President Mark Killingsworth presided over today’s meeting. Mark provided the invocation. Joe Bost led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Mark led us in the Four Way Test. The meeting was held by Zoom due to COVID-19 restrictions. Mark announced that the club will be unable to meet in person until September 8. Joe Bost thanked those who helped with today’s meeting.
Jerome Brown then introduced our guest speaker, Mitchell Williams, Director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He is also an ordained minister. Mitch started working for FCA after a 27-year career in the broadcast industry. Mitch began his presentation by reporting that the University of Southern Mississippi will play its first football game of the season in about ten days.
When he began with Southeast Mississippi FCA, they had no staff, no budget, no office, and no transportation. However, they had a vision. That vision was to resolve the disconnect between athletes and the church. The Southeast Mississippi organization now has a staff of 19, including full-time, part-time, and volunteers. They serve 126 schools, two universities, and six community colleges. The organization founded in 1964, now has programs in 92 countries.
Mitch noted that we are living in strange times. In addition to COVID-19, we have an economic crisis and violence on our streets. He suggested that we all take a break, consider the many things we have to be thankful for, and to say, “thank you.”
Much of Mitch’s inspiration came from Father Peter Quinn who was at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Hattiesburg. He and his brother spent much time at Holy Rosary as children, giving Fr. Quinn the opportunity to teach them how important it was to encourage others. By encouraging others, Mitch says we often create new beginnings.
He notes that we are all unsure of what things will look like when our current situation is over. However, he is sure that if we encourage others, empower others, equip others to face their challenges, and never miss an opportunity to say thank you, that we will survive and come out of this as better people.
He encouraged Rotarians to visit the organization’s website and consider making a financial contribution, sponsoring their annual Breakfast of Champions event, or participating in their annual golf tournament. The site also has information about the ways volunteers can help. You can find them at Mark thanked Mitch for today’s presentation.
There being no further business to come before the club, Mark thanked those who were able to attend today’s Zoom meeting and adjourned the meeting with our motto: “Service Above Self.”