After years of serving with FCA, LaShea Davis has seen marriages saved, athletes come to know the Lord and students ask for Bibles. These have all been part of her motivating force in the ministry, the calling she says, for a harvest plenty full of eternal fruit-bearing.
Today LaShea serves as Atlanta Urban Metro Director, heading up ministry at schools in multiple districts, four colleges, four community sports and one NFL team. Prior to joining FCA staff, she and her husband Dexter, a former NFL player for the Arizona Cardinals and then-St. Louis Rams, volunteered with FCA for 11 years.
Dexter and LaShea have four adult children: Bréci, Shye, Dexter Jr., and Micah, and they often spend weekends traveling to watch their youngest son play football for the Air Force Academy. Through the years, Dexter’s time in the NFL frequently moved them around the country, and LaShea says their involvement in FCA during that season was critical to keeping them grounded and connected to a body of believers.
When the couple moved to Atlanta and both joined FCA staff in 2007, LaShea served in an administrative role. Over time, she became an area representative, Campus Representative at Georgia State University, and then Assistant Director for Atlanta Urban Metro. She became the Atlanta Urban Metro Director four years ago, and she says she has been abundantly blessed to serve in the position. Dexter serves as an Area Director and an NFL chaplain for the Atlanta Falcons.
“We love the Lord, we love kids, and we love sports, and we are directly in the heart of the city where you have underprivileged, underserved communities to support,” said LaShea.
In fact, some students they serve have never even been outside of urban Atlanta and would not have access sports if it wasn’t for FCA. In addition, they provide opportunities for competitive sports at a fraction of the regular cost, providing the child an opportunity for a well-rounded athletic experience they would not have otherwise.
While LaShea grew up in a Christian family and gave her life to Christ at a young age, she faced challenges at home as her parents divorced when she was eleven years old. After being active in track and cheerleading in middle school and high school and while attending Clemson University, she recommitted her life to Christ in her early 20s.
“I find joy in being able to share with everyone that you don’t have to be a victim of circumstance, but you can be a person of integrity and virtue,” LaShea said.
Over the years, LaShea has seen God provide for the ministry in various ways, including how churches have stepped up to underwrite the cost for Bibles and how community partners have provided resources for coaches and athletes. She’s witnessed God always coming through with a new sponsor or new grant.
“God is going to keep providing,” LaShea said. “We don’t have to know the answer to the problem as long as God gives us peace of mind to be faithful along the way.”
Mentoring younger women has always been an integral part of LaShea’s ministry. When Ashely Watson was playing basketball at Georgia State University, LaShea approached the team about getting involved in the ministry, and the ministry proved to be essential in supporting Ashely during college. Dexter also mentored Ashely’s husband, and the Davis’ even took the couple through marriage counseling. Ashley now serves on staff as an Area Representative in California.
“Over time, they have welcomed us into their own personal family,” Ashley said. “They took us under their wings and poured into our lives in a positive way. Seeing their model is something I wanted to pass along to the next generation.”
LaShea is a cheerful giver and always looks for ways to make others feel comfortable, living by her life verse of Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
LaShea has also mentored Alexis White, who was a Huddle Leader with an FCA Power Camp and then joined FCA staff for a time. Alexis describes LaShea as a parental figure in her life who has helped her develop a deeper honesty with God and others.
“The biggest thing she taught me is how to soften my heart,” said Alexis.
A heart softened is strong and steadfast, one LaShea has shown to her coaches, athletes, staff and mentees over and over again. She’s been part of a great harvest for the Kingdom, and she continues to gather the fruit of her team’s efforts.
LaShea asks for prayer that God would provide more staff to help meet the needs of the many schools and school districts they serve. She said they would love to have more of a presence in every school but are limited by staff.
She also requests more ministry partners to come along side of them and help provide necessary resources.
She says her dream is for the Atlanta Urban Metro team to have their own facility, so pray God would make that possible.
For more information about ministry in Atlanta or to support LaShea, go to fcaurbanatlanta.org and fcaurbanatlanta.org/our-metro-director.
Photos courtesy of LaShea Davis