By Marilyn Tinnin
The much loved Bill Buckner, former Director of the Mississippi Fellowship of Christian Athletes, would be thrilled that his brainchild and legacy—the annual spring fundraising luncheon—is going strong and continuing to bring in extraordinary speakers who make a lasting impact on the hundreds of men, women, and students who pack the fellowship hall at Jackson’s First Baptist Church to hear the message.
Josh Gilreath, present State Director, could easily be called “Bill’s chosen heir.” His heart, his passion for FCA’s mission, his leadership, and even his soft-spoken manner, have made a seamless transition from Bill’s tenure to this new era of FCA in Mississippi.
The tradition of excellence and inspiration continues to be as Bill Buckner created it, but Josh’s personal style makes it clear that he is more than capable of taking Bill Buckner’s institution to the next level. This year’s luncheon promises to be as outstanding as attendees have come to expect.
Joe Ehrmann, keynote speaker, was identified by Parade magazine as “The most important coach in America.” That is because, following his All-American college career at Syracuse University and a 13-year stint in the NFL, he broadened his sphere of influence to include corporations, government, and educational institutions. He still does some motivational speaking within the NFL, but his experience, articulate communication skills along with his amazing people skills—and above all—his love for Christ insure that this particular “Bill Buckner FCA Luncheon” is one you do not want to miss. I have an idea that his message is going to resonate with every person in the room—athlete or not!
I worked at FCA in the late 1980s. I know firsthand about what this ministry does. After I started a magazine and most specifically, after we began our scholarship program for high school seniors, I became a bigger believer than ever in what FCA does. Every year when I read over the essays from our scholarship applicants and read their responses to the question, “What or who have been the greatest influences in your decision to follow Christ?” I cannot even count the number of times they mention FCA and their Christian coach. This is a ministry I absolutely love investing in. In a cynical age of distrust—this ministry it the real deal.
Mark April 29 on your calendar and plan to be there! Reserve your tickets at mississippifca.org or email Christy at firstname.lastname@example.org.