Hero Spotlight

Robert Upshaw

Area Director, Central Arkansas Fellowship of Christian Athletes

The members of Rainwater, Holt & Sexton are pleased to recognize Robert Upshaw, the director of the Central Arkansas Fellowship of Christian Athletes, for 17 years of continued hard work and dedication in making a positive difference in students’ lives across the state.

After graduating from Southern Arkansas University, Robert started his career with the Baptist Student Union at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. From there, he began working for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes as an urban representative. Now, as FCA’s Area Director for Central Arkansas, Robert works with many area schools, organizes camps, and raises funds through events to benefit FCA, just to name a few. He also speaks at FCA functions about the importance of athletes living for Christ and the impact that athletes have on their teammates as well as on the student body as a whole.

"Robert is the real deal. He is a fun guy who people want to be around. He loves the Lord, and he loves to introduce students to the Lord—a perfect combination for ministry. Robert is a hero because he has chosen to submit himself, totally, to the divine call that is on his life. I admire and respect Robert for his trust in the Lord's provision."

Mike Rainwater
Rainwater, Holt & Sexton

Coming from a family of 16 brothers and sisters, Robert says his parents are his heroes. “My mom and dad are wonderful people, and they taught me to care about other people and accept others for who they are—rich or poor, it doesn’t matter,” Robert says. “I want to be like my dad and care for other people, and I want the strength of my mother, who helped us grow and mature and taught us right from wrong.”

Robert reminds his students they, as athletes, have to remember that others are watching their behaviors and actions. People are reading them, searching for something better, and looking to his students as examples. More important, young people look up to athletes, and Robert encourages his students to consider the kind of footprints they leave for others to follow.

“Robert has consistently kept me accountable and has become a man that I can talk to when I need help with something,” says student athlete Kyle Vaughn, who met Robert four years ago during a Bible study class. “He is very passionate about helping change the lives of young guys and girls for the better. He is full of energy and fun to be around. Wherever he goes, he is a light for Christ.”

A father of four and a well-rounded athlete, Robert is able to relate to student athletes and loves helping them find hope and direction. He understands their struggles and pressures to play well, and he tries to impress upon them that people will stop clapping and cheering for them some day, but their spiritual relationships last forever.

“I think about a superhero as someone who stands above the norm, but doesn’t want a pat on the back,” he says. “I see myself as someone who lives a life that exemplifies Christ and makes others gravitate toward me. I try to build trust with others, and I want them to know I care.”

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About the Central Arkansas Fellowship of Christian Athletes

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes is touching millions of lives... one heart at a time. Since 1954, FCA has been challenging coaches and athletes on the professional, college, high school, junior high, and youth levels to use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus Christ. FCA is the largest Christian sports organization in America and focuses on serving local communities by equipping, empowering, and encouraging people to make a difference for Christ. To learn more, visit www.ArkansasFCA.org.

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Your Comments:

Name: Carole Mafrige
Comment: I was involved with FCA as a student when I was in high school, back in '84 & '85. I'll never forget how it deepened friendships across several different sports teams. It's really neat to see someone recognizing the people that make such a big difference. I have never met Robert Upshaw or the team at RHS, but appreciate all your efforts. Thank you for bringing back some great memories!