A Georgia high school football coach, who had been the target of an ugly atheist smear campaign, has been fired.
Coach Isaac Ferrell had invited a local pastor to share the Gospel message with players. After which, about 20 teenagers at Tattnall County High School converted to Christianity and asked to be baptized.
The baptisms, which occurred in a large trough on school property, can be seen in the video posted below.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a notorious atheist group that has a troubled history of targeting small school districts, fired off a threatening letter to the school district.
“The district must refrain from infusing its football program with religion, and coach Ferrell cannot be allowed to preach to student athletes or allow a local pastor to preach to and baptize students,” FFRF Staff Attorney Chris Line wrote in a letter to Tattnall County School District Superintendent Kristen Waters.
The FFRF alleges that a “concerned” community member ratted out the coach.
They accused the coach of abusing his position of authority with the student athletes and called for the district to launch an investigation.
“Football players shouldn’t be forced to get baptized to play football,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “Student athletes will feel coerced to oblige with their coach’s wishes.”
The school district said in a statement that the coach was removed from the team due to another incident. They did not disclose the details. They also confirmed they were investigating the baptisms, but stressed it had nothing to do with the firing. The district also said the coach remains a teacher in the school system.
The FFRF celebrated the news that they had once again coerced a school district into punishing a Christian coach. They released a statement saying they were glad the district was”looking for a new coach who will abide by his constitutional duties.”
Latifa Johnson told television station WSAV that she was overjoyed when she learned that her son was one of the boys who accepted Jesus Christ.
“I was extremely proud of him because he made the decision on his own. I didn’t have to hold his hand, and he did it because he wanted to do it,” Johnson told the television station. “It was so sweet because you see the boys and they looked like they wanted it,” said Johnson, “You know, like everyone looked excited, from the ones I was able to see. So was cheering thank you, God. Yes, yes, yes. I was all for it.”
The coach is a beloved member of the community and well-respected across the state of Georgia.
“”I met Coach Ferrell once through a mutual friend, and from that moment I knew he was a great mentor to many. Coaches are here to inspire young student athletes, and ensure they have all the tools to be successful in this cruel world. I believe that the kids saw their coach’s faith in GOD and wanted that same thing in their life and ask him if he could get them baptized,” one supporter wrote on social media.
Coach Ferrell has not commented publicly on his dismissal, but he has posted a number of Bible verses and inspirational messages on his social media platforms.
The most recent message came from the New Testament Book of James: “My friends, be glad, even if you have a lot of trouble. You know you learn to endure by having your faith tested. But you must learn to endure everything, so you will be completely mature and not lacking in anything.”
Amen, Coach. Amen.
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