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Auburn chaplain to speak at FDA Thursday

Auburn University team chaplain Rev. Chette Williams will make his way to Fort Dale Academy Thursday morning to offer some words of encouragement during a time when the community needs it the most.

Fort Dale Academy headmaster David Brantley said that, given the recent tragedy that has befallen the FDA community with the passing of 16-year-old Carter Boswell, Thursday’s event very nearly never happened.

“We did consider postponing it,” Brantley said. “And then we felt that what he would have to say would be a blessing to our students.  And we think that maybe instead of the speech being an untimely event, it is a most timely event.”

Williams has served as the Tigers’ team chaplain since 1999, and his responsibilities also include serving as the Auburn campus director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and the state director for Urban Ministries for the FCA.

Williams previously served as the former president of IMPACT Ministries in Spartanburg, S.C. from 1995-99, and as pastor of New Covenant Church in New Orleans, La. From 1993-95. In addition, he served as co-pastor of New Song Baptist Church in Mobile, Ala., from 1991-93.

He also was a three-year letterman for Auburn from 1982-1984.  During his playing career, he helped Auburn to victories in the Sugar Bowl, the Citrus Bowl and the Liberty Bowl.

Williams is married to (formerly) Lakeba Hibbler, and they have two daughters, Lauren Denise and Caitlyn Mae, and one son, Chette LaRue Jr.

Brantley said that the opportunity to have such a prominent speaker at Fort Dale was equally thanks to serendipity and the help of an old friend.

“John Gibbons, who is the state director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, has been my friend for a long time,” he said. “And John has been here with us on a number of occasions and he has brought some people in to speak.  Several weeks ago I mentioned to John about getting Chette in to speak to us, and so he worked on it.  Late last week, he called and said ‘how about next Thursday?’

“And I just think it’s maybe the will of God that it worked out.  He’s coming at 10:15 a.m., and many of our students are leaving shortly afterward to their close friend’s visitation and funeral.”

Brantley is confident that Williams’ words of encouragement will be helpful not only to his students, but to adults, as well.   As such, the event is open to the public, and not only students and parents within the FDA community.

“Anyone who is interested would be most welcome here,” Brantley said.

Williams will speak Thursday morning at Fort Dale’s gym beginning at 10:15.