Eastern Nazarene College welcomed LaMorris Crawford, Cincinnati Bengals team chaplain, to speak in chapel last week. Crawford told his story of growing up among some of the toughest living conditions in America.

He shared his testimony and his discovery of God in his late teen years, which changed the outcome of his entire life. His message was based on the idea that, despite not having grown up in a Christian home, God has a plan for everyone. Crawford stated that he is now being used in a very special way, and that, given the circumstances many of us are blessed to be born into, we have a plan just as special as his if we seek God.

LaMorris Crawford was born in the south side of Chicago and struggled with identity from a young age. His mother was shot and killed when he was only 17, and he never knew who his father was. His grandmother raised him and his cousins in a rough part of town.

As a child, Crawford was told by teachers that he would have no future. From a young age, he was living a life centered around sex, drugs, alcohol, gangs, and violence. He also spoke about what was in the midst of this, the only positive component of his life – basketball. He struggled with grades but excelled on the court. His love for basketball granted him attention and popularity, but that still did not fill the void he had in his life. When Crawford was 19, his cousin, a notorious gang leader, found Jesus and shared the good news with him.

Ever since that day, Crawford has been dedicating his life to expand God’s kingdom. He and his wife currently serve as the official NFL team chaplains for the Cincinnati Bengals, and they continue to share their inspirational testimonies with the world.