BJ Swoager Is Redeemed
By Terri Simmons
The 700 Club
BJ Swoager was crazy about baseball. When his dad signed him up for his first little league, he met a young friend who loved the game just as much as he did.
“I met this one guy and we hit it off from the start,” BJ tells The 700 Club. “We were baseball buddies. I can remember going over to his house, and one night he popped in a video. The movies we were watching had a lot of murder in them, killing, a lot of death, and a lot of sex scenes. I was seeing a lot of vivid images that a five-year-old probably shouldn’t see or anybody shouldn’t see. In that moment, something started to trigger inside of me.
“In kindergarten, I started to develop feelings I couldn’t control. Every day, I could remember laying there when it was nap time, and I wanted to take this little girl in a pink dress to the bathroom. All I could do was think about repeating what I saw in those videos. I thought this is what it is to be close to someone, to have an intimate relationship, a sexual relationship.”
Although BJ grew up in a loving family, he never felt accepted by kids his age. In middle school, his class mates teased him about his weight. He yearned for love and spent years searching for ways to fill the void he felt inside.
“After the age of 16, I was driven by sex, alcohol and drugs. I was smoking cigarettes, smoking pot. I got addicted to pornography – any kind, any shape form or fashion. I can remember having hundreds of Penthouse, Playboy magazines stashed under my bed. I was never satisfied. It was like I was trying to fill this void I had inside of me. I was trying to find love in all the wrong places. I lost who I was for so many years.”
After high school, BJ played baseball for a Division One junior college in Allie City, Alabama. His goal was to break every baseball record at the school.
“I had a batting average of 361. I hit 30 homeruns and had 125 RBIs. I led the state in Division One Juco in homeruns and RBIs two years in a row.”
Major League scouts were watching BJ. He had two stellar seasons of baseball, but his abuse of alcohol and drugs threatened his baseball career. After a sudden knee injury, BJ turned to what he knew best.
He says, “It was girl after girl and drink after drink. I just became an alcoholic. That’s what consumed me, the life of just loneliness. I was so lonely. I tried to fill my life with alcohol; it didn’t work. I tried to fill the voids with lust and pornography; it didn’t work. I tried everything the world had to offer and none of it worked. I was so depressed. I was so mad at everything around me. Now my baseball career has been taken from me, because I tear up my knee.”
He met a friend who invited him to a Tuesday night Bible study.
“I walked into a guy’s basement where there are about four to seven guys worshipping. This guy walks up to me, wraps his arms around me, and said, ‘We believe in you and we love you. Jesus loves you so much.’ He led me to the Lord at that moment, and it changed my life forever. God delivered me from alcohol, pornography, drugs and the amphetamines that I was taking.”
As his passion for the Lord grew, BJ began to share Christ to anyone who would listen.
“He gave me a hunger, such a hunger, to tell other people about it. Now after two and a half years, God said, ‘BJ, I want you to start ministering to middle schoolers.’”
BJ started a middle school ministry called Redeemed. Every morning before school, interested students gather to pray and worship.
“The kids were calling me. They would say, ‘BJ, we got to get up. We got to pray. Somebody might get saved today.’ I had a kid come up to me. He said, ‘BJ, I was going to commit suicide three weeks ago, but you came up, wrapped your arms around me, and you said that I really did have an opportunity to make a difference. I really was important. I was special. It’s times like that that change me. That let me know that God really is doing something. BJ can’t do anything. If I just surrender my life to Him, I found out that nothing is impossible with God.”
CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!
Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.