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Houston recalls 12-year-old convert in stance against Busch sponsorship

OKLAHOMA CITY (BP)–When Jimmy Houston heard the news that the BASS pro fishing circuit would require its anglers to promote Busch beer on boats and clothing apparel during official events, he thought of the 12-year-old boy he’d led to Christ last spring.

First Southern Baptist Church in Keys, Okla. — Houston’s home church — helped sponsor a youth rally featuring Christian musicians Audio Adrenaline, with the young man among dozens responding to an invitation to accept Christ.

After Houston prayed with the boy, he asked the famed fisherman for a favor.

“Will you talk to my dad about his drinking problem?”

Reluctantly, Houston agreed.

The boy’s dad, a Vietnam veteran, was receptive but said he didn’t have a drinking problem.

Houston told him, “If what you’re telling me is true, it doesn’t sound to me like you have a drinking problem, either. However, if your son thinks it’s a problem, then it’s a problem.”

Houston asked the man if he wished for his son to drink and the man replied he did not.

“Well, sir, he’s going to do what you do,” Houston told him.

“I’ve got grandsons, 13 and 16, and a 5-year-old granddaughter,” Houston said. “But the first thing that popped into my mind when I heard [about the Busch sponsorship] was that little boy.”

In addition to fishing, Houston has several retail outlets that bear his name — including one on Lake Tenkiller in eastern Oklahoma.

“Someone asked me about being ineligible for the $100,000 Angler of the Year prize and I told them that it already costs me $50,000 a year in pure profit not to sell beer at my store near Tenkiller.”

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  • Jerry Pierce