Winter 2023

Chargers RB Joshua Kelley gets baptized by team chaplain: 'Jesus is Lord!'

In his first year in the NFL, Los Angeles Chargers running back Joshua Kelley carved out a role for himself in a busy backfield in 2020.

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The Chargers’ fourth-round pick last April accumulated 354 yards and two touchdowns on 111 rushes last season, while catching all 23 of his targets in the passing game for another 148 yards.

And even while Kelley is busy working this offseason to improve his production next fall, the 23-year-old took a bold stand for Christ this weekend that will have an impact for eternity. He was baptized by Chargers chaplain George Gregory.

The powerful moment was captured on video, which Kelley later posted on Instagram.

“Today is a monumental day in my walk with God,” Kelley’s caption said. “I was baptized and made a public confession of my faith. Jesus is Lord! Thank you [George Gregory] for being an outstanding man of God and baptizing me today. All glory to God and our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Joshua Kelley (@joshua_kelley_)

Kelley concluded his post by citing Romans 10:9-10, which says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”

Kelley celebrated his baptism by extending both arms skyward while still in the water. Afterward, he wore a shirt that says, “Found peace in Jesus.”

He has spoken about his faith on social media before, calling himself a servant of the Lord in his Instagram and Twitter bios. “Jesus is coming! Best be ready,” he continued on Twitter. On Instagram he says, “It’s bigger than you. God over everything!”


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A post shared by Joshua Kelley (@joshua_kelley_)

An Inglewood, California, native, Kelley began his college career at UC-Davis, an FCS program, as a two-star recruit out of high school. The Aggies were the only team to pursue him. He transferred after two seasons and enrolled at UCLA as a walk-on.

He was eventually awarded a scholarship by head coach Chip Kelly, earned MVP honors for the Bruins in 2018, earned second-team all-Pac-12 honors in 2019, and eclipsed 1,000 yards in each of his two seasons.

He was able to stay in L.A. when the Chargers picked him up in last year’s draft with the 112th overall selection.

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