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Red Raider Football Flashback: Biggurs blends faith, football into life of service to God

Former Red Raider all-conference tackle serves as pastor of church in Metroplex

Posted: July 8, 2013 - 6:45pm  |  Updated: July 9, 2013 - 12:39am

Just a few years after his playing days at Texas Tech in the early 1990s, former three-time All-Southwest Conference tackle Charlie Biggurs answered the call to ministry and has served in various roles ever since.

But that doesn’t mean he’s become disconnected from the game of football, staying in touch by ministering to several teams in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

“I talk with a lot of teams in the area about how Christianity gives us a picture of overcoming adversity in Christ,” Biggurs said. “Everyone knows when you own a football team, you are going to face adversity sooner or later and you’ll have to overcome it to be successful, whether as a team or as an individual.”

Biggurs was a three-year starter at right tackle from 1990 to 1992. After exhausting his eligibility, he hung around the Texas Tech program as a strength and conditioning student assistant under Joe Juraszek until he completed his degree in 1994.

When Juraszek joined Barry Switzer’s staff at Oklahoma, Biggurs followed him to Norman and served as a strength and conditioning assistant for two more years. Biggurs said it was during that time he started to hear the call to the ministry.

In 1996, Biggurs moved to Tyler to serve in a church his father-in-law pastored. After 1 1/2 years in Tyler, his phone rang one day, and he was back in football again, joining Juraszek on the staff of the Dallas Cowboys, where he stayed until 2000.

During his time with the Cowboys, he began a church in Lancaster in 1999, the Abundant Grace Christian Center and also served simultaneous roles as a strength and conditioning coach and chaplain for the Cowboys for several years.

He has since earned his Masters of Biblical Studies from the Institute for Teaching God’s Word Seminary and a Ph.D. in Ministry from the Minnesota Graduate School of Theology.

“My faith has really increased, just because you see God doing tremendous things in the lives of people when they whole-heartedly give their lives over to the Lord and make Him Lord and savior,” Biggurs said. “Things begin to turn around and things begin to change in their lives.

“When guys come in with zero faith or very little faith and all of the sudden they are on fire for the Lord and believing God for some tremendous things. Every day it reconfirms to me about what the scriptures say about Christ.”

According to the Abundant Grace’s website, Pastor Biggurs “preaches a message of deliverance to those who have been overtaken in a fall, a message of healing to those who have been broken, and a message of restoration to those seeking to be restored.”

During the Tommy Tuberville era at Tech, The Red Raiders employed a chaplain, Steve Grant, for three years. Having experience as a team chaplain for the Cowboys, Biggurs believes this type of implementation will always yield positive results.

“I think it’s something good, having a chaplain on staff,” Biggers said. “I think it gives the guys another option, another voice of reason. It’s a place for guys to go and share some things on a personal level with their pastor, their chaplain, that they wouldn’t share with someone else.

“I know my wife and I had the chance on several occasions to provide some marital counseling to guys struggling with their marriage when I was with the Cowboys. It’s another avenue for the guys to get some positive information, some positive counseling to affect their lives beyond just the football areas.”

Speaking from experience, Biggurs believes remaining humble is the biggest challenge a college athlete faces while trying to live for Christ.

“To know it’s not you, but the Lord that gives you your gifts and abilities to do what you’re doing and if you keep that in perspective and stay focused, you can be a great football player,” Biggurs said. “The Bible says every good and perfect gift comes from the heavens above. When you know that it’s not you but the Lord that works in you, it keeps you humble.”

“It’s a tough situation when you’ve got 60,000-70,000 people screaming your name, you’ve just got to stay humble and say to God be the glory.”

The name Biggurs and football might not be quite done, either.

Biggurs’ oldest son, Chris, is a 6-foot-4, 235-pound defensive end at Coppell High School.

While fans won’t know for sure for at least 18 months, it’s possible that at least one more Biggurs could suit up for the scarlet and black in the future.

“I told him we don’t have a choice, we’ve got to take a serious look at Texas Tech,” Biggurs said.

“I thank God for my experience and my time at Tech,” Biggurs said. “Going to Lubbock, Texas, and becoming a Red Raider, I think was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve kept up with the team and been vocal with the social media aspect. I especially love how things are with Coach Kingsbury and the future of the program.”

 

landon.wright@lubbockonline.com

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