One of the biggest stars in recent baseball history will be sharing at a luncheon this week how Jesus Christ shaped his life.

Baseball great Darryl Strawberry will be speaking at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) annual Bill Buckner FCA Luncheon.

The event is slated for Friday, April 27, at First Baptist Church of Jackson, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

About 700 people are expected to attend the gathering, which is the Mississippi FCA’s biggest fund-raiser.

“We are excited to have Darryl as our speaker as we celebrate the ministry of FCA,” said State Director Bill Buckley.

Strawberry joins a long list of notable athletes, coaches and others who have provided the keynote address.

Previous speakers include retired National Football League coach and former college football coaches Tommy Bowden and Bill Curry.

Baseball fans will likely be pleased with this year’s guest, citing the program’s traditional football flare.

“We tend to go in the football direction,” said Event Coordinator Christy Soloveichik. “This year we wanted to do something different.” 

Strawberry was recommended by Mitchell Williams, a fellow FCA staffer, who had heard the former Jackson Mets right fielder speak at an event in south Mississippi.

‘Mitchell Williams had heard him speak .. and reached out to him,” Soloveichik said.

Strawberry has experienced the highs and lows of baseball.

During his career, he was an eight-time Major League Baseball All-Star and a four-time World Series Champion.

Amid his success, Strawberry battled with drug and sex addition, and was suspended for 140 games during the 1999 season after soliciting sex from an undercover police officer, according to a December 21, 2017 article in the New York Post.

Since then, Strawberry has become a born again Christian and ordained minister who now reaches out to others to share the Gospel. He also runs two drug treatment centers in Florida and has reached out to other athletes experiencing similar problems, the New York Post reports.

“Darryl’s purpose and passion is serving the Lord Jesus Christ by speaking a message of hope and helping others transform their lives,” according to the FCA release.

Funds raised from the event will benefit FCA ministries across the state, said

Today, Mississippi FCA has 42 staff members and reaches more than 25,000 Mississippi athletes and coaches each week.

The event is named after former State Director Bill Buckner, who passed away in 2014. Buckner led the organization for 27 years.

For more information, contact Soloveichik at (601) 856-3224, or log on to mississippifca.org.


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