JACKSON, Tenn. (BP) -- A newly married C. Ben Mitchell and his wife Nancy were living in Marietta, Ga., and looking for a church home. The search had frustrated them. One church would be "dead as a doornail," Mitchell said. "We'd go to another church, and the pastor would be running up and down the aisle, waving his white handkerchief, screaming and yelling."
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (BP) -- David Book didn't have a ticket to the hockey game on Feb. 22, 1980, that earned the description "Miracle on Ice." He lived half a mile from the arena, but it was the toughest ticket in town to get. So, like most Americans, Book and his family watched on TV as the U.S. men's hockey team stunned the mighty Russians in the semifinal of the 1980 Olympics. As the game ended, the Books stepped out onto their veranda and heard the cheers and chants from the arena in the distance: "USA! USA! USA!"
MIAMI (BP) -- A couple of Bobby McCreery's fellow evangelists climbed into a New Orleans taxi in 2013 when the city was hosting the Super Bowl. "Are you guys here for the game?" the cab driver asked. "Well, sort of," they replied. "We're here to tell people about Jesus."
MIAMI (BP) -- Stefen Wisniewski of the Kansas City Chiefs thought he had everything figured out during his teenage years in Pennsylvania. Though he was raised in a Christian home with godly parents and attended church regularly, he admits that he was more self-sufficient than he should have been. "I thought I was doing well in life," he told Baptist Press during Super Bowl Opening Night Jan. 27 at Marlins Park. "I thought I was successful, doing well in sports and academics and all that. And God really humbled me."
MIAMI (BP) -- The impact of Jordan Matthews on the San Francisco 49ers isn't something that can be measured by his football performance. The wide receiver has spent most of the season on the inactive list, playing in only three games and catching four passes. But that's OK with him -- because Matthews knows that the eternal impact he's having on the team is far more valuable than any contribution he can make on the field.
BATON ROUGE, La. (BP) -- You probably won't see LSU's Michael Smith on the field in Monday's College Football Playoff National Championship game against Clemson. Smith, a backup offensive lineman for LSU, has only seen playing time in one game this year. But that doesn't diminish the importance of his role on the team.
CARTERSVILLE, Georgia (BP) -- Their proximity to the University of Georgia -- about 100 miles away -- would naturally lend itself to Georgia football fandom. But for the members of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Cartersville, Ga., a transformation of sorts has taken place over the past couple of years. "It's funny, we live in the heart of Bulldog country, but all of a sudden we've had a big conversion of Bulldog fans to Clemson Tiger fans," said Richard Brown, the church's education and church growth pastor.
NASHVILLE (BP) -- As a boy, Rocco Grimaldi earned a nickname from his grandmother -- "Little David" -- based upon his similarity, in size and temperament, to the biblical David. It's a nickname well suited to Grimaldi, a right winger for the Nashville Predators, who for his entire life has always been the smallest guy on his team. At 5'6", 160 pounds, Grimaldi has to rely on more than just his physical attributes to be a successful hockey player.
HOUSTON (BP) -- For Anthony Rendon of the Washington Nationals, being a superstar baseball player comes with a lot of baggage that he can do without. He doesn't like doing interviews. He doesn't like being idolized. He'd prefer simply to do his job on the field and not have to deal with everything that comes along with it.
HOUSTON (BP) -- Lance Barksdale was a 13-year-old pitcher in a baseball game in Jackson, Miss., and he wasn't happy with the home plate umpire. The young pitcher thought pretty highly of himself, by Barksdale's own admission. But the balls and strikes weren't going his way. The teenage Barksdale pouted. He complained. He stomped around the mound. His moves attracted the attention -- and wrath -- of the man behind the plate.