A new beginning for NFL Player Demario Davis

Criminal charges threatened to destroy Demario Davis' future. But even the risk of losing his college scholarship didn’t stop Demario from making damaging choices.

Through God’s grace and a persistent CO chaplain, he found unexpected freedom and a new life in Christ. Today, Demario is sharing the gospel as an NFL player. 

Demario shares his story:

“The first man who really showed the love of Christ—who showed me what the love of our Heavenly Father looks like—was my chaplain at Arkansas State, Chuck McElroy. He was the one who led me to Christ and continued to disciple me. The way Chuck ran his household, loved his wife and kids, and lived his life for the glory of God was unlike anything I had seen or experienced before.

Immediately I knew Chuck was different.

Being from the south, I was used to experiencing racism. Chuck was the first white man to want to invest in me, bring me (and my friends) into his home for dinner, and take me out to lunch just to spend time with me. He was such a light to me; witnessing his actions and lifestyle changed my life, making me want to emulate that to others. He had other men in his life that poured into him and held him accountable, he had a wife and children who loved Jesus, and even loved me.

This was all so very different from the world I knew, but I wanted to have it.”

Chuck gave me encouragement and told me that God is able to take out my heart of stone and give me a new heart. (Ezekiel 36:26 says. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”) That truth rocked me.

That night I went home and I prayed to God for a new heart.

I thought everything would change right away then and It didn’t, I got angry about that! That January I went to a Campus Outreach conference and that was the first time that I heard praise and worship music.I didn’t understand it at first, but after a few days the words on the screen penetrated my heart and it all started to make sense to me.”

After that I wanted to share this new life with all my friends and family to show them that what happened to me could happen to them.

I wanted to break the myth that it’s not based on what you do that gets you to God but it’s what God has done for you that sets you free.

Soon my mom, my cousins, and my friends came to Christ as well. God has been growing me and fueling my desire to live for Him ever since.”

Bennett Rolan