As part of the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas, head coach Jon Gruden has brought in a new team chaplain: former NFL quarterback and current pastor Randall Cunningham.
“I’m elated, flabbergasted,” Cunningham told ESPN after the announcement on Friday. “I’ve already been in on some [Zoom] meetings with the team. I plan on spending a lot of time with the guys when it’s OK. I’ve talked with Marcus Mariota, Nelson Agholor. What an amazing group of people Mark Davis and Jon Gruden have put together.”
Cunningham played 16 years in the NFL, 11 of which were spent with the Philadelphia Eagles. The four-time Pro Bowler was named the Pro Football Writer’s Association’s MVP for the 1990 season. Cunningham’s 4,928 rushing yards are the most by a quarterback in NFL history.
“He was a hard guy to game plan against because you couldn’t replicate him. You didn’t really see anybody like him. Not only was he fast, but he was hard to tackle.” Bill Belichick on Randall Cunningham. #Eagles #Giants pic.twitter.com/yTiGDSoKka
— PFRPA (@ThePFRPA) May 13, 2019
Following his retirement after the 2001 season, Cunningham and his wife, Felicity, purchased a building that would serve as a music recording studio and dance studio. It also hosted the weekly Bible study the couple had been leading since 1999. The Cunninghams’ ministry continued to grow and officially became Remnant Ministries on Dec. 31, 2003.
In 2004, Cunningham — a born-again Christian — became an ordained minister and started Remnant Ministries Church. The building the Cunninghams bought was transformed into a full-fledged church to accommodate an increasingly large congregation. Cunningham has been its pastor ever since.
“It was something God called me to do,” he said in an interview with ESPN in 2007. “I was told when I was a kid, but I wasn’t really trying to listen back then.”
Raiders owner Mark Davis sees great value in the service Cunningham will provide for his team.
“He’s going to take care of the guys in Las Vegas,” Davis told ESPN. “[Gruden] had him address the team in a team Zoom [recently] and he did a really good job of setting the stage for the team in Las Vegas. When you talk to anyone in the community, everybody always talks about Randall. It’s pretty special.”
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