Gary Barton, Panhandle Director
Having been raised in Lubbock, Texas, Gary grew up playing all sports. He played some football, basketball, and golf in high school, hearing about FCA but not being involved. After graduating from Lubbock Monterey, he attended Texas Tech and graduated in 1978 with a Finance degree.
After moving to Amarillo in 1978, he met his wife Lynn and was married in 1980. Gary felt God's call on his heart and gave his life to Christ in 1981. They joined a local church that same year and, in 1984, Barton felt God call, once again, into full-time ministry. He wasn't sure what God had in mind for him, but he was available and actually talked to a couple of churches about open positions, but nothing worked out.
In 1996, Gary attended the FCA Victory Banquet, meeting Coach Tom Landry and hearing Coach talk about his lifetime involvement with this ministry called FCA. He started getting involved with other FCA activities, primarily the Golf Marathon, which was also an FCA fund raising event. Gary joined the Panhandle FCA Leadership Board in 1998; became Leadership Board Chairman in 2002; and felt God calling him to become the Area Director in 2007. As he has said many times, “As Director, my job is a whole lot harder than I thought it would be, but it’s also a whole lot more rewarding than I ever imaged!”
Gary and Lynn, a school teacher, have lived in Amarillo since 1980, raising two boys, Nicolas and Jonathan. Nicolas, his wife Becca, and their son Brooks live in Aubrey, TX. They have a granddaughter Camryn, who lives outside of Seattle, WA. Jonathan currently lives in Cedar Park, TX.
Dr. Aaron Hunt, Athletic Chaplain & Character Coach, WTAMU
Aaron Hunt took over the FCA Chaplaincy for the WTAMU Athletic Department in 2016. He is excited and grateful for the opportunity to serve Christ by ministering to coaches, student athletes and the WT community.
Aaron graduated from New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell and played baseball, and football. After high school, he graduated from TTU with a degree in Political Science and Spanish in 2001, while having an intent to teach. His first teaching and coaching job started in 2002 at Plainview HS where he taught Spanish and coached freshmen football and baseball. He then moved to Levelland HS where he again taught Spanish and coached JV and varsity football, basketball, and baseball. In 2005, they moved to Canyon when he taught 8th grade US history and coached football, basketball, and track at Bowie MS in Amarillo ISD.
In 2006, Hunt finished his Master’s degree from WTAMU in Educational Leadership and soon after took an assistant principal position at Westover JH. While at Westover, Aaron finished his coursework for a doctorate degree in Administrative Leadership for Teaching and Learning and took a faculty position at WTAMU in 2012. He finished his doctorate in 2015 from Walden University and later that same year he resigned from WT to begin an education consulting company.
Hunt had assisted on the WT FCA board for two years when he was asked if he would serve. After much prayer, conversations with friends, and scripture reading he answered the call to join the FCA ministry. His ministry experiences include serving as a youth minister in Bitburg, Germany in 1999, and annually going on short term international mission trips building schools and teacher relationships in the Central American jungle.
Aaron and his wife Emily have been married since 2001. They have five school-aged children and are foster/adoptive parents. He enjoys exercise through weights, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and golf. Aaron loves Jesus more than anything, his wife more than himself (most of the time), his kids by God’s grace, and his friends fiercely. Please feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kristen Krissel, Field Representative
Kristen was born and raised in Amarillo, Texas. She played basketball and ran cross country and track at Randall High School, and went on to run cross country at Angelo State University before returning and finishing her running career at WTAMU. After graduation, Kristen pursued an education career as a science teacher and coach. Of her 17 years in teaching, 14 years were here in Amarillo at Crockett Middle School.
Kristen was introduced to FCA in high school where she was actively involved in her FCA huddle, and continued her involvement as an FCA huddle leader while teaching and coaching. Her recent call to FCA was a God-given fit, giving Kristen more time to spend at home with her four daughters while continuing to work with education and youth.
She has a deep respect for coaches. "I became a coach because I was loved and inspired by a coach. Coaches impact and change lives. They have the power to change a community - one athlete at a time."
Kristen feels called to encourage and support women coaches, female athletes, and wives of coaches. "A female coach's job is really tough, especially if you're married. It requires a lot of time, dedication, and heart on top of her daily commitments to being a teacher, wife, and Mom. The adversities that adolescents face in their daily walks are often overwhelming. And, as I well know, being a coach's wife is not always an easy task. I want to build relationships with these women in order that I might encourage them in their daily faith walk. I want the opportunity to share the love of Jesus and help these women grow in their spiritual journey."
Kristen lives in Amarillo with her husband Ben, who is a teacher and coach. They have four beautiful daughters: Kinsley, Madyson, Cambree, and Shaylie.
Ben Krissel, Field Representative
Ben was born and raised in Longmont, Colorado, a small suburb north of Boulder. He grew up playing baseball, basketball, and football. After graduating from Longmont Christian School in 2001, he pursued his love of sports at Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, Texas. He spent two years there, then transferred to West Texas A&M University in Canyon. After completing his bachelor’s degree at WT, Ben took a job teaching Physical Education/Teen Leadership and coaching football, basketball, and track at Crockett Middle School in Amarillo, TX. He met his wife, Kristen, at Crockett MS, where she was teaching and coaching. Ben spent 11 years as a part of the Crockett family, before joining FCA in August of 2017.
During college, Ben spent two summers working at T Bar M Sports Camp in New Braunfels, TX. Since that time, he has had a desire and calling to be part of a full-time sports ministry. Once hired at Crockett MS, he led the FCA huddle, along with Kristen for those eleven years, and it was his favorite part of being a coach. Ben loves encouraging coaches and athletes to use their abilities to glorify God and to use their platform to reach the world for Christ.
Ben, Kristen and their four girls attend and serve at Trinity Fellowship Church in Amarillo. When he’s not working, he enjoys hanging out with family, hunting when he gets a chance, and playing sports.