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Former Washington Redskin speaks at FCA's Christ Night

April 11, 2010|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.VA. -- Staying connected to Christ was the message on Christ Night 2010 on Saturday night at the Berkeley Springs High School gymnasium.

More than 500 people attended the event, which was sponsored by the Berkeley Springs Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Mary Chalupka came with her husband and mother from Warfordsburg, Pa., to hear the music performed by the Covenant Church Praise Team members from Shepherdstown, W.Va.

Organizer Bob Donadieu said Christ Night began in 1999 and was co-founded by Pastor Garrett Kell, a Berkeley Springs High School graduate who now lives in Texas.

Donadieu said the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) is an "outreach to and through athletes."

FCA area director Scott Myers said "we use the athletic influence to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and this is how we are reaching both youth and adults."

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The guest speaker was former Washington Redskin Joe Jacoby, who joined the Redskins in 1981 and was part of the offensive line that became known as "The Hogs."

"We are all athletes," Jacoby said. "All Christians got to run that good race to get to heaven."

Jacoby took his Super Bowl rings from his pocket and placed them on a chair. After he told the story about how he finally developed a relationship with God 20 years ago, he pointed to the rings and said, "He's more valuable than the Super Bowl rings."

Jacoby said everybody has problems, but you "get through by having faith in Jesus Christ."

Jacoby, 50, now is an assistant football coach at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va.

Josh Kelly, 17, a senior at Berkeley Springs High School, said he was suffering from depression after his older brother was killed in a car accident. He said he was a "troubled youth" and began drinking and partying.

But that ended last year at Christ Night, when "I gave my heart to Christ," Kelly said.

He said if you're not living your life for God, you're not living at all.

Kell said he wanted to tell people how his life was affected by Christ.

"We have the one who made the world, rather than what the world can give to us," Kell said.

Kell said the FCA is open to everyone.

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