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Jacob Compton Set for Leap of Faith

by Brad Muller

South Carolina baseball’s Jacob Compton is looking to make an impact beyond the baseball diamond. Despite not playing in any games for the Gamecocks this year due to a back injury, the junior first baseman is driven by his religious faith and is headed to Ethiopia this summer on a mission trip through Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Compton and about a dozen others will make the trip July 7-19.

“It’s a two-week mission trip, and I’m very excited about it,” Compton said. “I’m excited to see what God is going to do over there and in my own heart as well. There will be around twelve of us on the trip from different schools. When you take a step of faith like this overseas, it is a little scary, but at the end of the day, when you do something like this and see what God will do in your own heart and in their hearts, it’s just amazing.

“I hope to go there and pour into the leaders and share any knowledge that I have come to know in my heart so that they can influence the people on their various teams and groups. We’ll work a few camps and sports clinics. We’ll do a few camps with Compassion International (an American child sponsorship and Christian humanitarian aid organization) as well working with a lot of kids.”

A native of Olive Branch, Mississippi, Compton took a deeper dive into his faith during high school, and he has a strong desire to consistently make his faith a big part of his life.

“That’s what I live for; to help people know the true meaning of life and their true purpose.”
Jacob Compton  . 

“Jesus changed my life my junior year of high school,” Compton said. “Jesus’ last words on earth were the great commission, ‘go and make disciples of all nations.’ There’s a verse in Romans that basically asks, how will people come to know Christ if they have no one to share it with them? That’s what I live for; to help people know the true meaning of life and their true purpose.

“Throughout my career, there have been times when I got nervous about sharing my faith, but at the end of the day I know that the Holy Spirit will work through us as a group. I’m just trusting in God.”

Compton started his career at Northeast Mississippi Community College and then played one season at Memphis where he batted .291 and led the team with 11 home runs and 56 RBI. He transferred to South Carolina this year but did not play due to an injury. He became involved with FCA this past year and will take on a leadership role with the group in Columbia next year. The trip to Ethiopia was organized by the Tennessee FCA. Carrying his faith from each campus can be challenging in today’s world, but Compton doesn’t waiver from his beliefs.

“There are times when it’s hard, but at the end of the day, it’s the truth,” Compton said. “I know what it’s done for me and in my own heart, and I want all these guys that I’m around with every day to have that. The impact that He has had in my life is real and true, and I want that for them and to experience that same joy.”

Having gone on mission trips before, Compton is prepared to be out of his comfort zone when it comes to living conditions.

“My senior year of high school, I went to El Salvador for my first mission trip,” Compton said. “It had a really big impact on my life, and that’s why I want to keep fulfilling that calling to go on missions and make disciples.

“There won’t be hardly any air conditioning or hot water for showers, and we’ll be at a few sites where we’ll be camping out in tents. It will be different for sure, but we’re on a mission.”