S.C. Football Coaches Push Players to Convert at Evangelical Training Camp

Church & State, November 2008 | Go to article overview

S.C. Football Coaches Push Players to Convert at Evangelical Training Camp


Some public high school football coaches in South Carolina are reportedly pressuring players to convert to fundamentalist Christianity.

"We end every practice with the Lord's Prayer," Assistant Coach Bucky Davis of Hemingway High School in Hemingway, S.C., told the Florence News. "Before and after every game, we do the Lord's Prayer, and we try to do a devotion every week."

In addition, some coaches are taking players to fundamentalist Christian training camps where they are pressured to become "born again."

The newspaper reported that coaches from all over the state took players to a three-day summer football camp in Spartanburg sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). The event included instruction about football during the day and a heavy dose of proselytism in the evenings. Devotions were held every night.

"We've done it two years in a row, and it's the best thing we ever did," Hemingway Coach Ken Cribb said. "We brought 36 kids, and 32 of them gave themselves to Christ."

Another coach, J.R. Boyd of Lamar High School, said, "We went to church as a team one time, and I found out that many of our kids had never seen the inside of a church. …

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