SWHS begins FCA chapter
Southwest High School students now have the opportunity to join the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). A new chapter began meeting at the school during the second week of the 2012-13 school year.
"This organization offers students the opportunities to speak with peers about their love for Jesus," said Linda Morgan, communication arts teacher, who also serves as the FCA advisor. "It helps them to realize they aren't alone.
"It helps them get their priorities in order," continued Morgan, "and FCA reminds students that they are accountable for their actions and their moral standards."
FCA members meet at 7:30 a.m. Each Wednesday morning. During the meetings, students enjoy free breakfast, provided by local churches, games and listen to speakers, who have included FCA members and local youth ministers. They also enjoy music led by Jerri Lynn Henry and Montana Hendrix.
The group also holds after school events. Around 40 members and local residents attended a free drive-up movie night held in September.
"The movie night was held outside the high school," said Morgan. "Accents-N-Tents donated a blow up movie screen, and we played "The Fifth Quarter" on a projector. The movie was free, and we offered cheap concessions.
"This was an opportunity for students and community members who don't have the money to go out on the weekends to get out of the house," continued Morgan. "It also offered a fun activity that didn't involve drugs or alcohol."
Around 50 Southwest students took part in a See You At The Pole event sponsored by FCA last month. The chapter also attends summits, camps and concerts.
"These events give them a chance to learn more about God, themselves and leading others," said Morgan. "They get the opportunity for fellowship with other Christian teenagers from different schools. They also can worship God without feeling pressure to hold in their emotions."
Over a dozen members attended the TobyMac, Jamie Grace and Chris August concert at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Ark., on Oct. 5.
The Southwest FCA chapter plans to attend a FCA summit at College of the Ozarks on Nov. 17, a Veritas in Rogers, Ark., in March of 2013 and a youth Christian's weekend in Branson in April of 2013.
"In addition to those big events, we plan on hosting a few events in our community," said Morgan. "We would like to have a lock-in just to name one. We also would like to sing Christmas carols. We will iron out those details as they get closer."
Morgan said she was interested in FCA when she was a student at Southwest High School. She graduated in 2004. This year, Morgan pitched the idea to a few students, who did the legwork to get the chapter started. Those same students now serve as the chapter officers.
"Students and teachers have been really open to this organization," said Morgan. "We started with 30 members, and we are up to 41. It helps them morally, socially and academically.
"I have had several teachers come to me telling me about the changes they are seeing in certain students," continued Morgan. "These particular students aren't acting out in class anymore. They are being respectful and taking pride in their work."
FCA mission is "to present to coaches and athletes, and all whom they influence, the challenge and adventure of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, serving Him in their relationships and in the fellowship of the church to show Him in the day to day activities at school." There are no requirements for membership.
"We live in a rapidly morally declining country, which is turning away from God," said Morgan. "The students who are Christians need to have other students to fellowship with.
"The students who aren't Christians are coming because of the fun, fellowship and the love that the group shows," said Morgan. "This group is one where they don't feel the peer pressure to drink, do drugs or have premarital relationships."
The 2012-13 school year Southwest FCA officers are: Josh Cutberth, president; James Petit, vice president; Montana Hendrix, secretary; Shannon Mitchell, historian; Jordan Epling, treasurer; and Justin Petit, Michaela Mitchell and Drew Farrer, social media and food committee officers.