Students huddle to pray behind a cross covered with prayer requests at Fields of Faith, an event hosted by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes group at Brentwood High School on Wednesday night. (All photos by Steve Bowman)

Students huddle to pray behind a cross covered with prayer requests at Fields of Faith, an event hosted by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes group at Brentwood High School on Wednesday night. (All photos by Steve Bowman)

About 200 hear music, testimonies at FCA event

 
By Steve Bowman
Editor, The Brentwood Spirit
Email: bowmansj@sbcglobal.net

About 200 students from more than 20 area high schools filled the Brentwood High School gym on Wednesday night for Fields of Faith, an annual gathering put on by BHS’s chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Participants sang along with a live Christian rock band and heard fellow students share their faith testimonies. They were encouraged to read the Bible and to come to faith in Jesus Christ. At the end an altar call was held and dozens of students wrote prayer requests and sin confessions on slips of paper and placed them on a large wooden cross.

FCA is an interdenominational religious organization that uses the influence of coaches and athletes in Christian evangelism.

BHS junior Skylar Sappington says the opening prayer.

BHS junior Skylar Sappington says the opening prayer.

Brentwood hosts only event in area

The student-led Fields of Faith has been held at high schools nationwide every fall since 2004. It’s the seventh year in a row Brentwood’s FCA group has hosted it for all schools in the St. Louis metro area. According to the FCA’s website, there were 18 similar gatherings in Missouri this month but the closest to Brentwood was in Troy.

Brentwood’s FCA faculty sponsor, Shannon Koster, said nobody even considers holding it somewhere else.

“The first year we decided to do it we just took it on, so now everybody expects us to do it,” she said. “Brentwood is centrally located and it’s just what we do now.”

The students fill most of the seats on the north side of the BHS gym.

Students from more than 20 St. Louis area high schools fill most of the seats on the north side of the BHS gym.

Bigger chapter, bigger event

It helps that BHS has a thriving FCA chapter. With about 40 students regularly attending, it is the largest organization in the school, Koster said, though she’s not certain why the numbers have increased this year.

“There’s just been a shift in the spirit of the school,” she said. “We have more school spirit. I have seniors, juniors and sophomores who have never come before and this year they started coming. They’ve been Christians all along, but for whatever reason they didn’t start coming until this year.”

Likewise, this week’s Fields of Faith had a bigger turnout, almost twice as many as last year, said Koster. She guessed that it had something to do with increased promotion by the Greater St. Louis FCA and by BHS students.

The SOS Worship Band, from the SOS Church in Fenton, plays. Singer Shelby Hudson is between guitarist Steve O'Neal (left) and bassist Mike Skiles.

The SOS Worship Band, from the SOS Church in Fenton, plays. Singer Shelby Hudson is between guitarist Steve O’Neal (left) and bassist Mike Skiles.

Students from 19 schools:

Students from at least 21 area high schools attended the Fields of Faith on Oct. 14 in Brentwood, including: Brentwood, Cardinal Ritter, Eureka, Hazelwood West, Incarnate Word, JFK, Kirkwood, Lafayette, McCluer North, Metro, MICDS, Miller Career, Nerinx Hall, Parkway Central, Parkway South, St. Joseph, St. Mary’s, Summit, Ritenour, Ursuline and Vianney.

To read The Brentwood Spirit’s coverage of the 2013 Fields of Faith, click here.

Brentwood High School senior and FCA huddle leader Claudia Jones tells the story of Josiah, who

BHS senior Claudia Jones tells the story of Josiah, the 16-year-old king of Judah. In 2 Chronicles the king was bothered by the sin in his country so he brought them together, read scriptures and announced that he’d “made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord.” The Biblical tale was the inspiration for Texas high school students creating the first Fields of Faith meeting in 2002.

Justin Madden of the SOS Band.

Justin Madden of the SOS Band.

Missouri Baptist University student and basketball player Amanda Hall gives her testimony.

Missouri Baptist University student and basketball player Amanda Hall gives her testimony.

SOS Worship Band guitarist Steve O'Neal plays a solo.

SOS Worship Band guitarist Steve O’Neal plays a solo.

Sean Baker, who runs cross country and plays tennis for Ritenour High School, tells his story.

Sean Baker, who runs cross country and plays tennis for Ritenour High School, tells his story.

BHS FCA members sing along with the music.

BHS FCA members sing along with the music.

Summit High School lacrosse player Emily Thrower shares her testimony.

Summit High School lacrosse player Emily Thrower shares her testimony.

Brett Stillman, a field associate for the Greater St. Louis FCA, delivers a short message then an altar call.

Brett Stillman, a field associate for the Greater St. Louis FCA, delivers a short message then an altar call.

During the altar call, students are invited to post their prayer requests and confessions on a cross.

During the altar call, students are invited to post their prayer requests and confessions on a cross.

A half dozen prayer huddles formed in the gym during the altar call.

A half dozen prayer huddles form in the gym during the altar call.

BHS senior Sophia Rivera says the closing prayer.

BHS senior Sophia Rivera says the closing prayer.