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Pursue the Ministry of Presence

Published on February 01, 2021


This is the second blog in a five-week series celebrating FCA’s YouVersion plan Still Pursuing the Dream, a celebration and reminder of the messages, guidance and godly wisdom Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. relentlessly pursued in his dream of standing for racial equality, love and justice for all. Be empowered to remember his legacy and live out biblical truth as Christian coaches and athletes.

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Pursue the Ministry of Presence

“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.”  — James 1:19 NLT

“I left my wallet.” 

These were the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. before boarding a late plane in my hometown of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Ahead of speaking earlier that night at Mt. Zion Baptist Church on March 19th, 1968, Dr. King desired to take a short nap at a nearby church of a friend. His name was Father Peter Quinn. 

Though of different races and denominations, Dr. King and Father Quinn had worked together during the turbulent ’60s in Mississippi. When Dr. King spoke that night, many listened—many who felt like they didn’t have a voice. Father Quinn, beloved by so many in the community, also listened but took what he had heard for years from Dr. King a step further. He pursued relationship. 

Prior to the raising of Lazarus from a closed tomb, Jesus said, “‘Father, thank you for hearing me. You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me’” (John 11:41-42).

Jesus acknowledged openly, perhaps for the hope of divine and brotherly relationships, that God always listens. Always.

When Dr. King said, “I left my wallet,” on that cold night, Father Quinn again listened. After Dr. King’s plane departed, Father Quinn went home and found the wallet. Early the next morning, he traveled over 100 miles to give a friend his wallet. Two weeks later, Dr. King was assassinated.

James 1:19 speaks to this piece of history and gives perhaps tools on how to pursue, love, and serve better.

As we celebrate Dr. King and his legacy and as coaches and athletes in our communities, remember:

· BE QUICK TO LISTEN: Incline to hear with hopes to pursue relationship.

· BE SLOW TO SPEAK: Reserve your voice with hopes to pursue understanding.

· BE SLOW TO ANGER: Delay being offended with hopes to pursue community. 


by Mitchell Williams

Married for over 30 years, father and grandfather, Mitchell has been on an athletic field in Mississippi for over 40 years. Either participating as a middle school, prep or collegiate athlete, recreational coach, or as a broadcaster, he has been on the field most of his life.

Mitchell served as a local sports director for over 20 years in his hometown before facilitating a friend’s funeral, former NFL MVP Steve McNair in 2009. Just months later, he left television to accept a call to FCA in 2011. Now serving as a Multi-Area Director in southeast Mississippi, Mitchell has also been chaplain for the Southern Mississippi football program since 2015. 


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Still Pursuing the Dream


Read Week One: Pursue Love