Last year, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes club at East Wake High School struggled to stay afloat.
FCA advisor Garry Allmon said the former, four-school format at East Wake made it harder to pull together interest for the club, often resulting in less than a dozen students in attendance at meetings.
“It was about only being able to meet at a certain time,” Allmon said. “All the schools held things at different times.”
Things have changed drastically and for the better for the group since the four small schools were unified for this school year, Allmon said.
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“We’ve been averaging about 40 kids a week show up to club meetings, and 75-80 total are involved,” Allmon said Tuesday after what was the final Club Day gathering of the school year for FCA.
In addition to monthly activities like the one held Tuesday, the club gathers on Friday mornings during the school year.
“I think we’re doing a great job here with our youth and building a great group,” Allmon said. “You wonder how many do it just to get out of class, but I feel they are here for a reason.”
Katie Vaughn, an area representative for FCA covering 11 counties including Wake, said it doesn’t matter why the students attend the meetings. What matters, she said, is that they are there participating in the organization that aims to impact the world by coupling two passions – Christian faith and athletics.
“Even if they are just coming to get out of class, they are still hearing the Word of God and seeds are planted,” Vaughn said.
Vaughn explained that FCA is allowed in schools where other student-led groups also meet.
“It’s student-led and student-initiated,” Allmon said. “I’m just there.”
Tuesday’s final assembly came during AP testing week, meaning some students missed out. Dozens still made it to the school’s auditorium to join Chad Lister and Ryan “Goose” Guzouskis of Wake Forest-based Richland Creek Community Church for an hour of worship.
Lister, Richland Creek’s worship pastor and the son of East Wake career and technical education teacher Jack Lister, led the music with his guitar. Guzouskis, the high school ministry director at the church, offered his testimony, making the point that it is easy for people to think they are in control of their lives, but that it is really God who is in control.
Guzouskis said visits like the one he and Lister had sharing at East Wake come through students who attend their church.
“It’s a great opportunity for Christians and seekers, alike, to have a good place to fellowship and worship together and study the Word,” Lister said.