NEW PODCAST: Former NFL Defensive Back Derwin Gray



Derwin Gray is a former defensive back, who played 5 seasons in the NFL with the Colts and Panthers. He’s also the Pastor of Transformation Church near Charlotte, North Carolina.

In this episode, Derwin shares his story of growing up without a Dad, making it to the NFL and an encounter he has with a teammate known as “The Naked Pastor” that changes Derwin’s life forever.

Derwin talks about the transition he makes from NFL player to pastoring a very large church and the tension he wrestled with in saying yes to God’s calling after his football career.

Derwin Gray preaching in 2015 (Photo provided by Derwin Gray)


Podcast Timeline:

2:30 – Growing up in a broken home

8:00 – Not being able to forgive his Dad

10:30 – On how being a better parent than his Dad became an idol in his life.

13:30 – The Naked Preacher

16:00 – Being a new Christian in the NFL locker room

18:30 – The last NFL game he played

23:00 – Studying God’s playbook

26:00 – His fear of planting a multi-ethnic church

28:00 – Praying for 700 people to show up at his first ever service

30:00 – On the current state of the multicultural church in the United States

32:00 – On being a Dad to his son Jeremiah and going through the college football recruiting process

36:00 – On loving his daughter and keeping a cool head.

38:00 – What he’s learning from God right now.

Favorite Quotes:

“Jesus’ Dad became my Dad.”

“No matter how good I got in football, I still dealt with, I’m going to be abandoned and rejected.”

“There’s nothing worse than coming to Jesus at the top of your life.”

“My passion to be a great Dad to makeup for what I didn’t get from my father, at times became an idol.”

“I don’t want to take care of my kids, I want to equip my kids.”

“The NFL Locker Room is a microcosm of society.”

“God redeems our past and He transforms it.”

“I prayed for 700 people to come, which is the most naive prayer I could ever pray.”

“So, it’s either the church is a night club for Jesus and everybody’s cool and the congregation is like the fan boy club for the Pastor, or the world is bad and evil and we can’t wait for Jesus to come and sucks us up in a vacuum cleaner and raptures us away and everything will be ok.”

“There’s a more authentic, more beautiful story of a Jesus who says I’m going to dwell my people of every ethnicity, social class, gender, to be the new family of God.”

“If there’s one thing I wish I could do all over again, It would be to not raise my voice as much with my oldest child when they mess up.”

“Discipline with my children is now more conversational. Asking more questions.”

Derwin’s books:

Limitless Life

The HD Leader

Get in touch with Derwin online: or twitter @DerwinLGray