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The Fellowship of Christian Athletes engages coaches and athletes to grow in their faith and sport.

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Director Marilou Braswell


The Journey to FCA Cheer

After cheering in high school she became a physical education major at UGA where she was on the JV gymnastics team her first two years of college. Also, while at Campus Crusade for Christ her freshman year at the University of Georgia, Marilou realized she had a "religion" but not a "relationship" with Jesus Christ. She asked Him into her heart and so started her spiritual journey. The next 3 years, Marilou cheered for the Dawgs and was a two year captain and NCA College All-American her senior year. She was an active member of FCA in college.

After coaching high school cheerleaders and teaching PE at the Lovett School in Atlanta for six years, Marilou was hired to return to her alma mater, the University of Georgia, as the head cheerleading coach in 1993 where she coached until 2004. She then went on to be the Dean of Women at Whitefield Academy in Atlanta. She is currently the Executive Director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Cheerleading Ministry.

About Marilou

Marilou lives in her hometown of Athens, GA. Her daughter Laci is married to Adam Nelson, a three-time Olympian in the shot put having won one silver and one gold medal. Her son Beau is in law school at George Washington University in Washington DC and is married to Stefanie Ortiz-Villajos Braswell. Marilou's two grandchildren Caroline Grace and Lauren Olivia Nelson, are the highlights of her life.

Favorite Scripture: "The joy of the Lord is my strength!" Nehemiah 8:10

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Administrative Assistant Danielle Smith

A Little Backstory

I am a resident of Athens, Georgia where I grew up and became a follower of Jesus through a summer camp experience. I attended Appalachian State University for my undergraduate degree in marketing and I received my masters in sports management at the University of Georgia. I love being outdoors, competing in races, finding a good read and cheering on the Georgia Bulldogs. I began working for FCA Cheer September 1st of 2017 and it has so far been an incredible journey!                                                              

Why FCA Cheer?

I would have never imagined I would be working for a cheerleading ministry, but I am so thankful the Lord has planted me at FCA Cheer for such a time as this. My heart is to see women of all ages come to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. I find joy in discipling and investing specifically in our college age instructors who lead our summer camps. I first felt called to women's ministry while leading college women at Appalachian State University through the campus ministry, Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU). After graduating with my masters at the University of Georgia, I accepted a full time job in the corporate world, but it did not take long for me to realize I was not where the Lord wanted me. Door after door opened leading me to a full time position with FCA Cheer, confirming the Lord's calling for me to be in women's ministry. I am forever grateful and thankful for this opportunity.

My role at FCA Cheer includes all things administrative and ministry outreach to our college instructors. I love applying my background in business marketing and sports management, my experience in college women's ministry and love for athletics.

Favorite Scripture: "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1

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Marilou Braswell: FCA Executive Director of Cheerleading

Danielle Smith: FCA Cheer Representative & Administrative Assistant

Melinda Smith: FCA Cheer Executive Board Chairman