Central Kentucky Fellowship of Christian Athletes
Find information about FCA events and camps happening around the Central Kentucky area.
2013 VICTORY BANQUET
Thursday May 16 6:45 pm
Southland Christian Church
5501 Harrodsburg Road Lexington KY
Featuring Pat Day - Hall of Fame Jockey!
Three goals for the Banquet:
1. Spread the gospel of Jesus Christ
2. Increase public awareness of how God is using FCA to reach students/coaches.
3. Raise funds to keep ministry going in Central Kentucky
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?
____Banquet Sponsorship $2,000 to $7,000
____Table Host - Be responsible for filling a table of 8 people with the goal of raising $1,000. You must notify the FCA office if you would like to serve as a Table Host 859-373-1300.
____Individual Attendee - Make reservation with a Table Host or call FCA office for reservation.
____I cannot attend, but want to financially support FCA with a tax exempt donation. Mail:
2201 Regency Road, Suite 602,
Lexington, KY 40503
To attend the Banquet, make your reservation by calling the FCA office at
Meet Kentucky FCA staff: Josh Anderson
From Big Leagues to Bigger Things
By Mickey Seward | FCA.ORG
Updated: November 29, 2012, 11:44 am
Josh Anderson remembers how November used to make him feel. He remembers the anxiety, the fragile nerves, the uncertainty.
He remembers how it felt to be a ballplayer as baseball executives gathered around the hot stove, making decisions that not only would determine the course their teams would follow in their hunt for a championship, but also would decide the future of Anderson and the others who stood in his spikes.
“It can be a nerve-racking time for the players, because you don’t know if you’re getting traded or released or designated for assignment or whatever,” said Anderson, who played for four Major League teams from 2007-09 and played professionally (including minor leagues) from 2003-2010.
“November was always a time I got nervous, because it was in November when I got a phone call from the Houston Astros telling me I was being traded to the Atlanta Braves, which was the first time I was ever traded,” Anderson said. “The next year, in 2010, I became a free agent and it was during this time of year that I signed with the Cincinnati Reds organization.”
Dirty uniforms were normal for the competitive Anderson, who was 15th in AL in stolen bases in 2009. (photo courtesty Chris Vleisides/Kansas City Royals)
There was one thing Anderson, who is now an Area Representative for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and based in Somerset, Ky., had that kept his fears in check.
“For me, the biggest difference maker was my relationship with Christ,” Anderson said. “I have had a relationship with Christ from the age of seven. Through it all, Christ was my foundation and anchor, and when tough times or uncertainty come about, that’s where I drew my strength.
“It came from scripture and prayer and saying, ‘Lord, I trust you. No matter what happens I know that you’ve given me this opportunity to play ball, and I know you knew ahead of time what will happen; and even though I don’t know, I’ll trust you.’ That’s where my faith really came into play as an athlete. When you are bouncing along that line of uncertainty, that’s where your faith really kicks in.”
Uncertainty seemed to follow Anderson throughout his stay in the big leagues. After seeing action at the Major League level during parts of 2007 and 2008, he made the Detroit Tigers’ roster out of spring training in 2009. The speedy outfielder finished among the top 15 base stealers in the American League that season, but it was anything but an easy year.
“My wife, Heather, was pregnant with our first child then and that was also the first year I was in the big leagues for the full year,” Anderson said. “Halfway through the season, the Tigers released me, which was very stressful, not only for me, but also for my wife. With her being pregnant at the time, it wasn’t good to have that stress. But we drew strength from God and we trusted Him. Not long after we got home, I was picked up by the Kansas City Royals, and finished the season with them.”
