Faith, Vision & Hardwork
By Minister Mary Harris
Bryant Mitchell walks by faith and not by sight. As a small child, God gave him the vision of playing in the NFL. And although the journey to God’s vision for Bryant had detours; he continued to believe in the vision, writing it down and work hard to achieve it. With his faith in God at the center of it all; he has walked into the vision God gave him as a child as a Wide Receiver for the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He is the proud father of three sons; Armaur’e, Karmeron and Kaled and truly a man of God. Bryant “Batman” Mitchell is unstoppable on and off the field!
MH: Mr. Mitchell, congratulations on being picked up last year by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It seems you have had a unique route to the NFL. how has your faith in God and your strong work ethics tied into keeping your vision alive after not being drafted into the NFL in 2015?
BM: Just having the ministry that I have and having the leaders that I have like my Chief Apostle Wendell Archie at Refuge Temple Ministries. Some of the men I counsel with such as Derricus Purdy who was in the NFL for a short span of time; whose actually one of the ministers over at the church. Just being able to hear his story, being able to really be taught, and learning to seek God in all things. How the Bible says, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all His righteous,” and He says, “all thing shall be added unto you.” And just that understanding; and having these men who truly stayed on me and truly help me. It was truly a blessing.
MH: What inspires you to be the best you can possibly be?
BM: You know, I have three little boys: Amaur’e, Kameron and Kaleb. Just in that sense, understanding who I have to be as a man of God not only for the people of God but for my boys. And understanding that I’m their first role model, I’m their first superhero, I’m their first everything. With that understanding it always pushes me to go that much hardest. It always pushes me to live out my dream to show them you truly can achieve anything you put your mind to.
MH: And in turn, how do you inspire others?
BM: I think one thing that always inspires the people closest to me has been my resilience. From a young child, I said I wanted to go to the NFL. Even through all the ups and downs; all the obstacles. My mother is a single mother with five kids. And we didn’t always grow up in the best of areas. She did everything she could. She’s been at her job for 20 years. But even then, you know being by yourself and having five kids it wasn’t easy! Getting involved in gangs and things like that. You know, my family going in different directions. I think that there was every opportunity to give up. Every opportunity to go ahead and say, “Okay, forget this! I’m staying in the streets,” and do it that way. And I think that when I said I wanted to do it in high school; I dropped fourteen touchdowns my senior year. You know, I had multiple people tell me, “Oh no, football’s not it for you!” I was really good at track. I had a coach tell me, “You’ll never make it unless you run the four hundred.” I had a cousin tell me, “Your glory days are behind you!” I went to junior college. And at the time, I was not saved; I wasn’t living right. But I knew what I wanted to do. I sat out a couple of years of football. Even sitting out, I still worked hard because I saw the vision. God had given me this vision long before I even came to Him. And just never giving that up! Never letting anyone tell me what I couldn’t do. Even after I went to a division one college, I tore my labrum in my right shoulder. I even had coaches there telling me, “Oh, you might as well go to the Arena League”. I said, “Oh no, that ain’t for me!” Even having to go the route of the CFL (Canadian Football League) before the NFL. I had a coach tell me a couple of years ago when I asked, “What you think I need to do to go to the NFL?” He said, “Nothing. I don’t think you’ll going to the NFL. You’re going to be a great CFL Receiver”. I laughed! I said, “Oh, you’ll see!” And By the end of the year, he was telling me, “You’re an NFL Wide-Receiver”. Never giving up and always going after my dream. I truly believe my resilience has been the biggest testament and inspiration to the people around me.
MH: What would you share with someone who feels their dream isn’t going as planned?
BM: I just got finished telling someone this today. The Bible says, “If you delight yourself in the Lord. He will give you the desires of your heart. As long as those desires aren’t to be consumed upon your own lust; you know, He’ll give you those desires. And one thing we have to realize is that delight in Him comes before us. It’s just a testament of putting others before you; putting something before you. Putting something you want, something you need on the back burner to serve and to please someone else. And I think God honors that. Keep going after it cause you never know. There’s a picture which depicts Jesus having a small bear in his hand and a little kid says but I want it! But he has a bigger bear behind his back. And understanding that though you may not be receiving what you think you want; God may have something bigger in store that could be better than you can imagine.
MH: What projects are you currently working on?
BM: You know what, I would say the project I’m currently working on is just being a light and my ministry of spreading the Gospel. Our Chief Apostle, Wendell Archie, wrote a book; it’s called Determining Truth from Error. Just understanding what the true unadulterated Word of God says, and understanding how we can get into Heaven, and what God’s word says – not taking from it or adding to it. Just making sure that I’m being a light; but not being a light by just being nice; but being a light by the lifestyle that I live. A lifestyle pleasing unto God, not a lifestyle pleasing unto my flesh; but one that is truly pleasing unto God. And when others begin to see that He says, “How they will glorify Him in Heaven.” That’s truly what I would say, you know, I’m working on. Just even pushing that book – like I said it’s called Determining Truth from Error. Just pushing that book. And just really getting people to understand, especially at a time like this, it really a time we should be turning to God. It really a time we should be repenting before Him.
MH: How can our reads follow you on social media?
BM: You can follow me personally at _bmitch16 on Instagram and Twitter. And you can always follow our YouTube page at our ministry, The RTMGroup; and you can see some of our messages from our Chief Apostle, Wendell Archie, and just really get the Word. It really changed my life; I wasn’t always this way; so just hearing the Word preach and seeing the lifestyles that have been lived before me – It has been a blessing!