ACAA took the opportunity to honor four distinguished men who greatly contributed to the founding and success of the Alabama Christian Education Association’s athletic program at the State Basketball Tournament in Oxford, Alabama February 21, 2014. Each of these men has lived exemplary lives of service in the Lord’s work.
Coach Larry Skinner served both as an administrator and basketball coach at Trinity Christian Academy in Oxford, Alabama for periods of time from 1975 to 1999. His team won the first ACEA State Basketball Championship and had won seven by the time he retired in 1999. Coach Skinner became a mentor to many young coaches and set a standard of excellence for all to follow. Larry commented that he saw “ACEA grow from a fledgling entity to a powerful force for Christian education in Alabama.”
An outstanding all-conference linebacker at Jacksonville State University Coach Scotty Marcum brought unique competitive instincts to the ACEA sports program in the early days. His background in athletics was sorely needed as we developed policy to guide us for years to come. His teams at Grace Christian Academy (Prattville) and Calvary Christian Academy (Montgomery) won championships in four different sports. Coach Marcum has remained faithful in his service to the Lord serving as the Executive Pastor of Highland Park Baptist church since 1998.
Like many in Christian education Ronnie Holmes has served in many capacities in his more than 40 years of ministry. Coach Holmes literally poured his life into the scores of young people he coached at Tuscaloosa Christian School in the late ‘70’s and early ‘80’s. He was greatly respected by his peers and focused on developing his athletes spiritually. His constant emphasis was a famous saying of Bob Jones, Sr., “Do right! Though the stars fall. Do right.” Ronnie said, “the ACEA brought schools together and created the structure we all needed to be successful in our education ministries.”
In almost 40 years of ministry few have offered the vision for the ACEA sports program to the degree of Mr. John Ward. John served as the Principal of Trinity Christian Academy in Oxford, Alabama from 1982 to 1997. His background in sports administration enhanced his role as Chairman of the Athletic Committee. His background and skills enabled him to lead in the development of athletic eligibility standards, add sports (including those for girls), and raised the standard for sports event management. The foundational work of John has served us well for many years.
A reception was held in their honor at the tournament and each of them was awarded a plaque in recognition of their contributions to the Alabama Christian Education Association.