COMFORT FROM THE CROSS
The Royals play in Kauffman Stadium, a beautiful cathedral of the national pastime built during an age when all the other new stadiums looked like giant donuts and suffered from an identity crisis in which they couldn’t decide if they were meant for baseball, football, monster trucks or rummage sales. Kauffman Stadium, with its trademark fountains and crown-shaped scoreboard, is the sixth oldest ballpark currently in use by a Major League Baseball team, but it continues to stand the test of time. This past July, it hosted MLB’s All-Star Game and the festivities that surround the annual Mid-Summer Classic.
Dropped into the middle of these surroundings, with the nightly pomp and circumstance that comes along with professional sporting events, it was something else that drew Anderson’s attention. Something outside the stadium.
FCA’s National Support Center sits just across Interstate 70 from Kauffman Stadium, a three-story stone-colored structure situated on a hill that allows office goers a view into the Royals’ home. Until improvements and additions were made at the ballpark a few years ago, FCA staff could watch the game from their window. Even now, the view of the ballpark from the NSC is stunning.
When Anderson glanced up from his spot in centerfield, he could see the cross from the FCA logo attached to the building lighting up the sky. It was an encouragement during a difficult time.
Updated: November 29, 2012, 11:44 am
“That time in Kansas City was really tough for me, because I was in a new place with new coaches and new teammates, but also away from my family and away from my son, Easton, who had just been born,” said Anderson, who has since seen his family grow again with the birth two years ago of his and Heather’s daughter, Scarlet. “After Easton was born, I was away for two weeks straight, and I was in Kansas City alone for several weeks before my wife and son could join me.
“I remember being out in the outfield and going through one of the lowest points in my life, and seeing that FCA building with that big cross up there and I drew great strength from that. I just thought it was so awesome that cross was there because it reminded me of who was in control, who I belonged to and who died for me and loves me. No matter what I’m going through, God is right there with me, He loves me and I’m one of his children.
“I loved looking up there at that cross. It gave me a tremendous amount of comfort and peace.”
But even with that comfort and peace, and the knowledge of whom he is in Christ, Anderson still struggled with the pressures that most athletes feel at some time in their career.
“I think about all the things I was going through at that time, all the uncertainty and doubt, and the pressure to perform well,” Anderson said. “From the player’s standpoint, your mind is wrapped around what you need to do. You are consumed with baseball, your performance, your numbers and wanting to please your general manager. You want your team to like you so you can stay there.
“I know what that pressure’s like and how baseball consumes your mind if you aren’t careful. It got to a point that I was so consumed with baseball that when I woke up in the morning and when I went to bed at night, a lot of times my focus wasn’t on God. And that’s where priorities start to get out of line.
“It’s easy to be consumed with something that you do every day and that you’ve want so badly and that you’ve dreamt of your entire life. Then you find yourself there and sometimes the pressures can get to you.
“I remember staying up late at night thinking about my swing and mechanics and what I needed to do to get better. It’s not bad to focus on those things and work on them, but when it starts to consume your mind, it becomes a problem. Sometimes you can push God aside or put Him in the back seat. He needs to be driving, and sometimes I caught myself so consumed with my sport instead of my focus being on Him.”
Even with the pressure and struggles that abound in the lives of professional athletes, Anderson is thankful that he had the opportunity. Not because of the money or the fame or the accolades, but because of the lessons learned and the relationships that grew.
“I think the reason I went through what I did was for me to grow in my faith and learn what it means to trust,” Anderson said. “Looking back now, it’s easy for me to say that. I wish I was better at that.
Josh Anderson (photo courtesy Chris Vleisides/Kansas City Royals)
“At the time, I was young and it was part of the process. It was a part of my life that God used to help me grow in my faith and draw closer to Him. Through that time, I got in the Word more and prayed, and really started to understand what it meant to trust God with my future and with my life. It wasn’t comfortable, but it was the best thing that could have happened to me.
“All of my baseball experiences – and there’s a lot of them that I wouldn’t want to revisit, and just as many that I loved – I don’t regret. It was the best thing for me and for my wife, and it helped us grow closer to God.”
