Speakers and Entertainment
Born on November 18, 1985, Allyson Felix grew up in Los Angeles, California. While her family had a background in sprinting, she did not try out for the track team until her ninth-grade year at Los Angeles Baptist High School in North Hills.
At her first practice Coach Jonathon Patton asked her to run 40 meters and thought he must have wrongly measured the distance when he saw Allyson’s time. He re-measured and asked her to run again, which she did—with the same results. Just ten weeks after that tryout, Allyson was racing at the California State Finals.
Allyson went on to accomplish impressive feats over her high school career. She broke Marion Jones’ high school 200-meter record by running 22.51 seconds at the Mt. San Antonio College Relays in April of 2003. Just weeks later, Felix turned in an even more impressive performance when she competed in the Banamex Grand Prix in Mexico City’s Olympic Stadium and ran a blazing 22.11-second 200-meter race, which was a new world record in the under-20 age category.
Felix emerged as the new American female sprinter to watch and never looked back, winning three gold medals in the 2012 London Olympic Games, and two gold medals and a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Under the coaching of Bob Kersee, she has won a total of 9 Olympic medals and 16 World Championships, making her the most decorated track and field Olympian in history.
Alexander James, 29, was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles. Before coming to know Christ, he led a life of using sin to combat loneliness, abandonment issues concerning his father, and lack of direction. Then he was saved by Jesus Christ’s grace, which changed everything about Alexander. Today, God’s love strengthens him to pursue ministry in his role as youth minister at First Missionary Church. He is married and is a poet of the gospel, and is committed to helping others using the gifts God gave him to build people, become radical for Jesus.