Football player Akeem Davis-Gaither celebrated his new life in Christ by sharing photos of his baptism on social media.
Davis-Gaither, a Cincinnati Bengals linebacker, has accepted the Lord Jesus Christ. He posted a series of pictures on Instagram, expressing his pride of being a Christian, CBN News reported.
"After 23 years I am so proud to have given my life to Christ and Received the gift of new life! God has done wonderful things in my life, picked me up from my lows and humbled me at my highs. Every step of my life, God has blessed me in so many ways. I'm blessed that i'm able to share his love and let my life be a testimony of his unwavering love for us all," he said in the caption, citing Galatians 2:20.
Derwin Gray, a pastor at Transformation Church in South Carolina, replied to his post, saying that he is honored to have performed the baptism. The minister also stated that he is looking forward to be part of Davis-Gaither's journey in the Christian faith.
"It was an honor to baptize you brother! I look forward to continuing this journey with you," Gray said.
The athlete was drafted last year with a four-year contract after playing for the 2020 Senior Bowl, coached by the Bengals' staff. He played football for the Appalachian State University (ASU) during his college years and was named Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2019.
In an interview with CBS Sports, he revealed that he was rejected by "bigger" universities because he was undersized for football and only weighed 175 pounds when he graduated from high school. But despite his limitation, ASU still took him in due to his "speed and heart" which, he said, other "big guys" do not have.
The Bengals also saw this strength in him. The team's website says that the player is admired by the scouts for his instincts, speed and motor, as well as his outstanding performance at ASU.
His college teammate, Darrynton Evans, disclosed that Davis-Gaither has an amazing skill in the sport and that he is a person who "always finds a way to be in the right spot at the right time".
Lou Anarumo, Bengals' defensive coordinator, also commended him for his character.
"He's a tough kid, a coach's son. He's a guy that is going to be the first in and last out of every meeting... He's a guy that will work his tail off to do whatever we ask, and he brings a ton of athleticism," Anarumo said.
The athlete's father, Keith, is serving as a wide receivers coach at West Point, after his stint at Western Michigan during the 2019 season.
The Bengals are set to join the training camp on July 27, along with 28 other NFL teams.
For the pre-season, they are scheduled to play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Aug. 14, Washington Football Team on Aug. 20 and Miami Dolphins on Aug. 29.
The team will be facing the Minnesota Vikings on Sept. 12 for the first week of the regular season.