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A Life Well Spent

Published on April 16, 2021

“Our earthly sojourn is short, eternity is so very significant, and God’s unfathomable love is so compelling.”

John Shore felt deeply compelled by God’s love and made it his mission to live a life of purpose and service.

Shore, a long-time FCA friend and staff member, passed away April 7th and left a long line of family and friends transformed by his kindness, generosity, dedication and service to see the world transformed by Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes. He loved his family and his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and dedicated decades to get the Gospel to coaches and athletes while championing greater ministry growth.

“John played many different positions on the FCA team, and in each one he was an all-star,” said FCA Chief Field Officer Dan Britton. “He had a passion for Jesus, a passion for FCA and a passion for people.”

Born and raised in Kansas City, Shore has been involved with FCA for more than 30 years.  He has served in numerous roles throughout the ministry, including volunteer, board member, staff and fund development pioneer. Shore’s first interaction with FCA came in 1969 when he and his wife Mary Lea sponsored an athlete in their neighborhood to go to an FCA Camp.

In 1971, he attended his first FCA Camp in Estes Park, Colo. as a Huddle leader. It was at that camp where Mary Lea became a Christian, and the Shore family continued to serve at camps around the nation for decades. Around that time, he and Mary Lea established Huddles in Indian Creek Junior High and Shawnee Mission South High School in Overland Park, Kan., became Huddle sponsors and held meetings in their home for over 15 years. The Shore family became a beacon of light and safe refuge for many student-athletes craving care and people to pour into their lives.

As a local businessman of Shore Tire Company, he utilized his passion for people and connection while serving first on the local Kansas City Board, and then the national FCA Board of Trustees for twelve years. He joined FCA on staff in 1995 as its Sr. Vice President first in Development, and then Marketing and Communications a few years later. Shore was instrumental in developing the National Support Center “Victory Builders Campaign” expansion development project in 1997 and raising funds to allow the building to more than double its size of the national headquarters. It also allowed the Kansas City office to move back into the building.

In June 1999, Shore became the director of the Greater Kansas City FCA, where ministry blossomed under his approach involving the recruitment of retired coaches in the area to work part-time ministering to coaches and athletes. Later, Shore coordinated the 50th anniversary celebration held in Estes Park, Colo. commemorating the first FCA Camp.

Shore’s deep love for people and kind heart made everyone feel welcome and a part of God’s family. A passionate writer, Shore wrote weekly devotions of encouragement, which he sent to FCA employees, donors, coaches and friends.

“I will always remember John as a ‘special kind of man,’ but more so, a Christ-like man with a gentle spirit, kind heart and a ready smile. Now, John has entered God’s Hall of Fame and is richly deserving of his crown in Heaven,” said Wayne Atcheson, who is the current historian at the Billy Graham Library and worked with Shore at the Support Center.

Added Britton, “He was a humble servant, had great vision for the city and was an incredible leader. He left a mark in Kansas City serving FCA in many roles and did everything he could to advance the ministry.”

His exuberance came from a joy in the Lord that lit his daily life and shined on a verse Shore wanted everyone to know take to heart: “I am the Light of the World. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the Light of Life.”  (John 8:12)

“John Shore has been a consistent, positive, Christian influence in my life,” said Dr. Dan Gurley, who first met Shore in 1985 when he attended FCA Huddles in Shore’s home. “He taught me that I may be the only Bible that someone may ever experience. Not only did John and Mary Lea open their home to us, John rented a van and drove us to camp in Estes Park, Colo. and the national retreat center in Marshall, Ind. As a kid, I felt the love and support from John, but it wasn’t until I was an adult that I recognized what sacrifices he made with his time and treasures simply to encourage the kids in his neighborhood to learn about Jesus.”

For all Shore poured into his local community and FCA at the Kansas City and national levels, Shore most desired to serve the LORD all his days. He prayed for God to help him “finish strong,” which he most certainly did. He wanted to make the most of his life, which is reflected by his legacy through his family and the countless lives impacted for eternity through his selfless dedication to coaches, athletes and the FCA family. His faithful stewardship set a firm foundation for ministry advancement that has rippled across not only the Kansas City area, but across the globe as God’s miraculous dream continues to flourish from the backbone efforts of a ministry legend.