in various staff positions throughout the United States while he coached football for college and NFL teams until retiring in 1999 as a Colonel. Among his numerous military awards, Steckel received the Navy Commendation Medal.
In August 2006, Steckel’s autobiography, One Yard Short: Turning Your Defeats Into Victories, was published. The title is derived from the final play of the 2000 Super Bowl between the St. Louis Rams and Steckel’s Titans, a play that has been called the most exciting play in the history of the Super Bowl. Steckel’s book chronicles his life journey which ultimately led him to Kansas City to head FCA, the largest sports ministry in the world.
Les and Chris Steckel, who reside in Brentwood, Tennessee, are the parents of three adult children, Christian, Lesley and Luke and three grandchildren, Callen, Logan and Chloe.
The University of Akron Football Team Huddle Group
School year or summer break, rain or shine, the University of Akron Football Team Huddle Group is eager to deepen their walk with Christ. This week's topic: PRIORITIES. These Division I athletes live in a world emerged with egotism and pride. In college football, the end-zone dance and one-handed catch have become much "cooler" than displays of humility and respect. Led by FCA Akron's University of Akron Football Chaplain, Kali Brandon, these athletes discussed how priorities such as status, ego, and relationships can interfere with their relationship with God. The team came together in an effort to refocus on the importance of putting God first on the field, in the classroom, and in life.
It was encouraging to see the level of thought these young men put into the discussion. They left themselves completely vulnerable in order to grow as teammates and as men. It is clear that God is on the move within the University of Akron football team. You can't help but root for these young men. We are all looking forward to a successful 2016 season! The Zips open up the season at Akron InfoCision Stadium on Saturday, September 3rd against the VMI Keydets. Go Zips!
Tallmadge High School Huddle Group
On May 6th, FCA Akron Area Director, Tristan Griffin, went and spoke to the Tallmadge High School Huddle Group on the topic of biblical courage. "We spoke about how difficult it can be at times to have the courage to take a stance for and to stand firm in your faith. I think it is important for the young folks to understand that a firm stance can be taken in a kind and respectful manner, and that God is often asking us to step out for Him in faith. Further, when we take a stance for our God, He is quick to have our back by supporting our efforts."