Our reason for existence
transform the world through biblical teaching
In a world that is divided on so many issues, we find a way to come together for sports. In this arena, God has given us the ticket that transforms the way we look at life. Through this series, everyone will learn lessons about faith, courage, hope and many other biblical themes through these athletes.
“What if students became just as knowledgeable about biblical context and characters as they are about contemporary athletes?”
Richard Hemphill, Jr.
Why are you Transforming Biblical Characters into Athletes?
As a student minister for those three years, I struggled with midweek attendance. Over the course of the year, attendance often fluctuated depending on what sport season we were in. Understanding the need and positive influence sports have on students of all ages, I refused to get discouraged.
One Sunday, recognizing the accomplishments of our students, I realized that more than half of our students not only played sports but excelled at them. These student athletes excelled both on and off the field. How could I not pursue a series that does the same?
Perspective is Important
Listening to students as young as eight and nine years old talk about their upcoming game was one thing. To hear students articulate their stance on professional athletes was another. What if students became just as knowledgeable about biblical context and characters as they are about contemporary athletes? What if homes and barbershops were filled with discussions about the greatness of those in the Hall of Faith?
This is what the Transform the Game Series is all about. Each story is written to be entertaining, educational and transforming in their own right. True to the movement and flow of the biblical narrative, I have detailed stories where you will learn biblical knowledge and apply the Truth. This is transforming with the world, family, church and athletic team in mind.
RICHARD HEMPHILL, JR
Before you can transform the game, God has to transform you. That is exactly what happened to me. Many people questioned why I would leave the sunshine state, Florida, and take my talents (ha ha) to North Carolina to pursue my Master’s of Divinity at Gardner-Webb University. Well, the truth is, I had no idea neither.
It was there, however, where God began to transform me into the leader you see today. As a student minister at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Shelby, NC, I had the privilege of walking with a group of students for three years. In addition to leading the familiar Wednesday bible study or Sunday morning group, I was charged one year with giving weekly devotionals to the area football teams before their games.
I was ecstatic, pumped and nervous to say the least.Talking to my wife, Irmanie Hemphill about the opportunity, we both discussed how we wanted these devotionals to be different. We wanted them to be life changing. We wanted them to be TRANSFORMING. Unaware of God’s hand in this, I took full advantage of the opportunity to shape biblical messages about competition, effort and teamwork for those with one goal in mind, to win.
One year later, on an evening jog, it HIT ME! Why don’t I take the biblical characters I taught and preached about for three years and place their narratives, themes and lessons in a sport’s context? Like for real for real, Let’s get it. With the birth of my son, Richard III and what the series would mean for him growing up, I realized this was bigger than me. It was our footprint in the earth.
After a failed attempt at collegiate level basketball and eight years of theological training and education, God gave me the only series where biblical characters do not part red seas, walk on water or even sleep with lions. Each character has joined the Dugout where they strive for the crown that has been promised. Rushing for a thousand yards, winning the slam dunk contest, playing outfield, performing a scissors kick or going twelve rounds in a heavy-weight match is nice.
These athletes, however, are focused on eternity and the battles you do not see. Finally, a series where faith and life lessons are covered in the games we love so much through The Dugout.
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"We can Transform the Game." - Richard Hemphill Jr.