BELTON — During his time playing professional football, defensive end Bill Glass made a name for himself in the NFL. However, he wanted more. Instead of earning points for the win on the field, he wanted to help others earn points with the man up stairs.
Glass, a former NFL player for the Cleveland Browns turned evangelical minister and founder of Bill Glass Champions for Life Ministries, was the guest speaker at the annual Jesus Acts in Inmates Lives Ministry banquet Oct. 24 at the Bell County Expo Center.
More than 700 people attended the silver anniversary banquet, celebrating 25 years worth of work the nonprofit has undertaken in ministering to local inmates.
“The world gets better when we make it better and you need to be willing to get out of your comfort zone to make that change happen,” said Donald Gill, a 20-year J.A.I.L. Ministries volunteer.
From the very beginning, Glass said he always had a strong Christian core. As a Baylor University student he helped establish the Campus Crusade for Christ chapter and used his platform as a professional athlete to spread the word to those living behind bars.
“I don’t waste my time on people who have their lives together and who are not open to make life changes,” Glass said. “The people in jail are hurting, and they want to make a change. That’s why I do this. To help people make the necessary life changes to better themselves.”
After retiring from the game in 1969 with 22 years of football under his belt, he founded his own ministry in 1972 to share “the healing power of a Father’s blessing” in and out of prisons all over the world.
“In football, when is the game won? The first half? The second half?” Glass said. “The game is won in the second half. The people who are incarcerated had a bad first half of their life. You can’t just write them off because they had a bad first half.”
The banquet also paid special tribute to the late Chaplain Harold Ellis, the founding executive director of the Bell County J.A.I.L. Ministry. For more information, go to www.billglass.org or www.jailmin.com.