I grew up in Alabama going to church mostly every Sunday, but I sadly don’t remember a lot about it. When I was in the 5th grade, I went through a confirmation class. At the end of the class, you were made a church member. I don’t remember anything about accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior being taught. But, I always was “a good little girl,” and got in trouble for things like not making my bed or talking back. So, I never really thought anything about that relationship I was missing.
My sophomore year in high school I attended a youth group on Wednesday nights. It was there that I first remember hearing a speaker teach on the need to accept Christ as your personal Savior and asking Him to forgive your sins. I did so that night! I really started growing in the Word and my Faith my senior year in high school when I joined a new church that really taught the Word of God. After graduation I left to attend The University of Tennessee on full athletic scholarship in volleyball. As you can imagine, there are not a lot of people that leave the state of Alabama to attend college in Tennessee! I didn’t know anyone!
Immediately I looked for a Christian place or group on campus. On my own power I was very unsuccessful, but felt it was a very needed thing for me. Although I had joined a local church, my traveling schedule made it hard to get involved or even attend on a regular basis. My assistant coach at the time was a Christian and told the Athletes in Action staff I might be interested in Campus Crusade for Christ. She called me and of course that was exactly for what I had been searching. I immediately started attending Campus Crusade meetings and joined the Athletes in Action Bible Study.
Over that summer I went to Athletes in Action’s summer camp in Colorado where I learned new concepts of playing for the Lord, not for your own glory or scholarship! I eventually grew into a leader in the ministry, and upon graduation my husband, whom I had met through AIA, and I looked for guidance in choosing a career. Athletes in Action seemed the perfect fit. We loved the impact it had on people of every race, every nation, and every tongue. It seemed everyone could and did relate to sports. My husband still competed and therefore made the decision somewhat easy. We joined staff in 1994 and now live in Cincinnati, Ohio, where we work with AIA.