Despres Delivers Famous Four Chairs Message to FCA RallyFebruary 3, 2010
By CSU Sports Information
CHARLESTON, S.C. – As they do the first Monday of every month, Charleston Southern athletes, coaches and staff gathered for an FCA Rally on the CSU campus. February’s speaker was USC Football Chaplain Adrian Despres.
Though many people expect big things when they attend a rally, few if any could have expected to see the response that Despres’ famous four-chair message brought.
A former defensive lineman on the football team at Furman, Despres graduated from seminary in 1990 at Columbia International University and travels all over the world as a speaker, in addition to his chaplain duties at USC. He met CSU Men’s Basketball Coach Barclay Radebaugh while both were at South Carolina.
“Adrian is one of my very best friends,” said Radebaugh. “He is one of the most passionate evangelists I’ve ever met and God is using him to change lives all over the world. I’ve personally seen him deliver his four chairs message probably 20 times and have seen hundreds of people commit their lives to Christ. I saw him give it at Carowinds and we had 3,500 people come forward.”
No doubt the message had a similar impact at CSU as close to 50 in attendance decided the make a salvation decision. The remainder of the crowd of more than 300 was forced to examine their own lives, even those already in a relationship with Christ.
“Why would you have the cure for cancer and not share it? Yet people have the cure for hell and don’t pass it along, it doesn’t make sense,” Despres pleaded with the group. “That’s like me ripping and shredding to get to a quarterback as a defensive lineman and then playing patty-cake with him.”
The monthly meetings are part of a retooling effort department-wide, including a team chaplain for each athletic program, and weekly Bible study luncheons with coaches.
“Much work and prayer has gone into this effort on a consistent basis,” said Dr. Rick Brewer, vice president of student affairs and athletics. “I have asked all of our coaches and athletes to attend these monthly gatherings, and I think the results that we saw prove that intentional evangelism is still very much alive.”
Assistant Campus Minister for Athletics Jon Davis, who leads the weekly lunches and serves as the team chaplain for the football and baseball was even impressed with what transpired on February 1.
“I’ve been here a total of 15 years and that was the biggest movement of God I’ve seen here. I have not seen a group become so focused for one cause, and it didn’t matter the age or walk of life. We had people from a coach’s son at 5, college athletes and 50-year-old coaches who were affected.”