Fresh start for Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Former WSU pitcher Paris Shewey introduced as Clark County director

Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) is back in Clark County.

Paris Shewey, a former Washington State University baseball player, was introduced last week as the area director for the Clark County chapter of FCA.

“I want to change the world. The way I can do that is impacting the next generation,” Shewey said. “I want to tell these kids they can change the world.”

Paris Shewey was introduced last week as the area director for the Clark County chapter of Fellowship of Christian Athletes. It is the first time in years that FCA has officially been part of the county. Photo by Paul Valencia
Paris Shewey was introduced last week as the area director for the Clark County chapter of Fellowship of Christian Athletes. It is the first time in years that FCA has officially been part of the county. Photo by Paul Valencia

FCA, which started in 1954, has had a presence in Clark County, but it has been more than a decade since the organization had an official chapter in the area.

Ryan Johnston, the multi-area director of FCA, re-established FCA in the region in 2011, starting in West Linn. Today, there are FCA chapters throughout Oregon, and it was time to plant a FCA flag in Clark County, he said.

FCA’s vision is “to see the world transformed by Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes.” The mission is “to lead every coach and athlete into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His church.”

In the coming weeks, Shewey is hoping to meet with area church leaders as well as any athlete and coach interested in learning more about FCA, and more importantly, a relationship with Jesus.

The organization has tried and true ways of growing clubs from just a few members to dozens of participants. At FCA, it is described as “Engage. Equip. Empower.”

Shewey said he understands the pressure placed on athletes to perform, as well as peer pressure that could lead to making poor decisions.

That was him.

“Sports was my life. Baseball was my life,” he said of his upbringing, noting he did not live in a religious home.

After a year at Edmonds Community College, he earned a scholarship to Washington State. There, he lived “the life” of an athlete, enjoying the spotlight.

Soon, though, it became too much. There were days, he said, he was too hungover to make it to class. He was late for workouts.

Shewey did notice two teammates — Tommy Richards and Shea Vucinich — who “were always on time, never hungover, and always killed every workout.”

One day, Shewey asked them how they did that.

“It’s Jesus, man,” was the answer.

Those two shared the gospel with Shewey. Then another joined. Soon there were eight players on the team who were part of their group. They were praying on the field.

This does not mean they were perfect. In fact, prior to his senior season, Shewey and a teammate were arrested. The charges against Shewey were later dropped, but he had to serve a suspension from the team.

The incident cast a shadow over his final season. He went undrafted by Major League Baseball, but did play one season of minor league ball before he realized he wanted to do more with his life.

He wanted to serve.

Now married with two children, Shewey said he wants to share his story with other athletes and coaches, teach them there is a way to peace and love.

“I was a knucklehead going into Washington State. There were two guys on the team who weren’t knuckleheads,” he said. “My dream is to make as many as those two guys as we can.”

Those two men helped change Shewey’s life. Now he wants to help Christian athletes in Clark County become the same kind of leaders.

Notes: To find out more about Fellowship of Christian Athletes, go here: https://www.fca.org/aboutus/who-we-are/vision-mission

Athletes and coaches interested in meeting the new area director can contact Paris Shewey via email: pshewey@fca.org

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About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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