Reorganization of FCA strengthens, refocuses

Chase Tuggle, junior Christian studies major, and Jami Humphries, freshman broadcast journalism major, play a game of “Minute to Win It.” Union’s FCA chapter meets for snacks, fellowship and a Bible study. | Photo by Abigail Harris

By Kendal Conner

A group of seven Union students recently came together to initiate a movement on campus, leading to the formation of a new division of the nationwide organization Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Union’s FCA had its official kick-off meeting Oct. 25 in the Bowld Student Commons. The event brought together approximately 50 students and hosted John Powell, college FCA area director, as the guest speaker.

Chase Tuggle, sophomore youth ministry major, is one of the original leaders behind Union’s newest student organization. Tuggle said his heart for FCA stems from his past ties to the organization as a student in middle and high school and summer “huddle,” or group, leader.

Last summer, Tuggle spoke with Kevin Ung, senior sports management major, about an idea he had to start a huddle at Union. Tuggle quickly discovered Ung had the same desire.

“We felt a call and we answered it,” Tuggle said.

The new huddle is not the first in Union’s history. However, the former Union huddle slowly faded out nearly five years ago due to a lack of active members. The rekindling of FCA came out of Tuggle’s heart to have the ministry on campus as an outreach for Union athletes.

“The athletes seem to get looked over sometimes,” Tuggle said. “We wanted to start FCA just to have a ministry they can relate to.”

Although it is not under the umbrella of Campus Ministries, the FCA leadership team can look to the success of other Campus Ministries outreach groups for encouragement, such as the on-campus women’s Bible study Klemata.

The formation of Klemata is similar to that of FCA. In the  fall semester of 1999, a group of female Union students felt called to start a women’s Bible study   on campus and by early 2000, Klemata was officially underway.

By the spring of 2010, Klemata had approximately 100 women involved, said Rachel Ware, director of women’s ministries.

Similar to Klemata’s beginnings, a leadership team was formed early in the semester to jump-start the FCA initiative.

The team includes Tuggle and Ung; Trey Weise, freshman linguistics and biblical studies double major; Mindy Winters, freshman undecided major; Rebecca Green, junior mathematics major; Lynnsey Park, sophomore history major; and Joel Haire, junior chemistry major.

“We want to make sure people do realize, though, that you don’t have to be an athlete to come to FCA,” Tuggle said. “It is open to everyone.”

FCA is currently meeting every other Monday night starting at 6:48 p.m. in the Bowld. Tuggle said the only significance behind 6:48 is that it is a memorable time. The leadership team is also open to anyone wanting to serve. A sign-up sheet will be available at meetings.

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The Cardinal & Cream is a student publication of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Our staff ranges from freshmen to seniors and includes a variety of majors — including journalism, public relations, advertising, marketing, digital media studies, graphic design and art majors.