Tampa Bay Rays' Steven Souza Rejects Partying Lifestyle, Becomes Born-Again Christian
Carrie Dedrick Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2015 Mar 10
Baseball star Steven Souza has reportedly given his life to Christ after years of partying. The 25-year-old baseball player had previously chased a partying lifestyle of women, alcohol and money and held a “me first” attitude.
Souza had been drafted by the Washington Nationals and played in both the minor and major leagues. While playing for the Hagerstown Suns in 2010, Souza took ADHD medication which he had taken throughout high school and failed a drug test.
He was suspended for 50 games and things got progressively worse when the player had a confrontation with team manager Matthew LeCroy, ending his 2011 season early. When Souza’s girlfriend cheated on him with a friend and teammate, the baseball star hit rock bottom.
"It just seemed the whole world came crashing down at that point," Souza said. "I was at a crossroads. It was like, I need to make adjustments in my life right now. Nobody wants to be around me. People don't respect me."
MLB outfielder Brent Lillibridge invited Souza to attend church and he agreed.
The experience "...sparked something inside of him that would never burn out,” Souza said.
"It was one of those moments where you don't know what to expect. There was definitely a little anxiety. But as soon as I walked into church, it was comfort. Everyone there was welcoming me. And as soon as the message started being preached, it was just a release. I could feel the Lord moving… It was like, 'Lord, I'm coming after you.' And, what a blessing that it was that He answered."
Shortly thereafter, Souza decided to get baptized and friends and family noticed he had become a changed man.
LeCroy, who had formerly butted heads with Souza said, "He's a born-again Christian, and I think that changed part of his life. His attitude, the way he spoke to people, the way he treated people, it all changed."
Souza said, "The Bible says consider it a joy, brothers, when you go through suffering because suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character and character joy. These trials I have gone through, I wouldn't be the man I am today without going through them. Obviously the damage I did to people around me and to my family, I wish I could take that back. But what I went through, I can appreciate. God took me through that and made me the man I am today."
The Christian Post reports Souza has now been traded to the Tampa Bay Rays and is trying for a spot on the team's major league roster.
Publication date: March 10, 2015