Class of 2020 Includes FCA Partners, Servants and Sports Standouts Mike Ayers, Jean Barrett, Jay Bell, Jeff Edmondson, Theodore Ginn Sr., Dr. Judson Martin and Steve Powell
April 27, 2021
KANSAS CITY, Mo.— The Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA, www.FCA.org) is inducting eight partners and supporters of the world’s largest international sports ministry into its Hall of Champions (HOC).
Mike Ayers, Jean Barrett, Jay Bell, Jeff Edmondson, Theodore Ginn, Sr., Dr. Judson Martin and Steve Powell have worked tirelessly to further the FCA vision: to see the world transformed by Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes. FCA Hall of Champions honorees over the years have consisted of a mix of coaches, athletes and volunteers, including sports greats such as Tony Dungy, Tom Landry, Tom Osborne and Roger Staubach, just to name a few.
“We are thrilled to again welcome a new class into the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Hall of Champions,” said FCA President and CEO Shane Williamson. “These selfless and giving individuals have made contributions to their communities and teams – all in an effort to help change lives through sports, FCA and God’s endless power.
“We are immensely grateful for their service to Jesus Christ through FCA, as we honor Mike Ayers, Jean Barrett, Jay Bell, Jeff Edmondson, Theodore Ginn, Sr., Dr. Judson Martin and Steve Powell by welcoming them to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ Hall of Champions Class of 2020.”
A dedicated volunteer, Coach Mike Ayers is a popular speaker at FCA events and an influential FCA supporter. FCA President/CEO Shane Williamson played and coached for Ayers, and he credits Ayers as the driving force for getting involved in coaching and serving with FCA. Ayers played college football before becoming a coach at Wofford College, where he served as head coach for 30 years.
Ayers took Wofford from NAIA to NCAA Division II, then to Division I FCS. He also won five Southern Conference titles and led the Terriers to four FCS tournament quarterfinal appearances before stepping down after a 43-year coaching career.
“Coach Ayers has and still is having a huge impact on the lives of countless players and coaches,” says Piedmont (SC) FCA Area Director Will Pack. “He is so humble and down-to-earth, which is part of his great character. His impact has stretched across many decades, and he continues to pour into those around him through selflessly giving his time. He’s a champion for FCA, but more importantly, he’s a champion for Christ.”
Ayers is married to his wife, Julie.
A true FCA pioneer, Jean Barrett founded Tulsa’s FCA inner-city camp 23 years ago, and he underwrote and directed the first FCA Camp hosted outside the U.S. in Mexico in 2000. He founded the NFL Oklahoma Alumni/FCA Golf Tournament to support camp scholarships and supply schools with athletic equipment. He is a former member of the FCA Board of Trustees and currently serves on the Oklahoma FCA Endowment Board, the FCA Governance Committee and a local board in Tulsa.
While an All-American offensive lineman for the University of Tulsa football team (1967-1971), Barrett served as an FCA Leader and shared his faith throughout Oklahoma. Selected in the second round of the NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers, he served as team captain and played for nine years, and, at one point, started 93 games in seven seasons.
“Jean Barrett has been faithful to Jesus Christ and the ministry of FCA,” says John O’Dell, FCA State Director for Oklahoma. “He always puts others first and is faithful, humble and a reflection of Christ in all that he has done for the ministry. He was very successful in impacting lives for Christ in Mexico through the camping ministry of FCA, and he has been an outstanding volunteer for all FCA events throughout the state of Oklahoma.”
Barrett is married to his wife, Jane.
A lifetime Tom Landry Associate, Jay Bell is involved in his local FCA through financial giving and assisting with Game Days and other FCA events. For Bell, an outstanding 18-year Major League Baseball career spurred his passion for reaching athletes. He was drafted by the Cleveland Indians, finished with the New York Mets, and is best known for his playing days with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Kansas City Royals and Arizona Diamondbacks. He was a two-time All-Star, a Golden Glove and Silver Slugger Award winner, and a World Series Champ with the Diamondbacks in 2001.
Following his playing career, Bell coached a number of Big League teams and served in Minor League manager positions. Bell is currently the skipper of the Rocket City Trash Pandas, the Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels.
“For over three decades Jay Bell has exemplified what it means to be a Christian athlete and coach,” says Mike Sanfratello, FCA VP of Field Ministry for the Rockies Region. “His testimony for Christ has rung loud and true at every level of competition and coaching. Overall, Jay is a tremendous husband, father, athlete, coach, FCA donor and witness for Christ.”
Bell is married to his wife, Laura.
Jeff Edmondson has been active in all facets of FCA: as an athlete, coach, board member, volunteer and donor. While in high school, Edmondson was named FCA Athlete of the Year in Oregon. He then served as co-captain of the football team at Whitworth University, where he was an Academic All-American his senior year and a Mount Rainier League honorable mention selection in 1991.
