Deion Sanders, the former Atlanta Falcons superstar and current head football coach for the University of Colorado, has a spiritual connection to Atlanta that goes beyond sports. He has recently appointed Pastor E. Dewey Smith Jr. of House of Hope in Decatur as his spiritual advisor.
A long friendship
Pastor Smith and Sanders met about 20 years ago at a men’s conference in Washington D.C. They became friends and kept in touch over the years. Smith said he was impressed by Sanders’ faith and dedication to God.
“A few years ago, when his pastor passed away, he called me and said I need you to be my pastor. I need you to help me navigate life,” Smith said.
Smith said he was honored and humbled by the request and agreed to be Sanders’ spiritual mentor.
A viral picture
One picture of Pastor Smith and Sanders on the sidelines at a Colorado football game has gone viral on social media. The picture shows them walking, praying and worshipping on the field before the game.
“He beckoned for me and said, ‘I need you to come walk the field with me.’ I said walk the field? He said, ‘Yeah, I do not want to play a game until you walk this field with me,’” Smith said.
Smith said he did not even notice the cameras or the attention they were getting. He was just focused on supporting his friend and praying for his success.
“I’m just with my friend, doing what he asked me to do, which is to pray for him,” he said.
A man of God
Smith said Sanders is a man of God who is doing great things in his life and in his career. He said Sanders is not afraid to show his faith and inspire others to believe in a power greater than themselves.
“He is a man of God. God is doing great things in his life. Maybe it can lead others to have renaissance of faith and believe there is a power greater than themselves,” he said.
Smith said he plans to continue being Sanders’ spiritual advisor and attend his games whenever possible. He said he is proud of his friend and hopes he will achieve his goals as a coach and as a person.