Madison Bartley

Madison and I are new friends. We share the same (beautiful) Crockett Athletic facility, and my teammate, Sydney, is her roommate! Madison has been a key player for the Belmont Women’s Basketball team and she is making waves off the court in her pursuit to lead others to Christ.

Here is her story.

Preacher’s Kid

Growing up as a daughter of a preacher, Madison’s identity quickly became consumed with the “preacher’s kid” title given to her by her peers. She tried her best to be there for others, take on leadership when able, and was the “loving mom” of her high school team.

Once I grew in my faith, I understood the impact I could make as a “PK”. I was able to reach out to others with my faith and taking the “PK” title and using it to my strength.

Madison believes that while she was tabbed with the “PK” title, she grew to realize the impact she could have on others – that the “PK” title opened up a door for her to talk about Christ.

Choosing Belmont

Freshman year of high school, she received her first offer from a smaller school near home. This sparked her drive to work harder with the goal of receiving bigger and better offers.

The phones were hot! Madison had plenty of offers rolling in quickly after that.

Going through that process and taking on the responsibility to try to find the right pick, the right coaches, the right team, and even the right culture… I picked a school because of the culture and the girls I was able to be around, to be in Nashville, and grow my faith came with Belmont more than any other school.

With her parents behind her back, they encouraged her to find a school where she could make connections and grow in her faith. They advised Madison to pray about it – and she did. She was reminded that she doesn’t write her own journey, but that her journey was already written by God.

You don’t write your own journey. You didn’t say “Hey I’m Madison, I’m born this day.” God did that, God has a journey for you, and when you pray, He is going to give you the right choice and mindset that you need to have.

After lots of prayer & consideration, Madison was down to two schools. For six months, she prayed, contemplated, and compared the schools. After a visit to her second choice, it was made crystal clear that Belmont was the right pick.

All around, Belmont was the best choice for me. It clearly was what God had in store for me.


First, Madison found her church, The Belonging. She went with a friend, just to try it out, and she fell in love. She spent her summer here and continued attending service and The Belonging is still her home church today.

Second, she is doing her best to bring others to Christ. Over the years, she has been consistently asking teammates and friends to come to church with her.

God called us to reach out to other people to get them to follow Him. Not for us to just follow Him and stay on our path and hope that everyone else gets saved.

Campus Connections

Especially after last season’s post-season run, Belmont Women’s Basketball players are more of a familiar face around campus. Maybe the height and athletic gear gives it away, but regardless, their fan base has grown.

Head Coach, Bart Brooks has a rule for the entire program: No AirPods when walking around campus. The reasoning behind it? Make connections and talk to those around you.

We don’t have a big following. We had a big following on the lawn, but when we look at our games and there are sometimes five people there, something has to change. The goal is to invite others out to a game and make others feel welcome.

Coach Bart and Madison are completely correct. By getting more involved on campus, creating relationships and speaking with others in class, it could be the extra boost of encouragement that they needed to come to that night’s game. With women’s sports on the rise at Belmont, it’s time that the stands reflected the true following of the teams.

You have to build that relationship in a small way, in hopes that it will grow to a bigger friendship where you can be there for them, and in my point of view, help from a faith aspect.

Madison’s Message

Church might look scary. But God isn’t here to judge you, He is here to help you through it. You can trust Him and He is like a friend, brother or dad.

You can sit on your bed and look up and have a conversation with Him like He is a friend.

Jesus will always be there no matter how many hiccups or how many things go wrong in their life. God will always be there by your side even if you dont know it. Something will happen & God will be there. God is a friend, He is always going to be there.

This season, Madison is playing for her late grandma who is one of the biggest role models in her life. No matter the circumstances, Madison’s grandma was putting her faith and the church first.

She didn’t care who you were, She didn’t care what your problems were. She didn’t care about your background. She cared that she could pray for you and that you knew she would pray for you.

Beyond The Net, I am a Light, I am a Believer, I am Saved