McElveen leads students on diamond, in church

Published 1:00 am Saturday, August 29, 2015

Franklinton High School’s Mack McElveen has a passion for Christ.

“The word says that we are to glorify Christ in all that we do,” McElveen said. “That’s just what I’m passionate for. When I’m playing the game of baseball, you might see me sometimes have something in my back pocket, and it’s a Bible. It just reminds me of this is what I’m here for. I’m here to spread the gospel, to spread the good news of Jesus Christ and to just love what I’m doing while doing that.”

McElveen, who was a first-team all-district pitcher for the 8-4A league last season and honorable mention all state, is mainly a pitcher/third baseman for the Demons’ baseball team.
McElveen said his religion works great with baseball.

“We do encourage each other in the word,” he said. “Every one of them knows that they can come talk to me, that they can come talk to coach ‘T’ (Franklinton coach Jeff Tageant). Coach ‘T’ is a big supporter with our relationship with God.”

Off the field, McElveen is heavily involved with his church, First Baptist Church of Franklinton, and is in a youth group. The youth group includes grades 7-12.

He said his involvement in the church is a big thing and added that Youth Pastor Brother Cody Thomas and Pastor Brother Paul Watts are extremely supportive of them.

“We do things all of the time,” McElveen said. “The youth group went out into the community and painted dugouts. That was a big thing. Then we have Youth Sunday every year. That’s when the youth get together and they put on the actual service for the church.

“I preached at that and I talked with Brother Cody and he kind of revised my sermon and kind of counseled me with that a little bit. I love being with a body of believers that encourage me, that pray for me and do all these things for me and just help me grow in my relationship with Christ.”

McElveen is on the Youth Council Leadership Team for the youth group and McElveen said that what he does in the church helps him on the diamond.

“Basically, we come together with our youth minister and the youth committee at the church and we decide what kind of trips we might go on or how we’re going to go about the budget,” he said.

“That helps me on the baseball field when I have to make decisions or when other people come to me and ask, ‘Hey, what do I need to do here,’ or even when I have to go to somebody else, because a leader needs advice too. It’s kind of taught me that a leader still has to follow.”

At Franklinton High School, McElveen serves on the Student Council as the school’s chaplain.
McElveen is beginning his second year as the school’s chaplain. He said it came up last year. He said he was looking at all of the officer nominations of student government and saw chaplain on there. He was interested, so he put his name down, ran unopposed and got it.

“I didn’t really know what I was getting into, but as I kind of started progressing, it helped me grow in my relationship, it helped me come to love God more and to love others more and to reach out,” McElveen said.

As the chaplain, McElveen prays at every school function where students are involved. He also takes part in Wednesday morning devotions, which is a student-led devotion.

McElveen also says the prayer prior to every Franklinton High School football home game. He also leads in a moment of silence during the morning announcements, and if there is an assembly, he’ll pray to begin that assembly.

“It’s so fortunate that we’re at a school that we’re allowed to do that,” McElveen said. “I feel that God has put me there for a reason and I’m just going to continue to do that.”

After graduating high school, McElveen said he feels the call to ministry.

“I feel the call that I need to be in seminary,” McElveen said. “This is just where I feel God has kind of burdened my life and where he feels like I need to go.”

McElveen is the son of Stephen and Kelly McElveen of Franklinton.