Faith & Family

First ever Fields of Faith draws crowd of more than 500

Avatar photo

Deena Bouknight

“Macon County has always believed in prayer and comes together for Christ … it’s a phenomenal community,” said Teresa Bleckley Zoellner, “and when it comes to the youth of this community, people step up to support them. I love Franklin! God shines here!”

Zoellner, a native of Macon County and a 1986 graduate of Franklin High School (FHS) shared about the May 1 event, Fields of Faith, hosted by Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), of which she is on staff as a field representative. FCA is an international, nonprofit, Christian sports ministry founded in 1954 and based in Kansas City, Mo., but with staff offices located throughout the United States. Its goal is to provide student athletes in all sports, as well as students not involved in sports, an opportunity to learn about God’s Word, participate in devotionals, and assist in meeting community needs. 

FCA MEMBERS met for prayer prior to the first ever Fields of Faith event.

At the first-ever Fields of Faith held in Macon County, Zoellner explained that around 500 people, mostly students, gathered on the FHS football field to listen to five student testimonies – by FHS and Macon Middle School students – as well as a message from Salisbury, N.C.-based youth evangelist Nate Garrett. 

“It’s our duty as a Christian to give back as God tells us in his Word,” said Zoellner, “and this was a way for us to share His Word with students. I show up at Macon Middle School and FHS each week, before classes start, and up to 80 students attend those meetings to pray together and participate in a devotional, but Fields of Faith was a way for anyone in the community to come together in support of students in Macon County. And they certainly came together. We had 47 businesses and nonprofits participate as supporters for the event; their names were listed on 350 t-shirts that we gave away.”

AROUND 500 students and residents participated in the May 1 Fellowship of Christian Athletes Field of Faith event, held at the Franklin High School football field.

Youth pastors attended the event, and singers with Cowee Baptist Church led worship music in between the five student testimonies on a picture-perfect spring evening. 

“At least 33 people prayed to accept Christ that evening,” said Zoellner. “This was such a successful first Fields of Faith and we most definitely plan to do it every year. It’s a true testimony to the power of Christ in our area and the faithfulness of people.” 

Malika Windle, wife of Discover Church pastor Ben Windle attended FCA’s first annual Field of Faith event at Franklin High School, where singers from Cowee Baptist Church led worship and students shared their Christian testimonies.

As part of community outreach through FCA, student leaders are in each school and they – with the help of some participating teachers and coaches – determine students and residents who need clothing, shoes, and more. Plus, FCA leaders stock local free food pantries on a regular basis. 

Zoellner’s goal is to offer FCA in Macon Early College and in Bartram Academy by next school year and then eventually expand FCA to other schools in Macon County as well.