SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Faith Family Church in central Sioux Falls had a speaker at a service Sunday morning that will catch long-time baseball fans’ attention.
If you were a Major League Baseball fan in the 80s or 90s, you’re probably familiar with the name Darryl Strawberry. Strawberry was in Sioux Falls to deliver a message as part of his ministry.
“It’s a church that’s filled with the spirit and moving to help people get saved,” Strawberry said. “I think if we’re not doing our job of helping folks get saved and we’re just having church in the church building and having people gather together, it doesn’t serve the purpose. I think the building can look nice, but I like to go to a church that’s really thriving and it’s all about helping people.”
Strawberry had a 17-year run in Major League Baseball, playing with the Mets, Dodgers, Giants and Yankees. But that’s just one part of his story.
“I ended up with a drug addiction,” Strawberry said. “Ended up in a Florida State Prison with a ‘T17169’ because of addiction and I ended up having cancer twice and losing my left kidney in my second surgery and there was God, meeting me right where I was at and healing me and restoring me to wholeness for him, which is really incredible, because God uses the broken pieces of our life and I think everybody thinks the success of who we are is what defines us, and it really doesn’t.”
Senior Pastor Michael Bang says he was honored to have Strawberry speak.
“Very special. It really is,” Bang said. “I mean, any time you can take a person, or bring a person in who really has a name, you can get community’s attention and so that those that may not know the Lord, but love baseball, will come and hear his life changing story and then surrender their lives to Christ.”
“I’m very thankful that pastors allowed him to come in,” Faith Family Church youth-adult leader Austin Horsley said. “Gave him the opportunity to share, and yeah, it’s definitely a really cool opportunity to hear someone else’s perspective. It doesn’t matter if you are famous, rich, or just normal. It doesn’t matter. Everyone has the same struggles.”
Strawberry is focused on his faith.
“It’s the good news that transform us,” he said. “And if we listen to it and we hear it from someone that God is using, it brings about a heart change and at the end of the day, that’s what we need as a country.”