UA All-American to speak at Crossover banquet

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 25, 2016

All-American football player Jeremiah Castille will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Crossover Ministry Appreciation banquet.

The event is set for Tues., April 19, at the Opp First Baptist Church Fellowship Center, at 6:30 p.m.

Jeremiah Castille will be the keynote speaker at April’s Crossover banquet. He is shown here with his wife, Jean.

Jeremiah Castille will be the keynote speaker at April’s Crossover banquet. He is shown here with his wife, Jean.

Seating for the event is limited.

Organizers say that individuals and businesses who would like to be a banquet sponsor can contact the Crossover Ministry or a board member.

Castille was awarded a football scholarship to attend the University of Alabama and played defensive back for the legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant from 1979-1982.

During his time at UA, he was on the 1979 National Championship team, had a record 16 interceptions and made the College Football All-America Team in 1982.

He and his wife, Jean, have six children – Tim, Simeon, Leah, Rachel, Caleb and Danielle – all of whom have attended UA.

Castille grew up in the housing projects of Columbus, Ga.

Alcohol and domestic abuse were common in his home.

It seemed as though Castille’s life would certainly be headed for trouble, considering his environment.

One day, he walked to Pleasant Grove church.

That walk changed his life and easily removed that mean, crazy person.

According to Castille, he entered in as a sinner and came out a saint.

“All because of the message he heard in that church,” Director Todd Sasser said. “It was a message he, like many people, long for – to know we’re loved.”

Castille continues to serve the UA football team as chaplain.

Sasser said they are excited about the banquet.

“This is another time when in the past, God has showed out and we expect no different this year,” he said. “Two years ago, we had Phil Waldrep, who was used by God to challenge donors to give $28,000 – the most we have ever raised. Then, last year God used Adam Crabb to minister in a special way.

“This year, we have a former University of Alabama football player who truly loves the Lord. This year’s goal is to raise $30,000,” he said. “That sounds like a lot and it is, to me anyway, but what is $30,000 if just one person comes to know the Lord? Now imagine if all 35-38 men and women in this class come to know Jesus as their Savior.”

Tickets to the banquet are $25.