Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney presented a message of faith as guest speaker of the Tri-County Fellowship of Christian Athletes Celebration Dinner.

Swinney shared his story of joining an FCA group as a ninth grader at Pelham High School. After a year with the organization, Swinney recalled going to a church to hear former Alabama receiver Joey Jones speak. That night he dedicated his life to Jesus Christ.

Clemson Head Football Coach Dabo Swinney

Clemson Head Football Coach Dabo Swinney speaks to the crowd during the Tri-County Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ Celebration Dinner held Thursday, April 11, 2024.

“The influence of a coach is so incredible, as we saw tonight,” BCO FCA Area Director Earl Humes said. “(Coach Swinney) uses his fame in athletics to be able to tell the Good News of Jesus Christ. People see so much negativity (in the world), when you see what he did tonight there’s an indication that there is hope for all us.”

Fellowship of Christian Athletes began in 1954 with a vision of seeing the world transformed by Jesus Christ through the influence of athletes and coaches. In 2002, Humes helped organize the Tri-County FCA that focuses on Bamberg, Calhoun and Orangeburg counties.

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“As a child, my parents helped me to understand that serving is a very important part of life,” Humes said. “Jesus came to serve, so I’ve always wanted to help others. As a Christan I learned that the world is a much better place if we love God, and love each other.”

Since its inception, Tri-County has sent over 3,000 area students to FCA camps and more than 260 area coaches. They have reached over 15,000 students through their One Way to Play presentation and more than 25,000 students through Fields of Faith.

Humes said the most important number is the 1,513 students who have made decisions to follow Christ.

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“FCA gives me an opportunity to meet people where they are,” Humes said. “They are outside of the walls of the church, but I don’t have to wait for them to come to me. I’m blessed with an opportunity to bring people together.”

Thursday’s event highlighted those individuals who have represented the organization, and their accomplishments. It was also used as a way of reaching out to those who may be willing to give of their time or finances to further enhance the organization’s reach.

“We call this a Celebration Dinner,” Humes said Thursday. “But, we’re here to celebrate Jesus Christ. As we celebrate we know that the harvest is great, but the workers are few. We don’t have to stand by and complain, we can make a difference as we engage, equip and empower not just our students but their coaches and families.”

If you would like to help you can contact the group at

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