Fellowship of Christian Athletes Volunteers, Staff and Community Make Big Impact in Inner Cities
New $250,000 Park Heights Saints Community Center in Baltimore Will Give Hundreds of Athletes a Place to Work, Study and Fellowship
BALTIMORE—Twenty-five years ago, a house in an inner-city neighborhood of Baltimore had been a spot for people to meet, connect and fellowship.
The house eventually fell into disrepair, however, and became more of an eyesore than a gathering place. But one dedicated volunteer from the Maryland Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA, www.fca.org) saw that the house still had some life—and purpose—left in it.
Because of the vision, passion and commitment of FCA volunteer Garrick Williams, the house will soon be unveiled as the new Park Heights Saints Community Center.
Williams dreamed of a place where hundreds of athletes and coaches could gather, delve into the Bible and worship together. He had a vision to transform the 2,000-square-foot home in the Park Heights Saints neighborhood into a gathering place for teams during the season and throughout the year. Staff and volunteers of Maryland FCA have been working with over 300 athletes and 45 coaches in Park Heights, and through the new center, will continue to impact even more in the community.
“Your words, your dreams and your thoughts have the power to create conditions,” Williams said. “In our lives, what we can speak about, we can bring about. And it’s the little things that make a big change in our lives. We may never know what kind of impact we will have by helping, but God does, and He is going to use the Park Heights Saints Community Center to create those life-changing experiences.”
Baltimore isn’t the only place where Fellowship of Christian Athletes volunteers and staff are helping to transform inner cities. FCA coaches, parents, Huddle leaders, athletes and students often coordinate efforts to hold Camps, offer scholarships, clean up parks, rejuvenate neighborhoods and offer communities a place where they can not only engage in the sports they love, but also build a relationship with Jesus Christ.
In Charm City, after $250,000 in reconstruction and upgrades, the Park Heights Saints community can now gather in the center to do schoolwork in the computer lab, host team meetings and FCA Huddles, work out, eat together or watch a game on TV. The building provides a safe environment that fosters hope and empowers the coaches and athletes to work, study and fellowship.
Parents and other adults in the community will also have access to a classroom where they will be emboldened to obtain their GEDs and find work opportunities. The kitchen’s stocked pantry will offer more than snacks after practices; it will also aid the community and be a home away from home and a central place to gather and grow together. Many businesses, organizations, churches, families and individuals came together to make the project a reality.
“Rebuilding this house and turning it into the Park Heights Saints Community Center for the football and cheerleading teams is a dream God gave to Garrick Williams,” said Maryland FCA State Director Shaun Smithson. “So, when the community comes into this house, they will have their lives impacted forever by what God will do when they gather.”
A grand opening is planned for the Park Heights Saints Community Center on the afternoon of March 20 at the house on Reisterstown Road in Baltimore. Learn more at phscc.org.
Read more about Fellowship of Christian Athletes here, visit FCA’s website at www.fca.org, its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/fcafans or its Twitter feed @fcanews.