Fellowship lets teens live their faith out loud – Coastal Observer


Fellowship lets teens live their faith out loud

The Fields of Faith moved inside the Waccamaw High gym last year.

Every Thursday about three dozen Waccamaw High School students gather in Chris Overbeek’s classroom to eat lunch and share their faith.

“I just love it because it’s so cool to see these kids at this age, with all the insecurities kids have, living their faith and being bold enough to do that,” said Overbeek, boys basketball coach and faculty advisor for the school’s chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. “It’s just remarkable.”

The goal of FCA is to serve communities around the globe by “engaging, equipping and empowering coaches and athletes to unite, inspire and change the world through the Gospel.”

The school’s FCA leadership team meets on Mondays to figure out what the discussion will be that week. Lunch meetings start with one student giving a message, followed by worship and prayer.

Overbeek said students pick a topic they’re passionate about and then find Bible verses to back it up.

“It tends to be teenage related. Things like anxiety and stress,” he added. “We touch on a lot of different subjects.”

Todd Harms represents FCA at Waccamaw High and Middle schools, Coastal Montessori Charter School and Lowcountry Prep School. 

One of his goals is to have a representative from every Waccamaw High sport on the school’s FCA leadership team. Those athletes can then lead devotions with their teammates.

Harms is familiar face at sporting events and practices.

“I love going to their ballgames, I love going out and supporting them,” he said. “It’s my favorite part of my job; championing the kids.”

Last year the county’s FCA leadership decided to participate in this year’s Palmetto Giving Day, which is May 7-8.

All the money donated during the 36-hour fundraising extravaganza will be used to support FCA chapters throughout the county.

“I thought that Palmetto Giving Day would be an awesome opportunity to get the word out,” Harms said.

The money will pay for coaches and athletes to attend camps and retreats, and get fed.

“I like to spoil the kids,” Harms said.

Waccamaw High’s FCA leadership team is putting the finishing touches on this year’s Fields of Faith event, which is scheduled for Wednesday inside the school’s stadium. 

It’s the second year of the event after a long break because of the global pandemic.

“It is so much easier because it isn’t the first time we’ve done it,” said Layla Christian, a member of the leadership team and a co-organizer of the event. “We kind of knew what to expect.”

“I’m so proud of these kids because I know how much time and energy and effort they have put into it,” Overbeek said.

Although there will be a lot of fun activities like singing and dancing, students will also give testimony to what God means in their life. Local pastors and youth pastors will also be on hand for one-on-one prayer.

Overbeek said last year the student-organizers would have been happy if 200 people showed up.

In the end, more than 500 people crowded inside the school’s gym when Mother Nature sent rain.

“It was remarkable,” Overbeek said. “To me it was just extremely moving.”

Christian said the biggest lessons she learned from last year are always have a backup plan and try to get as much done in advance as possible.

“Mostly I learned that God is going to provide, literally no matter what,” she added.

“God will provide even when you’re stressed and it’s not going according to your plan,” Overbeek said. “Sometimes there’s a different plan and it works out OK.”

People of all ages are welcome at Fields of Faith and attendees will receive free bracelets, food, raffle tickets and T-shirts that the student-leaders are manufacturing in Overbeek’s classroom.

FCA started Fields of Faith 18 years ago. There are now more than 500 events annually across the United States.

If you go

What: Fields of Faith.

When: Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Where: Waccamaw High School.

Admission: Free.



Georgetown County Board of Education: First and third Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m., Beck Education Center. For details, go to gcsd.k12.sc.us. Georgetown County Council: Second and fourth Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m., Council Chambers, 129 Screven St., Georgetown. For details, go to georgetowncountysc.org. Pawleys Island Town Council: Second Mondays, 5 p.m. Town Hall, 323 Myrtle Ave. For details, go to townofpawleysisland.com.   , .