Power Team athletes combine both the physical and spiritual
By W. Winston Skinner
The Power Team is in town.
The team of athletes combines feats of physical prowess with words of motivation in various settings. The group of muscled athletes will be showcasing their strength and sharing their testimonies at events at schools and churches through Sunday.
The Power Team appeared at Royal Baptist Church on Wednesday. They will be back at Royal today, Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m.
On Friday, the Power Team will be part of the excitement at The Gathering, a Christian youth event which will be held at Newnan High School from 7-9 p.m. Among will be in concert at the NHS event, and an iPad will be given away during the evening.
The churches of Western Baptist Association, a coalition of about 50 Southern Baptist churches in Coweta County and the surrounding area, are sponsoring The Gathering.
“These giant men – many weighing over 300 pounds – can blow up hot water bottles like balloons, snap baseball bats like twigs, lift telephone poles overhead, rip phone books and license plates like pieces of paper and smash walls of ice and concrete,” Israel said.
The Power Team has several world record holders, former NFL football players and professional wrestlers on its roster. The Power Team has been endorsed by more than 50 governors, senators and congressmen “for their positive contribution to the lives of America’s families,” according to Pat Karr of Royal Baptist Church.
In 1976, The Power Team became the original strength team and evangelistic association, utilizing visually explosive feats of strength to communicate positive messages to audiences in churches, civic centers, stadiums, and coliseums. The Power Team been featured in People Magazine and The Saturday Evening Post.
Popular television shows – “Walker, Texas Ranger” and “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” – have showcased the group. Members of the team have appeared several times on “Steve Harvey’s Big Time” on the WB, watched by an estimated 20 million.
For more than 10 years, they have had their own television show, “The Power Connection,” viewed by millions around the world each week.
The Power Team has performed in more than 26,000 school assemblies over the past 20 years, and “is ranked as one of the top school assemblies in the nation,” Karr said.
Members of the group believe inspiration and motivation equal academic and personal achievement. The Power Team tackles the tough issues of drugs, alcohol, violence, abstinence, peer pressure and suicide.
The group is known for its ability to customize topics, content and presentations to match their audiences. “From elementary ages to high school, young people all over the world have been challenged and changed by their positive messages,” Karr said.
Among those coming to Newnan for the week are J.D. Anderson, Matt Dopson and Todd Keene, president of the group.
Anderson stands 6’ 2” and weighs 285 pounds. “He hails from the great state of Missouri where he came into this world at a whopping 12 pounds,” Israel said.
Anderson bench presses almost 500 pounds. He has 20-inch biceps, and his chest measures 53 inches around. “More importantly, he has a heart to positively impact this generation for Jesus Christ,” Israel said.
Anderson is the youngest member of the Power Team and is known as “Big Country.”
Dopson stands 6’3” and weighs 305 pounds, “Matt has massive 34-inch legs and leg presses over 2,000 pounds,” according to Israel.
“After an injury in high school, they said he would never play football again,” Israel related. “But with hard work and dedication, Matt played college football in North Carolina as a stand out defensive lineman.”
Israel noted Dopson “is also a great praise and worship leader with a wonderful singing voice.”
Keene “stands 6’6” and weighs 300 pounds,” Israel said. As an All American football player, Keene played football for the NCAA national champion Miami Hurricanes under Coach Jimmy Johnson.
He went on to play in the National Football League for the Indianapolis Colts. “Todd is the Power Team all time record-holder for crushing concrete bricks with his bare arms,” Israel said.
Keene has been recognized for his leadership and motivational skills, as well. “Since becoming president in 2003, Todd has led and refocused the team to its original call of sharing the good news of the gospel, building relationships and walking in integrity,” Israel said.
In addition to the youth event at Newnan High, the Power Team is set to visit three local elementary schools – Atkinson, Ruth Hill and Western. They also will be visiting the Coweta County Prison.
One member of the team will preach at the 9:15 and 10:30 services on Sunday morning at Royal Baptist. “They have a super gospel message, and one of the guys coming actually is a music minister and sings extremely well,” Karr noted.