My name is Josh Pierce, I’m a Redshirt Sophomore baseball player at Kent State University in Ohio. I am a relief pitcher for the Golden Flashes and was blessed to be a part of the team’s amazing run into the College World Series last year. God has been in my life for a good portion of my life, as I was raised in a family with a strong foundation in their faith. I was expected to go to church every Sunday and Wednesday night, and from time to time to memorize bible verses. I was saved at the age of 8 at my grandparents church in Cleveland, but the idea and what it meant to be saved was still over my head. My friends and classmates through high school, back in Avon, Ohio, knew I was a Christian and was sometimes labeled as a “goody-goody.” I always knew what was right and what was wrong from what my parents and pastor had taught me, but my walk with God never really meant anything to me. I went through a rough patch in my life where I blew out my arm and had to get Tommy John Surgery, during this time instead of being humbled I fell away from God.
I went to college and to fit in I started getting into the party scene and doing things I knew I shouldn’t my entire life, but did them anyway just to fit in and be “one of the guys.” I was heading down the wrong path and living wrong, but during my Redshirt Freshman year God really pulled me back in. I was invited by a close friend to attend Fellowship for Christian Athletes, and God really hit me hard. I knew I was heading down the wrong path and I felt I let God down and was the scum of the Earth. I immediately turned things around. I gave up the alcohol, and partying and doing things I knew I shouldn’t. But more importantly, I developed a real relationship with God. I recommited my life to him in November of 2011 and things started to go up from there. I commited my life to him, gave him the reins and let him take over. The Lord started to really move in me, change me for the better and use me to reach out to others. I began to meet with the leaders of FCA every week and get in the Bible and pray and talk about life and I grew in my faith. Through my childhood and high school I was a closet Christian, but last year I started to become an unashamed Christian, the man I was called to be. I started taking my Bible on roadtrips and talking with some of the guys about faith; God was really starting to use me and speak through me. I began to devote every game to the Lord, no matter how I did personally. I always thanked him for the opportunity and all the ways he has blessed me, and was going to go out and give it all for Him! I was blessed with the opportunity to convert the two biggest saves in school history, and play in the College World Series.
God has never revealed himself more to me then in the game in Omaha against Florida. We held a slim 5-4 lead heading into the 9th and I came in and was nervous for the first time ever pitching. I came out and really struggled to throw strikes and things were not looking good for us. I remember stepping off the mound and just start talking to God, asking for the strength to get through the situation no matter how the game ends and thanking him for the opportunity. Then I started repeating Philipians 4:13 in my head over and over and I felt a presence with me that was my comfort and settled me down and allowed me to regroup, lose that nervousness and finish off the game for a win. It was an incredible feeling and the presence of God was so real in me that day. Since then I’ve really grown in my faith and walk with God. I was blessed and named a student leader at FCA and started a small-group men’s bible study with a friend so that we, the men of FCA can grown together and become true men of God. I’ll never truly understand God’s grace and mercy and the love he has for us, but by understanding the fact that he has shown humans and myself that makes me appreciate him so much more. He has really transformed my life and has me living right. He’s my Savior, Opportunity, Provider, and I want to share his love with others, and be unashamed about it.