‘From a pit to a pulpit’

Former MLB player turns life around with prayer

Profit and Loss Association celebrated National Day of Prayer Thursday at the Lake Charles Civic Center with special guest Darryl Strawberry, a former Major League Baseball player.

In line with the 2019 national theme “Pray for America-Love One Another,” Strawberry attributed his 16 years of sobriety and stability to his devotion to God.

“I had it all but it just made me a baseball player. I didn’t become a man until I met Jesus Christ,” he said.

In the highest points of his career, Strawberry said he found himself with a constant sense of emptiness that led to a life of poor decisions that ultimately cost him marriages, money and landed him in jail.

“I was a heathen, a liar, a cheater … I didn’t find (fulfilment) in being rich,” he said. “I didn’t find it in being famous or hitting home runs.”

He urged listeners to take seriously the day’s call to pray saying, “don’t just make it a day of prayer; prayer is every day.”

He added that his mother’s prayers were a major factor in turning his life around.

“Mother prayed every day for me to be changed by God,” he said. “I’m so grateful Mama wasn’t concerned about my major league status. Mama was more concerned with me being saved than being successful.”

He said ego played a large factor in the poor decisions he made throughout his time as a baseball player.

“I hurt two wives and six kids because my ego was so big.”

The same ego, he said, hindered him from devoting his life to Christ initially.

“Jesus was never concerned with trophies, home runs and championships. He was concerned was all going to be well with my soul.”

Now an ordained minister, Strawberry said his life’s mission is to share the same message of grace through his ministry and philanthropic pursuits.

“God found me 16 years ago in a drug addiction, smoking crack, shooting dope, in a pit, and He brought me from a pit to a pulpit,” he said.

””

Former Major League Baseball player Darryl Strawberry speaks during Thursday’s National Day of Prayer gathering in the Lake Charles Civic Center.

Rick Hickman

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