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Meet Lamar Weaver of Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Columbus

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lamar Weaver.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Lamar. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Growing up in a mill town called Bibb City, an outskirt of Columbus, I learned how to be content with little. My parents were “lintheads”, a term given to those textile mill workers. Our community was small but very safe and stable. We had a great school system and access to most sports. Somewhere around the 5th grade, our dad stopped coming home on weekends, and when he did, he was sometimes belligerent, so I found safety and refuge in my grandmother Lee Earl ‘s love. Divorce soon followed and she died of cancer shortly after. The following years were a dark period spiritually for me, as I struggled with why God would take one of the two most precious persons to me.

We had a great mom and she sacrificed a lot for us kids. As a hard-working and successful student, one of the defining moments in my life was when she made me promise her two things, I would never work in the textile mills and I would attend and graduate college. Our mom remarried a soldier at Fort Benning, so my brother, two sisters, and I instantly became Army brats and we lived in Berlin and Wurzburg Germany most of my middle and high school years. Sports became a key part of my life since I was a decent athlete, playing baseball, basketball and sometimes football and soccer. The acceptance and camaraderie of my teammates was very important to me. Several coaches during those years filled the role of father figure, so I was kept on track regarding behavior and academics, plus “the Promise” I had made.

After graduating high school overseas, I attended Columbus College, now Columbus State University. “The Promise” got me through some hard times because I had to attend classes at night so I could work full time during the day to support myself financially. Thanks at times to my brother’s, mom’s and dad’s help, and despite my undisciplined lifestyle, I endured college with a modest GPA, but I fulfilled “the Promise” in 7 1/2 years. Fortunately, the newly attained certificate with my name on it gave me a tremendous sense of accomplishment and a confidence I never had.

Upon graduation, I was hired as an accountant by Columbus Bank & Trust Company (now Synovus) in Columbus. I quickly realized God had placed me in a department of believers of Jesus Christ, and after invitations to attend church and then play church league sports, I was baptized about a year later.

During the 1990’s, we lost my wife’s dad, my mom, dad, and two beloved uncles and a cousin in a relatively short period. As a believer, I knew my purpose on earth was to honor God and grow His Kingdom. But I started thinking about what legacy I would leave when I would join all the saints. In 1999, at a Walk to Emmaus retreat, God spoke to my heart and said He had something better for me. About a year later, I left Synovus as a Senior Vice President and attended Columbus State again and obtained my Masters in Education degree in Middle School Math and Science.

After teaching middle school for seven years and twelve years of coaching youth sports, I was introduced to FCA, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. In 2011, I was hired as the Area Director for West Central Georgia, based in Columbus. I am responsible for serving ten counties consisting of 54 middle schools, high schools, and colleges. For almost nine years now, through FCA, I have seen thousands of coaches’, athletes’ and students’ lives impacted and transformed by Christ, FCA, and His church. It has been an honor to serve this community through the platform of sports.

I have a beautiful, loving wife, Dorenda, two daughters, Jessica and Sydney, and a grandson, Peyton.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
College was a long, hard road because I was quite immature and somewhat undisciplined. I loved playing slow pitch softball and would skip classes to play in different leagues during the week and tournaments on weekends. After four years of college, I had two years of credits and a terrible GPA. My Friends were all graduating and I realized I needed a better plan to finish and uphold “the Promise.”

When I entered the banking world, I got really hungry for success and all the spoils that went along with it. For the first seven years, I let my priorities get out of order and work became the most important thing in my life, even more, important than my relationships with family and God. This imbalance resulted in divorce in 1986 and became a pivotal point in my life. It was at this moment I submitted totally to God and committed to seeking and following His perfect will for my life.

As an accountant, I recognized the need to grow in my craft and decided to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA.) This nineteen-hour test that covered three days was a real challenge. For fifteen consecutive Saturdays, I traveled to Atlanta from Columbus to sit eight hours in a CPA Becker Review Course, all this on top of normal workdays and being a father. I dedicated a year and a half to pass this test. The amount of work and lack of family and downtime wore heavily on me, but with God’s grace, I persisted.

We’d love to hear more about your organization.
I am an Area Director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) in Columbus, GA., the hub of ten counties of which I am responsible. Our staff serves 20 middle schools, 21 high schools, 10 private schools, and 3 colleges.

With almost 2,000 staff members in over 80 countries, FCA globally is the largest sports ministry in the world. We have about 21,000 certified Huddles (clubs) and held over 800 camps this year with 89, 323 campers attending. We believe one of the many reasons God has blessed FCA is because we have not compromised our focus and commitment to God’s Word and Biblical truths in 65 years. Today, FCA is one of the largest distributors of Bibles in the world.

The Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20 doesn’t only rally us, but it tells us to teach all who hear the message to obey. We do this using God’s playbook, the Holy Bible, to share the life-changing message of salvation.

In 2019, we have seen over 50,000 students and adults enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ and we give Him all the Glory! I am most proud to be chosen to play a small role in this ministry but I only boast in knowing Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

Personally, I believe God granted me an analytical mind with good organizational skills. But He also allowed me to endure trials and experience things throughout my life that today allow me to easily empathize with and have compassion with many others He puts in my path that are going through similar struggles. I think the only thing that sets me apart might be my obedience to His calling.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
While it is human to long for a perfect, pain-free life, I’m quite content with the path God has taken me on. It is through many trials and mistakes that I am who I am. More importantly, I am who God says I am, His son, wonderfully and beautifully-made, His masterpiece.

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