Community Partner Highlight

Message from our partner, FCA Urban Baseball Director, Brent Slade.

“FCA Urban Baseball began in 2009 under the guidance of Bob Wiedemann, FCA Atlanta Multi-Area Director. I began working with FCA Urban Baseball in September of 2010. Our vision is to see Atlanta impacted for Jesus Christ by the influence of coaches and athletes. And, The mission of FCA Urban Baseball 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. We strive to fulfill our vision and mission through the platform of baseball.

The primary way we do this is our APS (Atlanta Public Schools) Middle School Baseball League. For the last three years, APS has allowed FCA to create and direct a middle school baseball league within the school system. The first year we partnered with L.E.A.D. and the last two years we have been independent. In 2012, six middle schools participated in the FCA Urban Baseball League, that includes 15 coaches and over 90 players. We also provide clinics, camps, and summer travel teams. All of these things are done with our vision and mission out front leading the way.

We chose to partner with Urban Perform because our values line up with Coach Laura’s values. Laura’s love for the kids is evident each and every workout. She shows her love through encouragement and exhortation for every athlete there. Don’t get me wrong, it’s tough love sometimes. She challenges these kids to be the best they can be each and every time they show up. AND, the athletes receive top of the line instruction they would otherwise never receive through our partnership with Urban Perform. That is the type of environment we want for the kids who participate in FCA Urban Baseball. We want to provide a holistic ministry involving the best there is to offer.

Terrell Glover is an 8th grader at Price Middle School. He lives with his mother, sister, and brother in a small apartment just down the street from the school. Terrell has health issues. At age 6, his kidneys were failing. He lost one and the other is a transplant. He has to take pills every day. His mother does not allow him to play football or basketball, but when FCA Urban Baseball started a team at Price Middle School, she allowed Terrell to try out for the team. He was in 6th grade. He made the team! He wasn’t the fastest nor the strongest, but he showed up and the coaches continued to teach and encourage him. Seventh grade came around and he tried out again. He made the team this time as well. He still wasn’t very fast or very strong, but he played in every game. This August, FCA Urban Baseball partnered with Urban Perform to provide workouts for those young men not playing football. Terrell Glover was at the first workout. He looked awful trying to go through the ladder drill. He was shy and embarrassed, but he kept coming each and every week. September and October came and went; he was there. And, at Coach Laura’s final workout of the fall, Terrell showed out. Coach Laura asked if anyone wanted to lead the ladder drill, Terrell spoke up and said “Yes!”. He smoked it! He had not only improved his physical skills, but his confidence had skyrocketed. Urban Perform and Coach Laura played a huge part in Terrell’s transformation.”

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