FCA is mourning the passing but celebrating the life of longtime friend Albert Long, who went to be with the Lord on October 28, 2020.
“We pray for Albert’s family, friends and all at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes who loved him, as we now navigate life without this legendary leader,” said FCA President and CEO Shane Williamson. “He was part of FCA from the beginning, and made such a huge ministry impact in many ways. He will be greatly missed, but we rejoice in knowing that he has been welcomed home by Jesus.
According to the Carolina Letterman, University of North Carolina’s online sports site, “Albert Long—who earned two letters in football, three in baseball, one in basketball and one in track—was a 1955 graduate of UNC (School of Education) and received the prominent Patterson Medal, awarded to the university’s top student athlete. Long became, in the early 1950s, the only athlete at Carolina and in the fledgling ACC to earn letters in four varsity sports. In 2007, Long was inducted into the FCA Hall of Champions.”
Said Dal Shealy, past FCA President from 1992-2005 and renowned former American football player and coach, “Albert was a special friend and impact player for Christ. During my early years of coaching we had ‘Happenings’ each year where Albert shared ‘the Kid’ stories of his days of playing sports at UNC. His enthusiastic personality gifted him to be a great communicator as he shared the truth of the gospel of Christ.”
Lance Shealy, FCA Area Director, Northwest North Carolina, reflected on Albert Long’s influence: “When I consider the life and ministry of Albert Long several things instantly come to mind. First: His passion for FCA. He was passionate about seeing the world transformed by Jesus Christ in and through sport. Second: His passion for life. He just loved life like no other person I knew. And third: His passion to see people walk in purity.”
Shealy continued, “His ‘Happening’ events always had a tremendous impact on me as a young Christian. I was always challenged to consider the music I listened to, the words I spoke and the power of my actions every time I heard him speak.”
In the book, “It Was Just A Coincidence,” that he co-wrote wrote with veteran writer Chad Bonham, Long shared many of his lifetime experiences. One of his sayings continues to stand true today: “Athletes, by spreading the word of God, can help this country as much as anyone. All they have to do is play on the team coached by Him.”
Long's deep commitment to FCA began when he committed his life to Christ at FCA's then-national conference in Estes Park, CO in 1963. His dedication to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to coaches and athletes around the country earned him a well-deserved spot in FCA's Hall of Champions in 2007.
FCA’s Hall of Champions was established in 1991 to honor individuals who have demonstrated a consistent commitment to Jesus Christ through the ministry of FCA. They are considered volunteer “All Stars” who have given above and beyond the call of duty and have upheld the Four Core Values of FCA: Integrity, Serving, Teamwork and Excellence.
Read about Long's legacy on his Hall of Champions page.