The Saints and Vikings face off on Sunday afternoon for a chance to advance to the NFC Championship game. New Orleans is led by their quarterback Drew Brees, but Mark Ingram might be the guy that carries Who Dat nation to a victory.
Ingram rushed for over 1,000 yards and led the team in rushing for the second straight season. His 1,124 rushing yards ranked 5th in the NFL and his 12 touchdowns were second only to Todd Gurley’s 13.
For Mark Ingram, his play on the field is key to the Saints success. But it’s his faith in Christ off the field that has helped with success in things that truly matter.
In December, Ingram spoke with Vintage Church pastor Dr. Rob Wilton, on his faith journey and how God is moving in his life over the past few years.
“The past two or three years, I didn’t just want to be one of those Christians who say ‘God is good.’ I just wanted to give him everything because He’s given everything to me. Don’t dab your toe in the water, give your full life to Christ and watch how he does miracles for your life.”
Ingram grew up the son of Mark Ingram, a former NFL player, who won a Super Bowl with the New York Giants in 1990. In September of 2008, when Mark Jr was just 18 years old, Mark Sr was sentenced to seven years in prison and up to five years of probation for money laundering and fraud. On January 2, 2009, Ingram was arrested at a hotel room in Flint, Michigan, where he was preparing to watch his son play in the 2009 Sugar Bowl. In early 2015, Ingram was released from prison.
Mark Jr. shared to the church congregation what that did to him being in college and into the NFL without a Dad there in person to help him through his football journey.
“That was very tough for me at a young age growing up,” Ingram told Vintage Church. “It was tough on me, but at the same time, I feel like God helped me go through that and persevered me through that and I overcame those odds, those statistics that say if you have one or two parents in jail, it very much could happen to you and you could go down the wrong path and be around the wrong people.”
Birthed from his own experiences growing up, Ingram began the Mark Ingram Foundation to help kids who have incarcerated parents and encourage them to believe that they can still dream and achieve.
“I feel like the Lord helped me overcome that so I could be on this platform and give back to those same youth that might have gone through the same situation that I have and have the same feelings I have,” Ingram said. “I just want to let those kids know that no matter what it is, if you keep God first, if you just believe and if you just stay with the right people in your corner, that you can accomplish anything in the world.”
Ingram and the Saints take on the Vikings on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. ET on FOX.