Ministry Highlight with Dave Parks

This past fall, we were blessed with the opportunity of hosting a two-day Wrestling Camp here in Rochester.   It was the first time we had held a wrestling focused activity in Upstate New York, and the entire event was a great example of how FCA staff members and volunteers can work together to do ministry to and through the coach.

The idea of hosting a wrestling camp came from an FCA Board Member, Dave Toth, who is a local businessman in the community. He had built a relationship with arguably one of the best wrestling coaches in the country, Tom Ryan, who is also a man of deep Christian faith. With a vision to see the wrestling community come together in Rochester, Dave talked with Coach Ryan about leading an FCA Camp over a weekend. Along with other FCA volunteers, Dave also reached out to several coaches in the area who were excited about the idea of attending a camp before the wrestling season began.

With a strategy in place, our FCA team started planning Wrestling Camp and recruited coaches and athletes around Upstate New York to come and attend. On the day of arrival, we ended up with over 60 kids and 15 coaches from all over the area, including Syracuse and Buffalo! We kicked off the weekend with a coaches gathering on Friday night and prayed over the time that we would spend together at camp.

The next two days were a huge success for all who came! The camp included four training sessions with well-known athlete and world medalist, Joey McKenna, and large group testimonies where both Coach Ryan and McKenna shared personal stories of faith. Each day had break-out huddle times with athletes divided up by age, and the whole camp experience was truly impactful for both coaches and athletes alike. In fact, the camp had such a positive response that Coach Ryan plans to lead another Wrestling Camp this year in Rochester on October 26-27th, 2019.

It was pretty incredible to see the Lord use different skillsets of coaches, volunteers, and FCA staff members to create this wonderful opportunity for the wrestling community in Upstate New York. The camp was an answer to prayer and a perfect example of the body of Christ working together to do ministry. I am truly thankful for each individual who helped plan this event and for the Holy Spirit’s work in guiding our steps along the way.


Since 1954, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes has been challenging coaches and athletes on the professional, college, high school, junior high and youth levels to use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus Christ. FCA focuses on serving local communities by equipping, empowering and encouraging people to make a difference for Christ – to see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes.

More information can be found at FCA.org.