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The Lake News Online
  • FCA students hear from NFL chaplain

  • Lake-area athletes and coaches along with Fellowship of Christian Athletes supporters gathered for the annual FCA Home Team Drive and Banquet at Tan-Tar-A on Tuesday night.
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  • Lake-area athletes and coaches along with Fellowship of Christian Athletes supporters gathered for the annual FCA Home Team Drive and Banquet at Tan-Tar-A on Tuesday night.
    Before the banquet officially began, residents arrived and mingled with one another. Some even got the chance to meet with the honored guest, Dr. Ken Johnson.
    Johnson is a product of FCA and says he would not be who he is today without the organization.
    He was born into a poverty-stricken family in Los Angeles and grew up in the inner city of Dallas. He and his family moved 18 times before he graduated high school. When describing his family background, Johnson will openly reveal that his mother was a prostitute and his father was a heroin addict. He also said that he was born addicted to drugs.
    In order to escape the reality of his home life, he turned to athletics. He earned a football scholarship for the University of Tulsa in 1979. That was the year his life changed.
    A wealthy businessman paid for Johnson to attend an FCA camp that year. He admits he was reluctant at first.
    "I was a hurting boy that needed answers," Johnson said. "Hurt people hurt people."
    When he arrived at the camp, he saw something he had never seen before.
    "Nobody was cussing and nobody fought after the game. I couldn't believe it," Johnson said. "Then, something crazy happened. They started having church."
    Johnson described what happened at that camp as nothing less than a transformation.
    "For the first time in my life, I felt uncomfortable cursing," he said. "When camp ended I didn't want to go."
    When he returned to the University of Tulsa, he began attending an FCA Huddle and even began speaking and singing at meetings.
    After graduating with honors, he was drafted into the NFL but was injured and could not play any longer. He then chose to serve his country in the military and as a police officer before working for Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Indianapolis. He currently is the Protestant Chaplain of the Indianapolis Colts, a position he has held for 25 years.
    Johnson enjoys traveling and speaking to schools and other groups all while delivering a message of hope.
    He stressed the importance of FCA and asked the crowd if the cost was worth it. Since a man took a chance on him and paid for him to go to camp which was instrumental in Johnson's life change, he is a walking example of how much the cost is worth.
    Ken and his wife Della have been married for 31 years and have three adult children, Dominick, Kendall and Kristina.
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