Tattnall County (Ga.) High School football coach Isaac Ferrell incurred the wrath of the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) after 20 of his players were baptized last month in a moving ceremony on campus.
A few weeks later, the coach was fired – but retains his teaching position with the district.
Only the district claims the popular coach wasn’t fired over the baptisms but for a separate incident. However, they have declined to elaborate or disclose any details.
In the now controversial video posted to the team’s official page on Facebook, local pastor Gary Few is seen immersing a player as his teammates cheer.
“I baptize you now, my brother,” says the pastor, “in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
That was too much for FFRF staff attorney Chris Line, who quickly fired off a letter of complaint to school superintendent Kristen Waters.
“The district must refrain from infusing its football program with religion, and coach Ferrell cannot be allowed to preach to student athletes or allow a local pastor to preach to and baptize students,” read the official complaint.
Latifa Johnson, whose son was one of the players baptized, had a much different reaction.
“I was extremely proud of him because he made the decision on his own,” she told a local NBC television reporter. “I didn’t have to hold his hand, and he did it because he wanted to. It was so sweet because you see the boys and they looked like they wanted it … thank you, God. Yes, yes, yes. I was all for it.”
Tattnall County school officials claim they’re still investigating the “baptism incident” but said in a statement they were seeking “a head football coach that aligned with the best interests of the students of Tattnall County for the 2024-2025 school year.”
What’s curious is the claim from FFRF that coaches shouldn’t be allowed to “preach” to student athletes. Of course, what they mean is coaches shouldn’t be allowed to preach certain things. Riley Gaines, the former college swimmer who was forced to swim against a male swimmer claiming to be female, saw the same irony and hypocrisy in such a statement.
“But if 20 football players started using she/her pronouns, coach would be more likely to get promoted than disciplined,” Gaines tweeted. “The team lost their coach, but 20 young men found the Lord … Jesus wins.”
Riley Gaines is precisely right. Selective outrage has become the norm, and anyone who dares favor the Christian faith is a pariah – but secular progressive “evangelism” is lauded and even encouraged.
Young men are especially hungry for role models, individuals with high character to emulate. We give thanks that so many found just that while playing high school football.
We’re eager for explanations regarding the coach’s ouster – but we celebrate the baptisms of these twenty young men. Football games and seasons eventually end, but not eternal life with Jesus. Thanks to Coach Ferrell and Pastor Few, Tattnall County High School’s gridiron gang has just experienced one season they’ll never forget.
Image credit: Tattnall High Football Facebook Page
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