Former NFL Tight End Talks Journey from Football to Ministry
By Movieguide® Contributor
Former NFL tight end Derek Carrier opened up about his journey from football to ministry, as he now serves as an assistant pastor at Cornerstone Chapel in Washington, D.C.
Sports Spectrum podcast host Jason Romano asked Carrier when he realized ministry was his next step.
“In 2015, I’m here with the Redskins, now the Commanders, and so it was about a couple weeks after I had been traded, my wife and I had just recently been married,” Carrier began. “So, one of the first things that we did as a couple is we want to make sure we’re getting plugged in with a church and so you know we asked around on the team and where’s everyone going to church, and a lot of guys were saying, Cornerstone Chapel in Leesburg.”
“A couple weeks after us getting to Virginia, getting settled in, finding a church, I meet with the pastor, and he’s like, ‘I know this might seem like it’s a little out of nowhere, but do you feel like the Lord’s got a calling in your life in ministry?’ This is 2015, and I’m laughing now because, at the time, I’m like, ‘Oh, not really.’ I mean that was 2015. My rookie year was 2012, so you know I’m 3-4 years in the league,” he said. “For me, having just surrendered my life about a little over a year previously, everything still kind of fresh, I’m like, OK, let’s see how like the Lord’s gonna move in my life.”
“Then, in 2019, we specifically started having conversations,” he expressed. “I called Peter, and I was like, ‘I don’t know if you remember this conversation we had in 2015 when you asked me if I had felt like the Lord’s calling in the ministry, but now I’m starting to feel it.’ The enjoyment and everything that I had from that [football] was slowly being replaced by just a hunger for God’s word for preparing Bible studies for ministering to the guys at the facility, so I was always looking for an opportunity.”
Ministry isn’t anything new for Carrier, though. He shared with Tauren Wells, “My grandpa was a pastor. My uncle was a pastor. My other grandpa was a deacon. My dad was a deacon. My mom was a worship leader…I had missionaries as cousins.”
When it was time for the tight end to hang up his cleats for the final time, he wrote, “It is with great joy and excitement that I can say after 10 incredible years playing in the NFL that it is time for me to call it a career. So much has changed over this past decade. Dora and I got married, (we) have three amazing kids, and enough friendships and memories to last a lifetime.”
“I am so thankful for all of my family and friends as well,” he continued. “Your love and support throughout the years has been incredible. From team to team you have all been the best support system I could ever ask for. Looking back over my career I can certainly see the providential hand of God guiding me and working in my life.”
“I have felt the Lord’s calling over the last several years and have absolute peace knowing now is the time to step into my next role,” he expressed. “I can’t stress enough how much everyone’s love and support has meant over the last 10 years and how thankful I am to the Lord for allowing me to play a game I love for as long as I have. As much as I will miss the roar of 70,000 screaming fans, I cannot wait for the work I have been called to next.”
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