VSU FCA Looks to Expand its Outreach

Barbara Kieker

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) at Valdosta State University (VSU) ministers daily to more than 400 people, according to VSU FCA Director Shane Goodwin.  Athletes, coaches and their families, and other athletic staff members are among those served, but everyone in the VSU community is welcome.  

"Ours is a ministry of presence.  We provide a chaplain to any coach that requests one and offer weekly bible studies as well as one-on-one discipleship for any athlete that wants it," Goodwin said. 

The VSU FCA chapter is the only one in the country to have a dedicated house on campus. FCA leaders live in the house and Goodwin offices there.  Events are held throughout the year such as the recent "breakfast for dinner" event that marked the beginning of studying for exams. 

"While FCA is automatically open to all athletes, anyone is welcome to just come in," Goodwin said. 

Since 1954, FCA has been challenging coaches and athletes on the professional, college, high school, junior high and youth levels nationwide to use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus Christ. FCA focuses on serving local communities by equipping, empowering and encouraging people to make a difference for Christ.  

A growing ministry

VSU FCA started a little more than four years ago with a group of about 20 people.  It has grown dramatically since then. 

Today, VSU FCA has six chaplains serving the football, baseball, softball, volleyball and soccer teams.  Chaplains Marty and Leslie McGhin, Bubba Thomas, John Joy, Mary Gooding, and Shanel Goodwin provide lessons on Christian leadership through weekly team bible studies, retreats, and more than 30 one-on-one discipleship studies.  

"We have great people in FCA that are the greatest credit to our chapter.  I just leave them alone and let them minister as God leads," Goodwin said. 

Goodwin became VSU FCA campus director in 2013.  He has 11 years of teaching experience and 16 years as a football coach.  He leads several of the ministry’s 10 weekly bible studies himself as well as a handful of one-on-one discipleships, and his wife, Shanel, serves as the chaplain to the women's soccer team. 

Partnering with local leaders

In its ministry, VSU FCA partners with local church leaders, business leaders, and community leaders.  Goodwin is looking to expand the local FCA board from seven members to 12 members. 

"Right now we are kind of in survival mode.  Our budget just covers the basics financially and we have a vision to do so much more.  We need to do more outreach and partner with the community to grow our ministry," Goodwin said.

More details on the VSU FCA chapter and its ministry is available in a YouTube video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5zDHw8OGqg, or if you are interested in partnering with VSU FCA, contact Shane Goodwin at [email protected].

About Barbara Kieker

Barbara Kieker is a freelance writer who writes on business-related topics for a number of web-based properties. She also provides communications services to Fortune 500 corporations, small businesses and nonprofit organizations.