The Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) recently announced that five partners and supporters of the world’s largest international sports ministry will be inducted into its National Hall of Champions later this year and one of them is from the Roanoke Valley.
Dan Wooldridge serves as a Roanoke Valley FCA Board Member in Virginia, and he and his wife, Nancy, were one of the three families to establish the Roanoke Valley FCA in 1964. Wooldridge pioneered sending student-athletes to FCA Camps and Bible studies, and also established the Roanoke Valley Wide FCA Breakfast that united high schools throughout region.
“Dan Wooldridge has been a faithful supporter and ministry partner of FCA for over 54 years,” wrote nominator Tim Hill, FCA Multi-Area Director for Central and Southwest Virginia. “From the early days until now, Dan continues to be an active member on the board. He brings new insights and rich history to the ministry and constantly challenges FCA to reach student athletes and coaches for Christ.”
A three-sport standout in college, Wooldridge played professional baseball, coached high school sports for seven years and went on to become a supervisor of football and basketball officials in several conferences, a scout for NFL officials and a consultant for ACC football.
He was also chosen to be one of two referees from the United States to officiate the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. In the 1970s, he became a key figure in the formation of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference and was also named to Lynchburg College Sports Hall of Fame.
Buck McCabe, who accepted Christ as his Savior at an FCA Camp in 1967, always wondered who enabled him to attend the event that changed his life. When he met the Wooldridges several years ago, McCabe was able to thank the couple who paved the way to his journey with Jesus.
“I wonder how many hundreds and hundreds of kids owe their lives to this man,” McCabe said. “When nobody else would or could, he did, even to the point of borrowing money from the bank to see kids go to Camp. Dan is truly one of the ‘silent’ heroes of FCA history. It is a joy for me to personally give my highest recommendation to this most outstanding FCA Champion.”
Dan and Nancy Wooldridge have three daughters and live in Roanoke.
In May 2018, the Class of 2017 will be honored with a photo and biography at the newly redesigned Hall of Champions at FCA’s National Support Center in Kansas City. A special glass plaque will be presented to honorees or members of their families later this year.
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes Hall of Champions was established in 1991. There are now 101 godly coaches and athletes plus board members and volunteers who have received this special tribute. They make up a group of FCA servant-leaders who have faithfully served Christ through the avenue of FCA. Their commitment to the Lord’s work has impacted millions over the years. They are a body of teammates in Christ who have demonstrated a consistent commitment to the support of FCA, nominated by staff and board members and elected by a selection committee.
Criteria for the Hall of Champions nominations include: a personal belief in and commitment to Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord; a demonstrated commitment to participate in the ministry of FCA; a commitment to further FCA’s purpose; an involvement FCA ministry; a lengthy period of consistent service (minimum of 10 years); a personal involvement in the world of sport; not an FCA staff person (FCA’s Hall of Honor is for both past and current staff); and not a current member of FCA’s National Board of Trustees.
Click here to read more about the Class of 2017 and to view a complete list of previous Hall of Champions inductees.