Ex-NFL player Garza set to speak to Fellowship of Christian Athletes
Former NFL offensive lineman Rich Garza is the featured speaker for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Huntington Area banquet at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Big Sandy Superstore Arena Ballroom.
Garza, a former player with the Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos and with two teams in the now-defunct USFL, also will speak at seven local schools during his visit.
“We’re thrilled to have Rich with us,” said Tim Stephens, Huntington Area director of FCA. “I know the kids will get something great from the message he offers.”
Garza, who works with Sports World Ministries, Inc., will speak to students about choices regarding alcohol, drugs and sex. He also will share how his faith in Jesus Christ changed his life.
“As far back as I can remember, my goal in life was to be a pro athlete,” Garza said. “I thought being a pro would make me happy and fill up what was missing in my life, but I found out that money and glory really don’t satisfy. I looked happy on the outside, but inside I was the same Rich Garza. I knew then that something spiritual was missing from my life because I had tried everything else and nothing else worked.
“Since I asked the Lord into my life, He has filled up that empty place and helped me to change on the inside, where it counts the most.”
Garza will speak at three middle schools on Tuesday, visiting Barboursville at 8:30 a.m., Enslow at 10 a.m. and Milton at 2 p.m. On Wednesday, Garza will visit Vinson Middle School from 8 to 11 a.m. On Thursday, Garza will speak at Buffalo Middle School at 7:30 a.m., at Tolsia High School at 10 a.m. and at Spring Valley High School at 2 p.m.
Tickets to the banquet are free and may be obtained by calling Stephens at 633-8353.
The Huntington Area FCA has featured several Sports World speakers in recent years, bringing in former Indianapolis Colts Steve Grant and Ray McElroy, as well as former New York Giants player Lee Rouson. FCA is bringing another former Colt, Devon McDonald, to several Gallia County schools in April.
Garza starred at Temple University before embarking on a pro football career as an offensive lineman. During his career, Garza has spoken at more than 3,000 schools and to more than 1 million children.