WASHINGTON (BP)–“Mr. Redskin” Darrell Green has a reputation. He’s fast, he’s loyal and he’s got staying power. He’s also got a reputation as an absolute hands-down believer who’s not afraid to be obedient to Christ even if it means losing millions of dollars.
Green, now retired, wowed Washington fans for 19 years as the team’s cornerback. He was known best as the NFL’s fastest man and held that title for a decade, then regained it a year later with a 4.24 time in the 40 yard dash. He was a football Pro-Bowler seven times, played in the Super Bowl three times; had at least one interception in 18 consecutive seasons and 53 interceptions over the course of his career. At 41 he was the oldest player to hold his position.
Through it all Green has kept football secondary to his relationship with Jesus.
“I’ve done a lot but there’s nothing that makes me rejoice more than knowing that by His grace I could live to advance His kingdom and still today have a voice to the nation on some level as to what is good, right and godly,” he said. “Football is definitely behind me. I’ll never play it again. I’m to move on and see the glory of God wherever He places me, particularly in my family.”
Green grew up in Houston. When he was 10, his parents separated, and his mother and six siblings were forced to move to a housing project. A high school track coach provided support and encouragement for Green. But the real breakthrough came in college when he committed his life to Jesus. A preacher was giving a sermon on Pentecost from the book of Acts.
Though he said he was sincere in his commitment, Green said he was still kind of doing his own thing. He said he didn’t make God Lord of his life until he was about 24 as a result of loving discipleship from a friend.
Brett Fuller, now pastor of Green’s home church, Grace Covenant Church and founder of the African American Resource Ministry, a youth chaplain at the time, met Green, befriended him and began discipling him twice a week at 6 a.m. and once in the evenings.
As Green began following Christ closer he began to seek His will. One thing he felt that God wanted was for him to stay in Washington.
“God spoke to me and said, ‘Stay here,'” Green said. “When all the guys got the big dollars from free agency, God saw fit to keep me here.”
Green actually passed up millions of dollars by choosing to stay in Washington.
But God blessed him, he said, with the ability to play well for 19 consecutive years in Washington.
“There’s not a whole lot of magic about me, I just came into a right relationship with Jesus,” he said.
Green and his wife, Jewel, have been happily married for 18 years. Green said he’s always been faithful to his wife. The couple has three children, Joy, 13, Jared, 14, and Jarrell, 17. He said he also has a 21-year-old daughter, Crystal, that he had before he came into the Kingdom.
“Our whole life is about the kingdom, redemptive salvation and, by the way — I play football,” he said. “It’s an exciting time for me”
“My vision is to present the Gospel to the world — to the athlete, the businessman, to the governors, senators, truck drivers, executives, children, black, white, yellow, brown — to make disciples as we were created to do.
“The Bible says in John that the ‘Word was God, was with God, and the Word became flesh.’ There ought to be some fruit on the tree as Christians.”
Green and Jewell founded the Darrell Green Foundation in 1988 to help inner-city children.
The foundation helps families nurture and educate children through a godly, moral influence throughout their school years.
A parent or guardian brings in a child and signs a contract, agreeing to provide the foundation with the time necessary to impact the child. Darrell Green Foundation workers work with parents and schools, enriching a child’s education, helping parents nurture the child and providing a moral backbone through continuing after-school programs and summer camps and activities.
Green said that by the time the child is through, he or she is a young man or woman someone wouldn’t mind marrying, living next to or working with.
Green wants to obey, glorify God and truly make a difference.
“We have to impact our world and the world around us,” he said. “One waters, one plants, God gives the increase.”
Sharon Mager writes for Baptist LIFE. (BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: DARRELL GREEN.