THE ONE THING THAT WILL LAST FOREVER
While Anderson’s struggles were part of a painstaking process that was helping him grow closer to God, he saw many of his teammates and friends – the same athletes who are idolized by kids and adults alike – crumbling in a world that few understand and even fewer ever get to see.
“God gave me a front row seat to what goes on behind the scenes and what goes on with these guys and what they are about,” Anderson said. “It’s troubling to see guys who are praised by the media and their lives are falling apart. They look like they are happy and they look like they’ve got everything the world has to offer. You would think they have no problems or that they would be filled with joy.
“But it’s absolutely the other way. You get around them, and they do have everything the world has to offer, but a lot of those guys are miserable, have addictions or problems, their marriages are failing. They are just human beings with real problems.”
Anderson said that he often tells kids not to worship athletes, but instead to worship the one true God. It is that relationship, Anderson says, that will remain throughout time, unlike the treasures that are accumulated during a life’s journey on earth.
“I tell kids all the time that the only thing that will last forever is a relationship,” Anderson said. “My relationship with Jesus Christ lasts forever. It’s the one thing that will remain. The trophies and the accolades in my sport are all here today and gone tomorrow.
“A lot of athletes don’t see that until there career is over and that’s sad, because if they can gain that perspective early, the better off they’ll be. But unfortunately a lot of them turn to alcohol and drugs and things of the world because their identity is not in Christ. It’s in their sport and what they do. It’s who they are.
“That’s very sad, because if who we are is based on what we do, then we’re in trouble. But if you’re grounded in Christ and your identity is in Him, then no matter what happens or how much money you make or anything else, then He is your foundation and you’re going to be ok.
“A lot of these players don’t see that because they are being fed the world by playing sports. They are getting praise and worship from people, the media follows them and they have a lot of things thrown at them. They don’t see that, because they don’t see a need until they hit rock bottom.”
GIVING GOD GLORY THROUGH COMPETITION
One might figure that an athlete’s competitive nature could also elevate sports and success above relationships. It could. Even Anderson said he struggled in that area.
“I wanted to give God the glory,” Anderson said. “There were times that I didn’t do that, but I know God really got my attention during those times.
“There were times I had to go back and apologize to umpires because of the way I acted. I would walk back onto the field and tell them I’m sorry. I told them my emotions got the best of me and I’m sorry for the way I acted. I had to do that several times. It wasn’t easy, but it made me feel a lot better.
“I think it stuns them (the umpires), but I think they really do appreciate that. They rarely ever get that (apology).
“I did it in the major leagues and the minor leagues. I would get upset and kick dirt. I’m a human being with real emotions, and sometimes we let our emotions get the best of us.
“In some of those situations I felt so bad and I felt like the Lord wanted me to make amends, so I apologized. It made me feel a lot better once it was over. It wasn’t easy to do, but once it was over, I felt like a burden had been lifted.”
But just because Anderson was genuinely apologetic when he let his temper get the best of him, he never toned down his competitive fire. In fact, he bristles when someone suggests that Christians are not as competitive on the playing field as other athletes.
“That’s crazy,” Anderson said. “Some of my teammates that I’ve had in the past were strong Christians and the most competitive players I’ve ever played with.
“I think Christians are just supposed to have the right perspective. When you are a follower of Christ you still compete, and it gives God glory when you compete. It’s not just about shaking the opponent’s hand or praying with your teammates, it’s about working at what you do with all your might. It’s about practicing hard. It’s about training. It’s about competing. That brings God glory. That’s part of being a follower of Christ.
“We are to go out and be His hands and feet and be a reflection of Him. When we work hard and compete, that’s bringing Him glory. When people say Christians are weak or not as competitive, that’s crazy. He gives us more of a reason to compete.”
“I WOULDN’T TRADE WHERE I AM NOW FOR ANYTHING”
This past October, Anderson was back at Kauffman Stadium, watching two of his former teams, the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals, finish out the regular season. Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera would wrap up the AL’s first triple crown in more than four decades with Anderson taking it in from the stands. Two nights before, the Tigers clinched the division championship.
