In a day and age when those in the entertainment industry, ranging from music to television to the world of sports are consumed with themselves, it is refreshing when some are found to be serving the needs of others instead.
At Southwestern Assemblies of God University, it is not only common, it’s almost expected.
SAGU enjoys an outstanding fusion of the internationally respected Fellowship of Christian Athletes organization – with a thriving chapter on campus and Solid Rock Resources.
The partnership is fueled by the vision, energy and leadership of Jaroy Carpenter.
The former veteran youth pastor has been Southwestern’s head athletic trainer and director of sports medicine for seven years.
“We have a great cast of students here at Southwestern who want to make their life count for God,” Carpenter said in April. “Their faith in the Lord compels them to reach out, to serve and touch people where they live. My role is to provide opportunities for them to express their faith.
“There is something dynamic about athletes and teamwork,” he continued. “We supply the venue and they supply the verve.”
The union of FCA, SRR and SAGU is known simply as Athletes Outreach. They continue to be involved in a myriad of opportunities throughout the school year, with a host of athletes also serving in stateside and international projects during the summer months.
Not only do they minister in churches, school assemblies, retreats and camps, but they help bolster FCA Huddles in Texas and beyond.
A popular program that many have been involved with is the Game Day Challenge.
It is an interactive event at elementary and secondary schools. SAGU student-athletes direct a host of interactive fun, large group games, each with a moral lesson; a series of high-energy, recreational object lessons.
At each venue the athletes have a prime occasion to promote the college across the country.
On the SAGU campus, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes have monthly meetings and have been a resource for local junior high and senior high FCA Huddles, youth groups and camps.
Southwestern has an active athletic program that competes intercollegiately in football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, baseball and softball.
There are four sports for both men and women. Plus, the SAGU cheer team also participates alongside athletes in these happenings.
“It is a special opportunity for student-athletes to be on the frontlines,” Carpenter said recently. “Every time they are placed in settings where they can be part of something bigger than themselves.
“What is so encouraging is to see them learn the rewards of giving, serving and reaching out,” he added.
Carpenter helps direct summer camps during June and July, including his own Camp Padre, which involves a number of SAGU students.
Held on South Padre Island, Texas, 500 miles south of Dallas, it is an annual activity where fun and sun meet spiritual challenges and direction for teenagers.
Solid Rock Resources, an extension of Carpenter’s passion for instilling hope and spiritual renewal, also leads missions trips and crusades in Mexico.
Contact Mark Warde, SAGU Sports Information Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 469-658-2847.