From the NFL to OLu, Emmanuel Moody is always carrying the Word of God along with him.
By Jolaya Gillams '19
Emmanuel Moody, former running back for the Buffalo Bills and at the University of Southern California, grew up in the church, but never found a true relationship with God until he was on his own as starting running back for the Trojans.
Moody had it all. The carefree, nonchalant lifestyle that many college students dream of engulfed Moody, day in and day out. Howver, hanging out with celebrities and living the "Hollywood" lifestyle led Moody to feel depressed.
“I was at this point where, like Jesus says, if you gain the whole world, you forfeit your soul," Moody said. "I got everything I wanted, but I lost my soul in the process.”
As time passed, Moody started his search for God. Growing up in a Christian home where Moody’s mom served in the church, he was no stranger to the Christian lifestyle, but as he puts it, "I never had a real relationship with God.”
Feeling empty, Moody stopped chasing the physical desires of the world and he started chasing a spiritual relationship with Christ.
“God did not come to me immediately” Moody said. “I sought him out for weeks.”
After a short time, he finally had his encounter with God.
Arriving home one day, Moody was in the living room depressed after practice when he heard the television on. Curious, he watched and saw that is was the well known Disney movie, The Prince of Egypt. This was strange because as Moody said, “I never turned on the tv.”
It had to be a God moment because Moody started watching the cartoon at a pivotal scene where the Israelites were at the Red Sea, getting chased down by the Egyptians and looking for a way out. At the moment where Moses parts the Read Sea, Moody says that, “God flooded into that room, and into my heart.”
Just like the Israelites who were looking for an escape out of bondage, Moody found a breakthrough out of the old lifestyle that he was living. When the sea parted in the movie, he says that “God was giving me a way out of the lifestyle I was living.”
Closing his eyes, Moody said, “I saw the face of Jesus Christ, and I heard, ‘I love you my son.’” In that moment Moody’s spirit just started praising God.
As a Division 1 athlete and professional football player, Moody was fortunate that he could accomplish all that he wanted and so much more. Playing football in the NFL was very tough for Moody because “it’s such a secular environment, and sport," as he put it. He wanted to be known as man who was “on fire for God.”
"I often asked myself, 'How do I live as a born again Christian?'” Moody said.
At USC, Moody grew in the word. As a student, he felt called to ministry. Moody would teach and preach the word of God at different churches and events.
He then felt led to share the Gospel with his teammates, starting a bible study for his college and professional teammates.
“At first, it started with just two or three guys,” Moody said. "Then almost the whole team started showing up.”
The bible study that Moody started got so big that they eventually had to secure a larger venue to hold the bible study, and the power of God became abundant in that weekly bible study with the Bills.
Moody is now coaching defensive backs at Orange Lutheran, as well as assisting with the track team. Having made it to the NFL, Moody is not only equipped to excel as a coach, but also as a mentor.
"It doesn’t matter how gifted, or talented you are. If you want to succeed, you have to be competitive and have your mind right. You have to have a good, Godly attitude if you want to be successful.
"And that doesn't only apply to football. That applies to life."