Brent Fuqua, President and Founder of Hoops of Hope
When I was growing up in North Carolina, I went to a Christian school and often attended church but did not understand what it meant to have a personal relationship with the Lord. I thought that Christianity was a matter of doing the right thing but I found that I was always doing the wrong thing, like getting into trouble and doing crazy things. I naturally had a great deal of energy and loved basketball but I wasn’t very good. I got cut from the school team starting in fourth grade and did not make a basketball team until the ninth grade.
Although I was the worst player on the team and only scored seven points the whole season, I kept working hard. By the next season, I was a starter; and by my senior year I was starting for the varsity team. I put my significance and self-worth into basketball. If I had a good game, then I felt great. If not, then I felt terrible. I started thinking that if I could get a college basketball scholarship, I would be a person that was admired.
While at college, I tried out for the basketball team. After six weeks the coach called me into his office and said, “You’re not good enough to be on the team,” and I was cut. I was devastated because I had put all my self-worth into basketball. I found out that basketball is a great sport but it is a terrible god. About six months after that, I was at a Christian conference and I felt like the Lord was speaking directly to my heart. The Lord wanted me to ask for forgiveness of my sins and for me to give my whole life to Him, which I did. I then understood that Christianity is not a religion but a relationship with the Creator of the universe.
That was in 1986 and it is amazing what the Lord has done in my life since then. I played in over 150 exhibition games with Athletes in Action and have gone on to start my own basketball ministry called Hoops of Hope. I direct basketball clinics and perform ball-handling exhibitions around the U.S. and around the world. I have traveled to Mexico, the Bahamas, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Mongolia, South Africa, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Peru, Italy and the Philippines. I don’t tell you this to show you how great I am, but to show how great the God I serve is! God had a bigger vision for me than I had for myself! 1 Corinthians 1:27 says, “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” None of this would be possible without the power of the Holy Spirit.
1 Kings 18:21 says, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal [an idol] is God, follow him.” Most of my early life was spent wavering back and forth, but, when I accepted the Lord into my life, He gave me peace. So, what are you waiting for? Accept the Lord today and you’ll never be the same!
That God is eternal and exists in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. John 1:1-14
That the Holy Bible is supernaturally inspired by God, inerrant and infallible in the original manuscripts. II Timothy 3:16-17
That Jesus Christ is true God and true man, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He died on the cross, a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. Further, He arose bodily from the dead, ascended to heaven, where at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He now is our High Priest and Advocate. John 1:1, Hebrews 1:8, I Corinthians 15:3-4
That all people are born sinful and spiritually separated from God. Romans 3:23, Romans 5:12
That salvation comes to us only through faith in Jesus Christ. John 3:16
That Jesus committed two ordinances to the Church: (1) Baptism and (2) The Lord’s Supper. They are, however, not to be regarded as a means of salvation. I Corinthians 11:23-25, Matthew 28:19