Dec. 16, 2011
For Immediate Release
|Josh Anderson speaks to students after his address to FIRST CLASS at Campbellsville
University. (Campbellsville University Photo by Naranchuluu Amarsanaa)
By Matthew Schmuck, student news writer
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – An athletic standout at Eastern Kentucky University, Josh Anderson, is passionate about two things — baseball and, more importantly, his love for Jesus Christ.
Campbellsville University freshmen were given the opportunity to see this first-hand when Anderson spoke with students in Ransdell Chapel during “FIRST CLASS,” a semester-long program that embraces the Christian liberal arts status of CU while helping students develop the virtues of character, leadership and financial stewardship.
Anderson attended Pulaski County High School prior to his enrollment at EKU, where he was voted the Ohio Valley Conference player of the year during his junior season for the Colonels in 2003. Being the first ever, first-team Louisville Slugger All-American at Eastern ensured Anderson as a lock for the EKU Athletics Hall of Fame, and he was inducted in 2009. Of course, four single-season EKU records didn’t hurt those chances at all, either.
Anderson is the top single-season name in the Colonels’ record book for runs (80), hits (106), singles (74) and stolen bases (57). Anderson also holds the career steals record for EKU with 119 during his three-year span with the team before being drafted by the Houston Astros in the fourth round of the 2003 Major League Baseball draft at the end of his junior season.
Regardless of whose name is in the record books, or how far Anderson went with his talents, he says none of it would have been possible without his strong relationship with Jesus Christ.
|Josh Anderson, former major league
baseball player, speaks at
CU’s FIRST CLASS.
(Campbellsville University Photo by
Anderson spoke to CU students on the importance of keeping one’s faith, regardless of the situation. He said in most instances people tend to think that losing faith happens in a negative situation; but he said losing faith could also occur during a time when one is in a very positive situation and does not stay humble.
Anderson said he made it so far in baseball was because of the Christian “stepping stones” his mother instilled in him as a youngster.
“You definitely have to be bold and take a stand,” Anderson said. “If you’re going to serve the Lord and surrender your life to him, you’re going to have to do some unpopular things.”
He said it involves saying no to some things that you know you shouldn’t get involved in and walking away from situations, which would be easy to choose in the flesh.
Anderson said he first brought Jesus Christ into his life at the age of seven at his parents’ home church, Bethel Baptist Church in Eubank, Ky.
From a seven-year-old accepting Christ into his heart, to a professional baseball player bumping elbows with his childhood idols, Anderson has never looked back since selecting the path of a Christian.
“By having a relationship with God and by having a relationship with Him when I got to college, I felt conviction, and I felt it in high school too. When I was about to mess up or do something wrong in my life, I felt conviction: ‘don’t do that…don’t do that.’ Nonetheless, you have to make a choice — a choice to either obey that conviction; or be disobedient,” Anderson said.
|Josh Anderson, front row, far left, posed with the Campbellsville University Baseball Team at
Ransdell Chapel. (Campbellsville University Photo by Naranchuluu Amarsanaa)
Claiming to be the only Christian on his college baseball team at Eastern Kentucky University, Josh Anderson told a story to Campbellsville University freshmen about a time in his life when a teammate asked for Josh’s assistance with accepting Jesus into his life. As the story unfolded, students learned this had been a friend on the team of Josh. He said this instance had been the first time in his Christian walk where he realized others were taking notice in love for Jesus Christ.
“I really honestly think that I was the only Christian on my team. So if he had not seen that in me, what were the chances that he would still be lost today?” he said.
Anderson debuted in the Major Leagues on Sept. 2, 2007 with the Houston Astros, the team that had drafted him four years prior. He also spent time playing for the Atlanta Braves, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals and the Cincinnati Reds.
He and his wife, Heather, live in his hometown of Eubank, Ky., and have a son, Easton, and a daughter, Scarlett. He says he still returns to his parents’ church, the spot where he first accepted Jesus Christ, on occasions.
“The training of a Christian is like that of an athlete,” said a still-fit Anderson who stood at 6-foot-2, 195 pounds during his playing days. “An athlete lifts weights and runs; they are always preparing. We are always preparing as Christians to face each day as well. The battlefield is life itself.”
Dr. G. Ted Taylor, director of FIRST CLASS, and a professor of Christian studies in the School of Theology and lead professor in the sports ministry program at CU, said he was very impressed with Anderson’s visit to CU.
“It has been a joy for me to know Josh Anderson and to follow his major league baseball career,” Taylor said. “His perseverance and unwavering passion to be a Christ follower is remarkable. When I introduce Josh, I like to start by saying, ‘you don’t have to be from a big place (Eubank, Ky.) to do big things for God’s glory.”
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,500 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.