FCA continues to grow at AU

Noah Cloonan

For some college athletes, finding time to practice your religion and live out your faith can be hard to find, but Ashland University’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) helps to solve that problem.

FCA is a national organization that focuses on reaching athletes and coaches while giving them an avenue to live out their faith on their respective campuses. 

The national vision of FCA is, “To see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes.”

Joe Maggelet is the Athletic Chaplain at AU and he is in charge of running the FCA on campus. 

Maggelet says that on any given week he will see 50-100 kids that show up on Tuesday nights at the FCA meetings. This has not always been the case, as there were just five athletes at the first meeting Maggelet attended over 20 years ago. 

Since then, Maggelet has made it his goal to reach athletes on AU’s campus in a way that nobody else had before. 

One of  the first things Maggelet did was develop a mission statement that was personalized for AU and his ministry, “To reach, disciple and equip college students to know Christ and to make him known in successive generations in all the nations.” 

FCA goes well beyond the physical meeting on Tuesday nights as it extends throughout every day of the week through “Team Huddles.” Team Huddles are Bible studies that are led by athletes to the rest of their team.

“Athletes reach athletes way better than someone from the outside so the goal is to help train and disciple athletes to reach their teammates for Christ,” Maggelet said. “We have about ten teams that have Bible studies that are student led.”

On those ten teams there are currently 15 leaders that meet with Maggelet once a week to plan out the Bible study for the upcoming week that they will lead amongst their teammates. 

Team huddles see a very good turnout, according to Maggelet who said that during the fall semester the football team huddle would consistently have more than 30 athletes that would attend regularly.  

“The Strength of FCA is what happens outside FCA,” Maggelet said. “We do chapels with football and basketball. With football we make sure we have a chapel available every week for athletes to go to.”

For Rachelle Morrison, this could not be more true. Morrison, a senior on the women’s basketball team, was first invited to attend FCA at one of the team huddle meetings. 

She decided to attend and was introduced to Maggelet for the first time. She said that his passion for the Bible and his knowledge of it is unlike anyone else that she had ever met and that he pushed and challenged his students in a way that only he could.

“I just look at the impact that he’s made on my life and the impact that I’ve been able to make on other people’s lives because of him,” Morrison said. “So it’s not only the people that he has reached one-on-one but who those people have reached as well. Joe (Maggelet) has impacted those well beyond one person.”

Maggelet has a large emphasis on training athletes in the way they should walk in hopes that they will be able to teach others that same thing.

“You invest in their life and then they invest in others. We call that the process of multiplication,” Maggelet said. 

FCA is not only for athletes but it is for the rest of the student body as well. FCA is held on Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. in the Lower Chapel.

“Joe just has such a passion and he gives it to you straight and if you haven’t come I suggest you come on Tuesday nights,” Morrison said.