FCA is inducting six partners and supporters of the world’s largest international sports ministry into its Hall of Champions (HOC).
Patti Howard, Dwight Johnson, Edwin Horner, Bruce Gray, and Les and Chris Steckel have worked tirelessly to further the FCA vision: to see the world transformed by Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes. FCA Hall of Champions honorees over the years have consisted of a mix of coaches, athletes and volunteers, including sports greats such as Tony Dungy, Tom Landry, Tom Osborne and Roger Staubach, to name a few.
“These selfless and giving individuals have not only made contributions to the sports they love, but also to the communities and teams to which they are committed,” said FCA President and CEO Shane Williamson. “We are immensely grateful for their service to Jesus Christ through FCA, as we honor Patti Howard, Dwight Johnson, Edwin Horner, Bruce Gray, and Les and Chris Steckel by welcoming them to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ Hall of Champions Class of 2022.”
Early on in her career, Howard recognized the influence she carried as a coach and teacher. Following God’s prompting, she started an FCA Huddle with her daughter and her two friends. The Huddle later grew to see more than 100 students participating in FCA meetings and events. For nearly 30 years, Howard has faithfully served in many roles at FCA: coach, Huddle leader, board member and donor. She has been instrumental in the growth of Southeast Indiana FCA over the past 20 years. She embodies the core values of FCA, and she has lived out the mission and vision with great enthusiasm.
In 1956, Dwight Johnson and his brother attended the first FCA Camp in Estes Park as a high school football player, and he dedicated his life to Jesus Christ. Over the years, he has served in many roles throughout FCA and played a critical role in the ministry’s leadership and expansion. In several regions throughout the U.S., Johnson has served as Board Chair and helped hire and support staff. In the 1970s, Johnson served on FCA's Board of Trustees. In the 1980s, he asked a Kansas City bank president to donate their property to FCA, and they did. Johnson continues to serve FCA in Colorado, using his leadership talents and vision to pave the way for FCA to continue reaching coaches and athletes for Christ.
Edwin Horner has been instrumental in growing FCA's influence in Maryland, Delaware and Georgia. From the open to close of duck hunting season, he has organized an annual hunt to bless donors and volunteers. He carefully plans each event, from the pre-hunt devotionals, the hunts themselves, dinner testimonies and lodging at his home. He and his wife minister through hospitality, and those who’ve stayed at “Horner Farm” leave as friends. Horner is one of the most sincere, Jesus-loving outdoorsman at FCA, and shares the Gospel through giving his life and living it with others.
A true pioneer, Bruce Gray has a vision to one day see FCA reach every coach and athlete in Canada. In 2016, he took a leap of faith and began the process of establishing FCA Canada. From receiving FCA training to working through the steps to obtain official legal and charity status, FCA Canada would not be where it is today without his obedience. Gray served five consecutive terms as a member of the Governing Board of Directors, and he personally recruited and trained many current staff and board members. He’s served in almost every role within FCA, and he paved the way for the landscape of FCA Canada's ministry today.
Les and Chris Steckel
Les and Chris Steckel have faithfully served FCA for many decades. As a former athlete, mother of athletes and wife of a veteran NFL coach, Chris Steckel joined the FCA Board of Trustees in the early 2000s. Les had been involved in FCA since the 1970s. On March 1, 2005, he became FCA's seventh president. The couple shares a heart for strong, Christian marriages and they traveled together from coast to coast while Les was president. Under their leadership, FCA staff nearly doubled from 727 to 1,432 and the Huddles, camps and countries in which the Steckels ministered grew exponentially. Inside the FCA family, Les was known for personally calling every staff member on their birthday, a total of 11,886 birthday calls over his 12 years as president.