Special to The Star
What started outs as a simple “I’ve got an idea” during a telephone call spurred the months of planning that went into hosting an all-day, three-sport clinic in Highland Park as a ministry to the young men and women of the Meridian area.
The clinic served more than 325 students and brought together an army of more than 30 volunteers.
Derek Pouncey had called the local FCA office in March and shared this idea of hosting an event to not only teach students about athletics, but also share the love of Jesus and the message of the cross with them.
On June 26 District 5 Director Brandon Dewease and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes laid siege to Highland Park, hosting the 1st Annual Lauderdale County FCA Power Camp there at the facilities in and around the Frank Cochran Center.
Coaches affiliated with all of the Lauderdale County schools, Meridian High school, Alcorn State University and many other reputable organizations flooded the area to share not only their knowledge of the game; but also their core values of integrity, service, teamwork and excellence based on their faith in a saving grace provided in Jesus Christ.
Volunteers primarily associated with Northcrest Baptist Church and New Harvest Church of Collinsville staffed the “hydration stations” that dotted the park with drinks provided by Meridian Coca Cola Bottling Company.
Coaches drilled the 300 plus participants in the sport of their own choosing — baseball, basketball or football. They taught drills and techniques all morning and then, during the lunch break, Brother Casie Page from Northcrest Baptist Church shared a message about allowing small amounts of sin to creep into lives. More drills followed into the afternoon.
"The day offered the students much more than sports knowledge," according to a press release. "It’s an easier task to tell of the love of Jesus than to show the love of Jesus, that’s what the day was about; showing the love of Jesus. Hearing about it is one thing, feeling it is another.
"At the culmination of the day Bro. LaBaron Hedgemon of Freedom Rock Baptist Church shared the unadulterated gospel of Jesus Christ. Some 11 students reported that they’d asked Jesus into their hearts that day and 11 more recommitted their lives to live worthy of their calling in Christ Jesus. Numerous others asked for prayer and expressed a need for bibles, which are to be provided by FCA.
"The FCA is working to contact pastors listed by students who filled out cards expressing needs or commitments in order that staff from those churches may walk with these young men and women in their plight to trod out the Christian faith.
FCA would like to say a special 'Thank you,' to Mr. Ricky Hood and his staff from the Boys and Girls Club of Meridian for their involvement on the day of the event; as well as Mrs. Stephanie Stockton and Mrs. Christy Lea of the Meridian area who organized and operated the entire registration process.
"FCA would also like to say thank you to the man who brought this idea to the table, Coach Derek Pouncey, who will serve as a new defensive line coach at West Lauderdale in the coming year. "
FCA is a 501c3 non-profit organization that operates nationally and locally based on the charitable contributions of those who believe in the cause of the ministry.
If you have questions , comments or would like to help please contact Brandon DeWease at 601-934-6561