June 30, 2016
For Immediate Release
|Cortnee Walton, University of Louisville women’s basketball player, shares her testimony with FCA campers. (Campbellsville University Photo by Josh Christian)
By Josh Christian, student news writer
CAMPBELLSVILLE, KY— “RISE” was the theme of the 2016 Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) leadership camp at Campbellsville University Thursday, June 23 through Sunday, June 26.
RISE originates from Joshua 1:9, a verse in the Bible. The verse is a command from God to Joshua, a man who becomes the leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses, to be strong and courageous.
The FCA leadership camp staff used this verse as their core teaching throughout the four-day period, urging the over 500 middle and high school students in attendance to be strong and courageous and to rise up as Christian athletes.
The camp featured many activities including: boys and girls athletic competitions, faith-building activities like community and campus outreach and biblical teaching from a variety of different speakers.
Team meetings occurred each evening where students participated in a worship service.
|FCA campers stand in line for packed lunch before they go into the community. (Campbellsville University Photo by Josh Christian)
Cortnee Walton, forward for the University of Louisville Woman’s Basketball Team and from Surprise, Ariz., shared her testimony discussing her early life, saying she “had it really easy.”
“I never wanted for anything. I grew up in church. I sung in the choir. I acted in church plays,” Walton said.
“I don’t remember life before Christ,” Walton said.
Walton’s life changed when she decided to go to college.
“I am a long way from home. It (college) was a large step for me,” Walton said.
“Freshman year was hard. Sophomore year I got my heart broken by a boy,” Walton said. “I really needed to lean on God,” Walton said.
Walton explained how she faced adversity for the first time and was not ready to handle it.
Walton’s frustrations hit an all-time high when she broke her toe and was red shirted after a summer of large athletic improvement.
“I was looking at starting and playing a whole bunch of minutes,” Walton said.
“I had to red shirt that year and thought my life was over,” Walton said.
However, Walton learned much from her experience.
“I think God was sitting me down,” Walton said.
She realized it was much more “about Gods timing” then it was her own.
“What a lot of people don’t understand is that when you become a Christian, things get a lot harder,” Walton said.
The Rev. Kevin Smith, pastor of Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., also spoke.
Smith taught from the first chapter of Joshua, discussing the fact God’s words to Joshua, to be strong and courageous, were a command.
|The Rev. Kevin Smith, pastor of Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., teaches from the book of Joshua at FCA leadership camp. (Campbellsville University Photo by Josh Christian)
“We live in a culture and society where no one respects authority,” Smith said.
“Do you have a desire to obey the Lord?” Smith asked.
Smith said the term disciple meant follower, and as a Christian, one should be ready to obey God’s words.
“A lot of people can’t rise up because they don’t have the right perspective of God,” Smith said.
“If God created us in His image and His likeness, if God breathed the breath of life in man’s soul, do you not think he would give us warning unless we needed it?” Smith asked.
“God’s commands aren’t idle commands,” Smith said.
Smith said, if God told Joshua not to be fearful or discouraged, it meant there would probably be a likely scenario where one could be afraid or discouraged.
“Fear is part of being human and experiencing unfamiliar situations,” Smith said.
“God says when fear pops up, don’t yield to it. Remember my presence. Obey my word,” Smith said.
“We all need to be reminded of that,” Smith said.
Huddle leaders, each leaders of a small group of high school or middle school students, briefly shared part of their testimony at the event.
Zach Napier, Campbellsville University sophomore from Mt. Washington, Ky., was a huddle leader and participated in the FCA leadership camp.
|Zach Napier, Campbellsville University sophomore and FCA camp huddle leader, shares a piece of his testimony displayed on poster board, during worship. (Campbellsville University Photo by Josh Christian)
“FCA camp is about showing high school and middle school athletes that it really is okay to be an athlete and share Jesus at the same time. So many people get the idea that you have to do one or the other, but we are here to show them that athletics are just a pedestal and a footstep forward to sharing the gospel with your teammates and school,” Napier said.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,500 students offering over 80 programs of study including 24 master’s degrees, seven postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.