Former UM coach writes devotional book

Published 12:00 pm Friday, January 22, 2016

Sports and church might have more in common than most people realize.

For proof, those interested should read Johnny Flynt’s second self-published book “Sports Devotionals and God Things.”

After his son had challenged him to write his first book several years ago, Flynt started writing the second on a whim.

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“I just started writing down football terms,” he said.

Flynt was a pastor for 28 years at North Oxford Baptist Church. He also taught in the exercise science department and coached baseball at the University of Mississippi for 26 years.

Flynt used his knowledge of sports terminology and spiritual experiences to write his devotional. In the first part of the book, he compared situations on the field with situations in life. Football, baseball and basketball terms are used as examples. He illustrates the spiritual connection within sports with the beginning letter of each term.

The second part features nine “God things” stories. Flynt wrote about how he has seen God work through his life and the life of others. From Africa to away games, he has seen lives touched around the world through sports and mission trips. The unexpected blessings often have influenced his faith.

“I never thought I would go into the ministry, but God called me to the ministry,” Flynt said. “Never did I know that I’d be able to do two things that make my life what it is today.”

Flynt has been involved with Fellowship of Christian Athletes throughout his baseball career. He also was known for hosting optional devotion times with team members.

Keith Kessinger, former Ole Miss baseball player, said, “He was always such a positive influence … you just knew you were getting the best of him every day.”

So far, the book has been successful. He sold out of the first printing last year soon after publishing.

Additionally, Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze has reviewed the book.

Freeze said, “The devotionals and ‘God things’ illustrations will encourage and inspire you to live the abundant life that our Lord wants for all of us.”