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The Fellowship of Christian Athletes engages coaches and athletes to grow in their faith and sport.

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Northeast Ohio FCA

Tristan Griffin
NE Ohio FCA Director

Tristan came on as the new Area Director for Summit and Portage Counties in April 2016. A graduate of Aledo High School in Aledo, TX, he went on to study energy commerce at Texas Tech University and law at The University of Texas School of Law. Tristan worked as the director of football operations and receivers’ coach at Tiffin University for two years prior to coming on FCA staff.  Tristan and his wife, Melanie, were married in May 2016, and have lived in Akron since then. They have a daughter named Scout.

Why FCA?
My calling to FCA began in the summer of 2015. After coaching football for a year out of law school, I crashed into a wall of discontent. I loved my job as a coach, but I felt there was something more that I should be doing. During this time, I deepened my relationship with God and became determined to seek His will in every aspect of my life. Through various outlets, God worked on my life and opened my eyes to my true calling. He led me to Matthew 22:36-40, which opened my heart to the missing ingredient in my life, which was love. From that point on, I became determined to serve God and serve others. I just needed to find a way to do so on a more consistent basis. After many prayers and a lot of searching, my fiancé mentioned that I should look into positions with FCA. I did, and the rest is history! FCA combines my passion of sports with my purpose of serving God and others. It is truly the perfect fit for me. My excitement overflows each time I think about the ways God has and will continue to move in coaches and athletes through my ministry. God is on the move in Summit and Portage counties!

Current Interests:
Focusing on developing relationships, learning, reading, exercising, coaching, playing and watching all sports, and relaxing.

Favorite Bible verses:
Matthew 22:36-40: 36 ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ 37 Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’

Hebrews 12:1-3: 1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Coshocton Area

Deb Strasser
Coshocton Area Director


Deb has recently joined the NE Ohio FCA area. She will serve as the area representative for Coshocton County, Holmes County and recently added in Tuscarawas County. Deb’s husband, John has been volunteering in these areas for an extended period and will continue to volunteer in partnership with Deb.

As a Coshocton County native, she is aware of the spiritual and economic needs of the community. She has served as a board member for the Friends of the Parks, and also for Hope Clinic -Coshocton. She is a member of Women of Witness and also served on the development committee for the Love Center Free Clinic in Holmes County. In addition, she volunteered with John as the appointed Directors to assist in launching the Love Center and continued to manage the program for the first year. There have been many areas where she has served in her church throughout the years. Sunday School teacher, camp counselor, prayer & connect group coordinator, food pantry, served/delivered meals at holidays, nursery attendant, patient hospital and extended care unit visit and teen co-director are a few highlights.

She has been married to John for thirty-eight years. They have been blessed with three wonderful children and six beautiful and energetic grandchildren.

Why FCA?

Since my conversion to serve Christ faithfully in 1979, I have always searched for ways to fulfill the great commission. Matthew 28:18-20 and Mark 16-15-18

I believe God has opened this door for us as another avenue to share God’s love and compassion to coaches, their wives, students and the school administration. Also, we want to provide opportunities for our local pastors and other kind-hearted people to get involved in our schools.

In the past few months, we have been so blessed by the positive response from the parents and the staff in area schools. Comments have been so uplifting. It is exciting to see that the local residents and businesses are excited to hear what has been happening. Pastors have been uniting together to be involved regardless of denominations,. It’s wonderful to witness the church walls come down. We can actually be the Christ followers walking, teaching, serving, helping, praying, and encouraging one another after the pattern of our great Lord and Savior.

Current Interests:

Spending time with family and friends, reading, traveling and flower gardening

Favorite Bible Verses?

2 Chronicles 7:14 “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Psalm 90:12 “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

Hall of Fame Area

Natalie Roberts 
Administrative Assistant


Natalie joined FCA as the Administrative Assistant for NE Ohio in August 2016. A native of Sandusky, OH, she went on to play golf at Malone University. Natalie earned two bachelor degrees: Youth Ministry and Psychology. She worked at NewPointe Community Church in Canton as a student ministries director for 2 years and then transitioned over to children's ministry director for the following 3 years. Natalie and her husband, Mike, were married in 2013. They have son, Wesley and a daughter named Kelly. 

Why FCA?
After having their first baby in April 2016, Natalie felt called to be a stay-at-home mom but still wanted to be involved in ministry. Mike and Natalie were praying relentlessly for her dream to be a stay-at-home mom to become a reality. But the thought of completely walking away from ministry just didn't seem right, or God's best for her life. When Natalie found out about the opportunity to come alongside of FCA and support the NE Ohio FCA staff, while working from home with Wes and Kelly, she knew FCA was exactly where God wanted her to be. Natalie wakes up every morning excited to live out her calling to be a wife and a mom and use my passion for sports and gifts of administration to win people for Jesus!

Current Interests?
Golfing, spending time with my family, nephew and niece, and friends, watching football or anything Buckeye related, leading our small group, and going on walks 

Favorite Bible verses?
1 Timothy 4:12 "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity."

Lamentations 3:22-23 "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."

Youngstown Area/Steel Valley

Bob Kimpel
Area Representative - Columbiana, Mahoning, Trumbull, and Jefferson Counites

Bob is the FCA Area Rep in the "Steel Valley" counties of Eastern Ohio-Columbiana, Jefferson, Mahoning, and Trumbull Counties. He graduated Columbiana High School as Salutatorian, a 4 sport athlete, and was elected an Athletic Hall of Fame member of Columbiana's Hall of Fame. He played college football for the Wheaton (IL) “Thunder". Bob has coached Baseball, Basketball, Football, Track and Soccer from Rec League to High School. More importantly, Bob has been married to his wife, Julie, since 1990. They have 4 daughters who are passionate about Jesus, others, and you guessed it, sports! Bob graduated from the University of Toledo with a Pharmacy degree. In 2012 Bod a laid down his career to serve as a missionary to Coaches and Athletes with FCA Steel Valley. He credits his parents, incredible mentors, and involvement with “CRU" during his college years as the spark and passion for ministering The Gospel to young people. Bob and his wife Julie have also served as youth, children, and family pastors with churches in the Youngstown, OH area.

Why FCA?
I love God and really like sports! I am thankful and honored to partner with friends like you. It's a privilege to influence young people with the good news of Jesus. We have THE ANSWER to empower youth to overcome life’s challenges. Jesus can relate to their lives, knows their innermost being, and loves them no matter what! Anyone who trusts this knows redemption & forgiveness through Jesus. What a joy to share life from a position of VICTORY! This is GOOD NEWS, SHARE IT!

My involvement with FCA began in my hometown of Columbiana, OH, where I led the Jr. High and High School huddles for 17 years. I answered God’s deeper call in 2012 to become an AREA REP with FCA. I know personally what The Lord did in me and what he can do in others. Genuine, abundant life is for all who trust Jesus. I also enjoy the many new friendships developed through FCA. Take the challenge, or find a way to volunteer with FCA. Become an "FCA Champion" in your hometown! You can give from the talents God has loaned you through FCA’s 4 C’s of ministry: COACHES, CAMPUS, CAMPS, and COMMUNITY. Please ask me how FCA in your Community can transform this generation and beyond! What’s Done for Christ will Last! Join the "FCA Home Team".

Current interests:
Family, Travel, History, Outdoors, and Sports

Favorite Bible Verses:
John 3:16,17
Col 2:6,7
Prov 3:5,6