by Charissa Veal
CLEVELAND, Ga., (TMNews) –Two-time world champion, professional bass fisherman, and Christian Hank Parker shared his heart
with Truett-McConnell College’s students in a full chapel service, September 11.
Through sharing his testimony, Parker demonstrated the power and importance of the gospel and God’s Word in changing and redeeming lives.
“Fishing is really not all that important,” he said. “About a million years from now, fishing won’t be important, but what we do for Jesus Christ, a million years from now is going to be important.”
This truth was certainly evident in Parker’s life. His father tried to break an addiction to alcohol for seven years, but was not successful until he accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior.
During the next five years, his father witnessed to young Parker and his brother using only scripture. “I could find fault with my dad,” Parker said. “I could argue with my dad; but I was arguing with the Bible. I was arguing with God. And I’ll be honest with you: I ran out of arguments, so I couldn’t deal with it. I had to run.”
And he did run. Parker ran from God for several years until the death of his father brought him to a startling halt. As his father had requested in a note inside his Bible, the pastor preached the gospel at his funeral instead of performing a traditional service. Sitting on the front row, both Parker and his brother surrendered their lives to Christ, and Parker went on to fulfill his dream of becoming a professional bass fisherman.
Parker’s success in fishing has certainly earned him world-wide attention, but he has his sights set on something far beyond the biggest win: “In spite of that, I’m a winner because I know Jesus Christ as my Savior. Those bass tournaments were really important to me at the time, but they’re not even important to me now, let alone in eternity.”
Parker closed by issuing a challenge to the students and reiterating the truth that changed his family’s life: “There is nothing as powerful as the gospel of Jesus Christ….cherish your Bible. Be challenged to learn everything you can. Be challenged to be the very best you can be in training to go out into a lost world where there’s very little hope because there are very few giving the gospel. And outside of the gospel, there is no hope.”
As a man who was once without hope, Parker’s father understood the power of Christ and the hope that He gives, and because of his diligence in proclaiming God’s Word, Hank Parker had the opportunity to accept or reject it. Now, many years after accepting it, he is following in his father’s footsteps and sharing the gospel wherever he goes, whether on the water or off.
Charissa Veal is a senior English major at Truett-McConnell College.
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