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Sammie Smith Inspires a Sold-Out Apopka Prayer Breakfast


When he was in sixth grade, Sammie Smith left his home in Zellwood to tryout for a youth football league in Apopka. Unfortunately on arrival they told him he was too big. The league had a weight and age requirement and Smith was well beyond the size of an average 11-year-old.

Not too long after that, Smith found a few teams that would allow him to play no matter how big he was – The Apopka High Blue Darters, The Florida State Seminoles and The Miami Dolphins to name three. He is over 30 years removed from that day, but he is still in many ways bigger than life.

Sammie SmithSmith was the Guest Speaker at the 2016 Apopka Community Prayer Breakfast this morning. He spoke before a sold-out crowd of over 400 people made up of local businesses, church groups, elected officials and the public. The event, which is now 10 years old, was held at the Apopka Community Center/VFW.

Smith's inspiring message was one of redemption and his hope of changing young people’s lives. How do we do that? Smith says look within ourselves.

“My generation? We dropped the ball. What can we do to help the youth out today? It starts with us. We need to step up and be fathers. We need to step up and be mothers.”

Smith was a standout athlete that excelled in both football and track, but in 1996 he was convicted on charges of possession and distribution of cocaine. He served seven years in prison, but it was during this valley experience that his life changed.

“I made a choice to do an idiotic thing, but it transformed my life. That day in Tangerine when I got arrested, that’s the day I met Christ. If I could change that day I would. No one would want to live through that experience. But if this was the path I had to take to change lives, I would do it again.”

Smith’s testimony and his ministry has changed the lives of many local youths through his work with Fellowship of Christian Athletes and at his gym – Kingdom Impact Sports in Mount Dora. But his next journey takes him to Mississippi to be the Life Coach to the Football Team at The University of Mississippi.

But whether it is in Mount Dora, Zellwood, Tangerine, Apopka or Mississippi, Smith’s wisdom as it applies to prayer will always be the same.

“Be diligent about prayer. Prayer changes things. Prayer is amazing. You want to effect change? Pray and look in the mirror.”


Apopka Community Prayer Breakfast, Sammie Smith


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