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Co-Executive producer, DVD: Minister of Defense: The Reggie White Story (SER Media, 2007);
Widow, married to Reggie, NFL defensive lineman, for over 20 years;
Mother of two: Jecolia & Jeremy
LOVING GOD AND FOOTBALL
Reggie always wanted to be a minister but loved the game of football. At 17, he became an ordained minister. As a senior at Tennessee, Reggie earned the nickname “Minister of Defense.”
Reggie spent two seasons in the ill-fated U.S. Football League but made a memorable debut in 1985 with the Philadelphia Eagles. He only played 13 games that season but was named the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year.
In 1987, Reggie sacked Redskins quarterback Doug Williams, stripped the ball and ran 70 yards for the first of his two career touchdowns. By 1993, Reggie recorded 124 sacks in 121 games, over 8 seasons. He became the first big name free agent to switch teams and joined the Green Bay Packers. Instantly, he helped turn the direction of the franchise. The team steadily improved and in 1996, with a record three sacks. Reggie helped the team to a victory in Super Bowl XXXI.
Reggie played two more years in Green Bay, adding 27 more sacks to his statistics. He retired for a year before joining the Carolina Panthers in 2000 for one season. Reggie retired as the NFL’s all-time sack leader with 198. Tragically, on December 26, 2004, Reggie died from cardiac arrhythimia caused by sarcoidosis, a respiratory ailment he lived with for years. In 2006, Reggie was inducted into the NFL’s Hall of Fame.
THE REAL MINISTER OF DEFENSE
Sara moved to Knoxville, TN as a high school junior and became acquainted with Reggie from church. Reggie was a freshman in college. In January 1985, Reggie and Sara were married. They were friends for 23 years.
“We got close to God and to each other,” says Sara. “I just feel so blessed that I knew him.”
In the years that followed his football career, Reggie found time to study and reflect on his faith. He stopped preaching to do that. Reggie tackled Hebrew for 8 to 10 hours each day and began devouring the Torah. Sara and Reggie toured the Holy Land with groups twice, and Reggie went again without her in October 2003.
With sweat dripping from his face in TV interviews, Reggie would always use his platform to praise the name of Jesus. During his playing career, people used to tell Reggie that God gave him the ability to play football. so he could tell the world about Him. During an interview with NFL films that aired four days before he died, Reggie said, “God doesn’t need football to let the world know about Him.” Reggie came under criticism when he said God told him to sign with Green Bay and again when he condemned homosexuality before the Wisconsin legislature.
Reggie’s health problems emerged in 1994 where a physical exam detected sarcoidosis in his lungs. At the time of his death, Reggie was 25 pounds lighter and in superb condition. In the morning on December 26, Sara woke up to Reggie’s snoring. She pushed him over like she always did to get him to stop. Instead he began coughing and choking. Immediately, Sara called 911 then administered CPR to Reggie who was unconscious. When the ambulance crew showed up, Sara took the children to another room and began praying. While at the hospital, Sara was sure that the doctors would tell her that they put him on oxygen. Instead the doctor looked at her and told her Reggie was gone.
The two-hour documentary, Minister of Defense: The Reggie White Story, is co-produced by Sara. For one year, Sara interviewed former teammates, opponents, members of the media, and coaches. She discovered so many new things about her husband that she put together a documentary on his life.
“The reason I decided to make this documentary was I wanted the truth to be known and told. I wanted people to understand who Reggie White was off the field,” says Sara.
The film details Reggie’s rise from humble beginnings to Super Bowl Champion, his impact on the game, and the people around him.
The DVD is available online at www.reggiewhiteDVD.com or in stores across the country. Proceeds from the DVD benefit the charities involved with The Reggie White Foundation, a foundation created to continue Reggie’s legacy of helping those in need.
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.