Athlete Testimonies:

Garret Anderson

Many people confuse his quiet, easy-going attitude with being distant and difficult to get along with. But a look into the life of this Southern California native reveals why Garret Anderson seems very different from a lot of other professional athletes, as a player and as a Christian.

Although he's often seen as quiet, shy, and maybe even aloof, Anderson is quite the opposite around those closest to him. He can be very talkative and outgoing, especially with his wife and three children. Sometimes those who disapprove of his quiet nature also critique his game harshly. "You're always going to have critics," says Anderson. "I try not to ever let things like that bother me. Let's face it, as athletes and even as Christians we're always under a microscope. It's something I've accepted."

Anderson certainly silenced the mouths of those who judged him after helping the Anaheim Angels win the 2002 World Series against the San Francisco Giants. He has come a long way from his tough childhood to his success as a ball player. Not even Anderson is sure where things will lead him, but he is certain that God has great plans for him as he continues his walk with Christ.

Gary Sheffield

Many people have had a lot to say about Gary Sheffield through the years, but Gary sat down with Braves' team chaplain, Tim Cash, to help us see just exactly who he is.

Tim Cash: Right or wrong, some people still do not trust the new Gary Sheffield. How do you respond to those people?

Gary Sheffield: I actually like it! It gives me a chance to prove them wrong and show them that the new Gary Sheffield is for real. Eventually they are going to have to see that I am not involved in the things I used to be involved in and realize I am a changed man!

Cash: When it's all said and done and your career in baseball comes to a close, what is the one legacy you want to be remembered for?

Sheffield: Being remembered for your baseball accomplishments is great, but I've never been one who thinks I have to make it to the Hall of Fame to be successful. I want people to see that I touched many lives in and out of the game in ways that had nothing to do with baseball. I want to be remembered as someone who cared about people and walked with Jesus!

Greg Schiano

Greg Schiano has brought the Rutgers football program a long way. An appearance in the Insight Bowl last December, the school's first in 27 years, completed Rutgers' first winning season (7-5) in more than a decade. "Without my Christian faith, there's no way I could've gotten through my first few years here," Schiano says.

Schiano wouldn't be where he is now if not for getting the defensive assistant job with the Bears in 1996. Says Schiano: "I didn't know it at the time, but God took me there to know Him." God had a plan to surround Schiano with Christian coaches in Chicago. Schiano started going to church with his fellow coaches. Then one night in 1997 the Holy Spirit blitzed him as he was driving home. He was listening to a tape Bears' scout Bill McCartney had given to him about the negative effect football had on family life. Then Schiano made the most important decision of his life. "I pulled over at the side of the road and said the prayer at the end of the tape."

Schiano is excited about the opportunities he has coaching college football. "I have a chance to really affect (the players') lives. And I think that's what my calling is."

Uncommon Challenge