JJ Hoover is a professional pitcher, drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 2008, currently playing for the Cincinnati Reds. JJ lives to honor Christ on and off the field.
What effect does your faith have on your lifestyle?
Ever since I gave my life fully to Jesus, my faith is everything to me. It’s an everyday faith that drives every decision that I make. Faith is my lifestyle.
Describe how your Journey with Christ began.
I was raised Catholic until the age of 10 when my family began attending a non-denominational church. I remember those years while we attended that church as the best years that we had as a family—something was different. Once I began playing pro ball I began attending baseball chapel with the Reds. For a while I didn’t take it very seriously but as I connected with a few influential Christians and saw the impact that Christ can have. Under the tutelage of my teammate Chris Heisey and baseball chaplain Steve Sisco, I gave my all to Christ in 2012. Finally something clicked—the lightbulb went on and I was sold out for Christ.
Who have been the mentors in your life? How did God bring these people into your life?
Steve Sisco, the head of baseball chapel was always there for me, from day one of my career in the Big Leagues. He was there to offer me guidance for my everyday life, my relationship with my girlfriend (who is now my wife), and my faith. We soon became strong friends and our wives are now close as well. These two are still some of our best friends today. Another very influential man in my life is Eddie Taubensee. I met Eddie when I began playing with the Braves’ minor league team. He was the chaplain of that team at the time. He now continues to be a great role model for me.
What does the Increase of Christ mean to you?
We are saved by grace and not by works. As we live in that truth, we are called to make Christ an increasing aspect of our lives everyday. Walking with Christ everyday is foundational to me and my faith in Him. As I aim to increase His presence in my life, I aim to make myself to decrease.
What is your life verse and why?
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” —Joshua 1:9 As a person who lives on the road most of the time, this verse brings a lot of assurance to me and my faith. Knowing that the Lord my God is with me everywhere I go is a great comfort.
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