FCA "Fields of Faith” Night at P.B.H.S.!
It’s a classic tale. In 2005, after a career that included 24 years in coaching, teaching, and administration at Poplar Bluff High School, Bill Ray was packing it in for good at Camdenton when a unique prospect came his way.
Soon enough, the newly-minted retiree became the area rep for Fellowship of Christian Athletes programs in a whopping 16 counties throughout Southeast Missouri. He recently spoke to me of an upcoming FCA event called Fields of Faith, to be held locally for the first time on October 8 from 8 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. at Fred Morrow Stadium (Poplar Bluff Varsity Football Field).
Conceived by a single coach in 2002 with the purpose of “getting back to basics”, the Fields of Faith program now has thousands of students gathering on local ball fields throughout the country for an evening of sharing their Christian experience, and encouraging each other to become regular readers of the Bible.
According to the Fields of Faith website, the program has its origins in the 34th chapter of The Second Book of Chronicles, in which the teenaged King Josiah initiated a sweeping movement to “perform the words of the covenant written” in the book of the law of Moses (2 Chron. 34:31, 32).
“We’re having trouble reaching our kids,” said Ray, who suggested that Fields of Faith is a step in the right direction. “That night will be mainly youth giving testimony,” he said, adding that “FCA New Testaments will be given to those making the commitment” to read the Bible regularly.
“We’re going to try to have guidelines on what to read for at least the first 30 days from there,” said Ray. He went on to explain that the “commitment cards” that students will complete before receiving their New Testament copies will help youth pastors in shaping future efforts.
Poplar Bluff School System athletic director Jim Brown said that “projections suggest there will be in excess of 400 young people in attendance, coming from local churches and from the surrounding communities, so we’re gearing up for a great evening.
“[Bill Ray]’s done a good job of getting more interest stirred up for FCA in the region. He’s a great person, and we’re really proud of all he’s done in spreading this philosophy throughout the southeast Missouri area.”
For Ray, “the beauty of [Fields of Faith] is that it brings the community together…It’s a great thing for people to pull together and do something in the body of Christ”.
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