Christian athletes take to football field to express faith

Published 11:16 am Thursday, October 13, 2016


Encouragement and strength was expressed to local high school athletes who are looking to God for guidance.

Christian athletes from four area high schools met together Wednesday night at St. Aloysius High School’s Balzli Field to share their faith with one another and listen to stories of faith from students, coaches and speakers during the annual Fields of Faith program.

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“Fields is a student to student event. Peers invite their own classmates and teammates to meet on their their school athletic field to hear fellow students share their faith, testimony, challenges and challenge them to read the Bible and come to the faith of our Lord,” Alonzo Stevens, West Central representative of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, said. “An athletic field is a location everyone is familiar with and provides a neutral, interracial rally point.”

The guest speaker was Lester Walls, former coach and Jackson inner city representative of FCA, spoke to the crowd of over 100 about having faith that God will bring them through any hardship to success. He said God wants them to be excited and open to his blessings.

“God has a blessing with your name on it,” Walls said, adding God helps with academics, athletics and spiritual relationships. “Some folks think that Christians are wussies, but God has called us to be warriors, to take a stand, to challenge our friends.”

Vicksburg native and former NBA player Michael Phelps introduced his wife, pastor Patricia Phelps, who spoke about the necessity of having purpose in life. She said everyone has been given an ability by God and it just has to be tapped into and stirred up. Purpose creates fulfillment and a lack of purpose opens the way for abuse of power, she said.

“The greatest tragedy in life is life without purpose,” Patricia Phelps said. “You were sent to be the answer and not the problem.”

A student athlete and coach from each of the four high schools shared aspects of their own testimony and what scripture helps them dig deep and fight through games as well as life.

St. Aloysius seniors Annabeth Breeden, Justin Ehrgott and Victoria Daily all attended the event after they heard about it at school. Breeden said it was her first time to attend Fields of Faith.

“I just thought it’d be fun to listen to all the different schools,” she said.

“They talked about about trusting God and your teammates,” Ehrgott said.

“It was a good experience,” Daily said.

Every student in the stands joined coaches and clergy on the field at the end of the night for a time of prayer.