The day I dived right into the arms of God
Jacquez Harrison was the first to shout the words.
“Jesus is Lord.”
Those three words came from a place deeper than he knew.
The boldness. The courage. The Daring.
Those words suddenly were who he was; what he was about.
It was like Gauntlet 18 — the whole of his life so far — was leading up to this point.
His Gauntlet room leader, Charlie Metcalfe, had texted every Sunday and Wednesday for two years to make sure Jacquez got to church and Fuse and stayed in community — even as he was getting dragged down by the wrong crowd; partying, smoking weed, and drinking.
His Gauntlet spot, which included some financial assistance, came open just a week before the summer camp kicked off. A new season of life as a junior at Walhalla High School was just a few weeks away.
WATCH: How Charlie Metcalfe helped a spiritual brother shine in darkness.
Here he was at Gauntlet, in a crowd of 5,000, hearing Clayton King speaking to students about his own experience changing schools as a teenager and what it meant to follow Jesus publicly.
The social cost. The opportunity.
“He was talking about how God chooses you and how you’re supposed to make a change,” Jacquez says. “I feel like I’m doing the exact same thing.”
Jacquez had made a decision for Jesus in 8th grade, but he was just trying to fit in. Now Jacquez was ready to connect with Jesus at an emotional level and create a relationship with him.
And Jacquez saw that he could be a better role model, a better son, and lead his family to Christ.
“God spoke to me, and I jumped up and screamed it as loud as I could, ‘Jesus is Lord.’ It didn't take boldness because I knew Jesus was with me.”
"Charlie told me it would be the best week of my life, and he was right!"
Jacquez had come to Gauntlet wanting God — maybe even daring God — to do something powerful in his life.
“I didn’t really think it was going to change me,” Jacquez says about Gauntlet. “I feel like God wanted me to come here, so I could spread His Word.”
On his Instagram, Jacquez compared his decision to declare “Jesus is Lord” to the dive he took in the Gauntlet Games’ bellyflop contest the same night he was saved.
Crazy. Joyful. Confident.
“This was my first Gauntlet. I don't plan on missing another one,” he says. “Charlie told me it would be the best week of my life, and he was right!"
As Jacquez steps into a new season on the Walhalla varsity football team as a middle linebacker, he thanks God for his athletic ability, but he also knows football is just something he does. Not who he is.
“I’m ready for the journey and spreading the word and getting other people to the point of feeling the freedom I’m feeling now: Brand new,” Jacquez says.
"Most people think it’s a small town, Seneca, but you've got the people on the streets, and you've got the drugs. I just don’t want to see my friends caught up in the gang activity. You don't need that to succeed. You don't money to succeed. You need Jesus to succeed.”
Charlie baptized Jacquez at NewSpring Clemson on the Sunday after their return from Daytona Beach.