ST. LOUIS (BP)–For St. Louis Cardinal right fielder J.D. Drew sharing his faith among his teammates over a long baseball season means lifestyle evangelism.
Now in his fourth full year in the major leagues, the understated Drew feels more comfortable sharing his faith but prefers to live out his commitment to Christ as a testimony to his lost teammates.
“I have never been the life-of-the-party kind of guy,” said Drew, a Southern Baptist. “I try not to be stand-offish but I do try to live my life in obedience to Christ so when my teammates look at me they see Christ.
“I feel the important thing is to live your life with integrity,” he added. “There are some guys that do things that I wouldn’t do but I am not going to be all over them telling them they shouldn’t be doing those things. Then when they have questions about why I do the things I do I can share with them Jesus.”
“Once I had a guy come knocking on my door at four in the morning and he said, ‘Hey man what is your gig?’ and with that I was able to share Christ,” Drew said. “My first couple of years in the big leagues I felt it was important for my teammates to know me and know what I was about so I didn’t joke around with them as much as I do now. I just didn’t want them to take something the wrong way and then say, ‘Hey man I thought you where a Christian.'”
Even though he was raised in a Christian home and attended all the services at Bethany Baptist Church in Hahira, Ga., Drew didn’t become a Christian until he was 16 when a friend of his Sunday school teacher made the young Drew the focus point of his lesson.
“I never was a real rebellious person and in my hometown I was kind of poplar in school but mostly it was just me and my two brothers play ball all the time,” Drew said. “Before I got saved on August 2, 1992 my parents taught me the Bible and we always went to church but one day my Sunday school teacher brought his friend with him to teach Sunday school.
“I don’t remember exactly why he was there but he seemed to point me out and wanted to know what I was waiting for,” Drew recounted. “I knew the gospel. I knew that Christ died for my sins but until then I never had made a commitment and I did that day.”
One of the biggest influences in Drew’s life was the chapel leader at Florida State University. During his two years as a Seminole, Drew was a two-time All-American and a finalist for College Player-of-the-Year award but it was the mentoring of Clint Pervis that impacted Drew the most.
“Clint is just a man of God and did a great job of teaching the Bible,” said Drew. “I went to the First Baptist Church in Tallahassee but the Bible studies with Clint really deepened my faith.
“God has blessed me with the ability to play major league baseball for one of the best teams,” said Drew, who is currently hitting .343 for the Central Division-leading Cardinals of the National League. “I have a lot of good Christian teammates and we all are trying to honor Christ by living out our faith by having a good testimony by living in obedience to Christ.”