Beyond the Protests: Faith & Football

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – During our Beyond the Protests series, every week we’re bringing you stories that address racial inequality in our community.

A Shreveport pastor is helping high school students deal with some challenging circumstances.

Earlier this month, members of the Green Oaks football team were given a chance at a new life with Christ.

“I mean I think as a community we see death all around us. We see so much negativity and I recognize that who I am today has a lot to do with the people that were in my life, actually spoke life into me when I felt lifeless.”

Pastor Brian Wilson was brought in weekly to help the players cope with the death of their teammate Minnion Jackson and deal with the grief from his untimely passing.

“I just talk to them about life. I’m from Shreveport as well, so I know what it’s like to grow up in a single parent home, although my father was involved in my life, so I understand some of the struggles they face in life.”

He says the focus was always on life lessons, not religion. Sharing lessons he hopes the players can take with them off the field.

“I pretty much build my message on three things. God, good people and goals.”

Wilson was surprised when the players decided it was time for them to be baptized, something he calls an overwhelming experience.

“I pray that it becomes a foundation for them for life.”

He’s taking his lessons for black youth beyond Green Oaks and just this week baptized several football players at Huntington High School.

“I don’t think we really reach the people sometime that really need to hear the word when we’re in these four walls.”

Pastor Wilson has been working with the coaches and the Fellowship of Christian Athlete groups at several schools. He is also speaking to players at Booker T. Washington and his next school will be Southwood.

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