Champions for Christ

An evangelical organization intertwining faith and athletics to guide athletes towards a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Champions for Christ (CFC) is closely associated with Maranatha Campus Ministries, an organization that has faced accusations of employing cult-like tactics almost from its inception. Greg Ball and Rice Broocks, co-founders of CFC, were deeply involved with Maranatha, serving as board members and executive officers. Champions for Christ originated under the umbrella of Maranatha, drawing scrutiny for its practices and financial arrangements, particularly in relation to its leadership and compensation structures. Ball, for instance, was noted for receiving a significant salary and housing allowance, while other staff members were required to raise their own support, earning considerably less.

Champions for Christ, described as orthodox in doctrine, evangelical in practice, and charismatic in worship, aims to engage athletes in a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, using their platform to influence the broader world. Founded as a campus ministry in 1985, CFC has since expanded its reach to include professional athletes among its ranks. Notable involvement with professional athletes, including members of the NFL, has brought the organization into the public eye, particularly through its connection to events and controversies surrounding the recruitment and management of players.

CFC is part of Morning Star International (now known as Every Nation), a reorganization of Maranatha’s leadership aimed at world evangelism and campus ministry. The rebranding effort sought to distance the new entity from Maranatha’s troubled past, including allegations of destructive practices and unaccountability, which had attracted negative media attention and criticism from cult-watchers. Despite efforts to cleanse its public image and literature of any Maranatha references, critics and former members have raised concerns about the continuation of problematic practices under new guises.

The organization’s focus on athletes and sports as a means to propagate its faith-based message is encapsulated in its outreach activities, which include bible studies, worship sessions, and evangelistic events designed to attract and engage both college and professional athletes. Champions for Christ advocates for a life led by Christian principles, offering guidance and community to its members, while also emphasizing the importance of evangelical outreach.

However, the legacy and practices of CFC, as influenced by its origins and leadership’s past affiliations with Maranatha, continue to spark debate and scrutiny, reflecting the complex and often contentious nature of religious organizations operating within the sphere of competitive sports​​​​​​.

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