Anderson remembered the feeling of wearing those uniforms and the days when he would patrol that same outfield. From his seat, he could look across I-70 and see the familiar cross on the FCA National Support Center.
The next day, Anderson stood on the third floor of the NSC, looking out the window toward the field, almost like he was returning his own glances of three years prior. There is a wall next to the window Anderson was looking out of. The same cross he stared at from center field at Kauffman Stadium was attached to the other side of the wall.
He was in town as an FCA employee. His life was different than the one he remembered living as a player. His perspective had changed.
“I remember what my mindset was when I was looking up at the building, and now I know what my mindset is when I’m looking down at the field, and I wouldn’t trade where I am now for anything,” Anderson said. “I have more peace in my life than I ever did when I played baseball.
“I knew that was part of God’s plan for me to be on that baseball field and playing the game at that time in my life, but I also know now that the baseball part was to give me a platform to do what I do now, and that’s ministry. That was part of the journey to get where I am now.
“It’s just neat to think about how I got to look up at the FCA building, and three years later be looking down at the field, and it’s just two different perspectives and times in my life.”
“ATHLETICS IS A MISSION FIELD”
Anderson’s job in Southeastern Kentucky, where he grew up and eventually became an All-American and member of the Athletics Hall of Fame at Eastern Kentucky University before being selected in the fourth round of the 2003 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft by the Houston Astros, is almost an extension of his days as an athlete. He’s still on the field and in the locker room, and his relationships with coaches and athletes are just as important now as they have ever been.
“I love the fact that with FCA, it is an awesome vehicle to share Christ with other people, especially coaches and athletes,” Anderson said. “With my background of being in sports my whole life, I’m very familiar with what goes on in the locker room, and I’m very familiar with what kids and athletes are thinking. The reason I love FCA is because it is one of the best open door opportunities I’ve ever seen for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.”
He also enjoys watching coaches and athletes take hold of God’s Word and apply it to their lives, eventually leading them to make an impact on each other and on those with whom they come into contact.
“Kids listen to coaches,” Anderson said. “They are around them for hours every day. Coaches often don’t realize it, but they have a tremendous amount of influence. They have an awesome opportunity to be a witness and to share the love of Christ with their players. I love to see coaches doing that because it brings a breath of fresh air.
“I think being an athlete, especially on the professional level but on any level, gives you a tremendous mission field,” Anderson said. “A lot of the world is intertwined with sports. You have an opportunity to really show people Christ. Not just tell people about Him, but to show Christ.
“In sports, so many things can happen. You deal with success, you deal with failures, you deal with ups and downs during the season, you deal with injuries and so many other things, and you have a tremendous opportunity through those events to deal with Christ. How are you going to deal with those good times? How are you going to deal with bad times? How are you going to deal with injuries? How are you going to deal with setbacks?
“Even though it’s not easy, those things give us an opportunity to be a witness by the way we handle those situations. People are always watching.
“When I was playing pro ball, when I’d get hurt or something would happen, there were always people watching. I’d have players come up to me and say, ‘Even though it’s been a tough year for you, we admire the way you’ve dealt with everything.’ Athletics is a mission field.”
And while Anderson’s lifelong dream and goal of becoming a big league ballplayer came true, that dream paled in comparison to the one he is living now.
“I went from the baseball field to the harvest field,” Anderson said. “The baseball field brought me a lot of good days, but the harvest field is a lot more important.”
- FCA.org -
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the heart and soul in sports, is touching millions of lives…one heart at a time. Since 1954, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes has been challenging coaches and athletes on the professional, college, high school, junior high and youth levels to use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus Christ. FCA is the largest Christian sports ministry in the world and focuses on serving local communities by equipping, empowering and encouraging people to make a difference for Christ.