Tommy Adams makes disciples through sports
    November 3 2014 by SEBTS Communications

    Tommy Adams, a former professional basketball player, found strength and direction to unite his love of God and basketball through Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary’s (SEBTS) discipleship groups. He became connected to SEBTS through Seth Bible, whom he met playing basketball at the Factory in Wake Forest. During his time off from professional basketball, Adams trained in the area.
    Adams began working out on campus and running Ball 4 All, a training program for young athletes. While on campus, he met Mark Liederbach, professor of theology, ethics and culture at SEBTS. “Eventually, we became family,” Adams said. “Next thing I knew I was auditing moral ethics and learning that I can’t speed.”


    SEBTS photo
    Tommy Adams credits Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest for his spiritual formation. The former professional basketball player is now planting a church in Chicago.

    Originally from Northern Virginia, he became a Christian at 16 and rededicated his life to Christ in his early twenties. He didn’t grow up going to church but became interested in Christianity when he heard a person being interviewed on TV thanking God.
    After graduating from Hampton University in Virginia, Adams played on and off in the National Basketball Association for three years as well as internationally.
    Southeastern has made a significant impact on Adams while being in Wake Forest for seven years, especially the discipleship groups he has been a part of.
    “The seminary has been a huge blessing in my life,” Adams emphasized. “It helped me with my basketball career, and the long-term decisions that I make. Even in the financial area, I was guided every step of where I was going.”
    Adams has been most influenced by his discipleship group (D-group) at SEBTS. “It has allowed me to start teaching and helping others,” he said. “Graham Michael, one of my leaders, showed me how to break down the Bible in a different way and then to be able to do that for others. They saw me as more than just a basketball player at that point.
    “One of my greatest joys is when I see someone ‘get it,’” he said. “To see others like Cody Evans, who I met through AAU (Amateur Athletic Union of the United States), have confidence after D-group to go teach others is really rewarding.”
    Liederbach, also vice president for student services and the dean of students, said, “Tommy is not only an outstanding man of God but one that is hungry to know God and make him known. He may be one of the best examples of how a non-traditional student can have his or her life transformed by being a part of the SEBTS community. I am thrilled to see how his training in disciple-making here will impact the world for Christ! It is an honor to call him a friend.”
    Adams serves in youth ministry at his local church, runs basketball camps for youth in the area and is a personal trainer. He sees basketball as a way to reach out to today’s youth. Some of his events took place in the Ledford center with members of the SEBTS family.
    He advises others to be ready to forgive and learn.
    “People are going to mess up, we are all sinners and live in a fallen world,” he said. “If you are dealing with the body of Christ, you have to deal with people, and they are going to mess up. We are all going to.”
    In September, Adams, his wife Nichole and three-year-old son, Tommy Jr., moved to Chicago as a part of his job with Gatorade. He hopes to implement the same discipleship group format he learned from SEBTS in Chicago.
    He desires for these groups to be “F.A.T.T.”– Faithful, Available, Teachable and Transferable.
    Adams seeks to use Gatorade, basketball and his ministry for God’s glory. “It is what God put me on the earth to do,” he said.
    Looking toward the future, Adams said, “For me now, it’s not about me, but to see my son grow up and be who he is supposed to be. I look forward to seeing the lives that I’ve touched being able to go do what they want to do.” 

    11/3/2014 12:35:53 PM by SEBTS Communications | with 1 comments
    Filed under: discipleship, SEBTS, testimony

Excellent article! Tommy is a great guy. Chicago will be a better place because of him. I'd love to hear how things work out for him! Great job of "making disciples" at Southeastern!
11/4/2014 1:17:35 PM

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