Fields of Faith: Local FCA hosts annual event

Published 8:29 pm Thursday, October 11, 2018

Farrell Stadium at St. Aloysius has been the site of many football games and soccer matches over the years, but Wednesday night it served as the location for program calling young people to give their lives to Christ.

The Mississippi Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ seventh annual Fields of Faith program drew students from area high schools to Farrell Stadium to listen to speakers, pray, and take the steps to a higher expression of faith. Fields of Faith is a national program sponsored by the FCA to help student athletes have a stronger faith.

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Alonzo Stevens, FCA West Central representative, said 105 students participated in Wednesday’s program, which began with Vicksburg FCA president Horace Allen urging the students to “get your heart right, because God is going to speak to the real you,” and ended with the students gathering on the football field to pray with local ministers.

“I call this a celebration,” Mayor George Flaggs told the students and adults attending the program, “because anytime you can come together and celebrate the life of Christ, and stand up and be recognized and know that with God anything is possible, it’s a celebration. Remember this, you are all winners if you believe in Christ.”

Flaggs was one of several speakers addressing the students Wednesday emphasizing faith in God and the importance of having Christ in our lives.

Representative of Jesus

The Rev. Clarence Dunsmore recalled a comment a coach once told him. “He said, ‘You may be the only Bible somebody ever reads,’” he told the students.

“You are a representative of Jesus Christ,” he said. “You put your faith in Jesus Christ and everything will be fine.”

The Rev. Michael Phelps urged students to get to know Christ.

“As a student-athlete, when I got the knowledge of Christ it helped me to make better decisions, it helped me to grow as a man, as a better husband. It helped me in every area of my life,” he said. “In order to know God, you’ve got to study God. And in order to do that, you have to give your whole self to God and to know God’s mercy. You have to know what he did for you.

“God sent His son to earth to show his love through Jesus Christ to put us back in right standing with him. We need to sacrifice our bodies for him,” Phelps said. “If I ask you where you’re from, most of you are going to say Vicksburg, Port Gibson, Issaquena; the truth of the matter is you’re from heaven.

“God sent you here to be the answer. You’re not a problem, God sent you to be the answer.

“We’ve got to operate from heaven, not earthly.”

Phelp’s wife, Ann, called on the girls in the audience to “know that we are valuable; we’ve got to know that we are valuable; we’re not an after thought. We were right there in the beginning with Adam. God created us. We’re supposed to make the world conform to us.”

Lester Walls, FCA Mississippi inner city representative, told the group, “God wants us to be real and stop playing games.

“God wants you to know who he is. God wants you to have the knowledge of who he is and who he is in you. God wants to bless you. Have the Lord come into your life now.”

Stevens called the event “awesome,” but added, “I was hoping for bigger participation, and I would like to see more coaches stand up more. They are role models for the kids.

“I was happy to hear Lester Walls say Fields of Faith was being held in Africa. Everybody who spoke was great.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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