Edmondson’s passion for athletics and his love for Jesus are why FCA has been so important to him throughout his life, from his days as a high school and college athlete, to now as a business owner, husband and father of three. Because Edmondson has shared office space with the local FCA staff for six years, he has seen and connected with the ministry on a regular basis.
“Jeff is one of the most generous people I know,” says Ryan Johnston, FCA VP of Field Ministry for the Pacific Northwest. “He is known for his quiet leadership and leading by action and example rather than words. His servant’s heart guides him, his family and his business. When we say, ‘FCA Champion,’ Jeff comes to mind. He has not only been part of the ministry through serving and participating, but he is also a faithful donor. He began supporting FCA the year he graduated from college, and today he supports five FCA teammates and areas, as well as year-end events and other items throughout the year.”
Edmondson’s wife, Tiffany, also faithfully serves as a board member for Western Oregon.
Theodore Ginn, Sr.
As an FCA Huddle Leader since 1996, one of the first things Coach Theodore Ginn, Sr., did when he was appointed the head football coach at Cleveland’s Glenville High School in 1997 was implement FCA Huddles during the offseason, chapels before every game and FCA Camp each summer. He felt the season would not be successful without camp. Knowing many of his players came from single-parent homes and struggled to make ends meet, Ginn even secured outside funding to offset the costs of camp.
Because of Ginn’s efforts to get his athletes to FCA Camps over the last 20-plus years, hundreds of players have given their lives to Christ. After facing a grim diagnosis and surgery for pancreatic cancer in 2012, Ginn believes God spared his life so he could continue focusing on serving Him and helping lead youth, particularly in the inner city, to Christ.
“Ted Ginn, Sr., has stated that ‘FCA is not a program but a way of life,’ and he has carried out that philosophy since the beginning,” says Nobles Darby IV, FCA Area Representative in Ohio. “He has had a tremendous impact on the lives of his players, and I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this honor. He is FCA personified.”
Ginn is married to his wife, Jeanette.
Dr. Judson Martin
Dr. Judson Martin’s FCA involvement began in high school, continued during his basketball career at the University of Nebraska, and intensified as an adult. Over the past 40-plus years, he has faithfully advanced the Christian message alongside FCA by serving as a board member, presenter, coach and financial supporter.
Martin has consistently encouraged and prayed for FCA as a pillar for the ministry in Western Nebraska, where he lives and works as an ophthalmologist. He has used his influence to encourage and involve others in FCA through events such as the Panhandle Area banquet, the National Golf Scramble and President’s Weekend. He has faithfully served in leadership roles through the FCA Golf Board, the Panhandle Area Board and the FCA Nebraska State Board. He recently completed terms on the FCA International Board and the FCA Board of Trustees, and he has attended International Capacity Conferences.
“Whether it’s his beloved state of Nebraska, the Midwest Region or across the world, Jud is passionate about advancing the Gospel regardless of the environment,” says Tim Johnson, FCA VP of Field Ministry for the Midwest Region. “There is no doubt about his intentions for FCA being his primary ministry for Kingdom support and work. Jud’s life has been a testament to his love for and commitment to FCA.”
Martin is married to his wife, Sue.
Steve Powell is the quintessential FCA pioneer, volunteer, donor and board member who has been a driving force for FCA from its beginning in the Northeast Region. In the early 2000s, Powell introduced FCA to the Rochester area before it employed full-time staff. He organized FCA Lacrosse teams and led overnight camps. When staff were introduced to the area in 2010, Powell served as an original board member for Upstate New York. He quickly began sharing his experience with the team, going above and beyond his role as a board member by volunteering for events and camps and taking on various duties, happy to serve in any role. Today, much of FCA’s ministry in the Northeast Region can be traced back to Powell’s influence and pioneering spirit.
“Steve has sparked countless new initiatives through his involvement with our team,” said David Parks, FCA Multi-Area Director in New York. “He always has a unique way of looking at things with the heart of reaching people for Christ. He is continually asking the Lord how He wants to use his gifts and skills (of which he has many, but always with humility). Prayer and service are hallmarks of Steve’s character, and his depth of character and relationship with Christ are an encouragement to so many.”
Powell is married to his wife, Anne.
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes Hall of Champions was established in 1991. With the new 2020 class, there are now 122 godly coaches and athletes plus board members and volunteers who have received this special tribute. They make up a group of FCA servant-leaders who have faithfully served Christ through the avenue of FCA. Their commitment to the Lord’s work has impacted many millions over the years. They are a body of teammates in Christ who have demonstrated a consistent commitment to the support of FCA, nominated by staff and board members and elected by a selection committee.
Click here to read more about the Class of 2020 and to view a list of previous Hall of Champions inductees.
Read more about Fellowship of Christian Athletes here, visit FCA’s web site at www.FCA.org, its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FCAfans or its Twitter feed @FCAnews.
To interview a Fellowship of Christian Athletes leader, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Jeff Tolson, 610.584.1096, ext. 108, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.