Finding God through Tupac, football

Brianna Lewis, News Writer

The Christian Prayer Club hosted their first school event, Wanted, on April 11 and 12. The two day event included messages from former NFL player Ray McElroy and one of Tupac’s former producers, Kevin Reins.

The club is run by the members who organize meetings and events with approval from supervisor Ross Howatt.

Senior Kiara Carter, the club’s co-president, spoke to a few of the students after the first day to share her appreciation for those who came.

“I’m really happy with how it all turned out,” Carter said. “We had a few bumps in the road, but in the end God made a way.”

The original first day speaker was supposed to be ex-convict Louis Dooley. Unfortunately, Dooley was not able to attend and was replaced by Reins.

Reins, better known as DJ K-Low, spoke on the first day of the event about his journey through life growing up in Brooklyn and later in joining the music industry.

He was a part of a hip-hop group from Hollis, Queens. The group known as Live Squad debuted in 1988 with members Stretch and Majesty (Randy and Christopher Walker) along with Reigns.

“When I first met Tupac, he was the really energetic, little guy,” he said during his message. “After they brought him in and I put some of my music behind him, I saw a different side of him.”

Reins spoke about his experiences in the industry — from gang leaders kneeling before him to his prayers for the music labels he was associated with — and the respect he got after people found out his name was associated with Tupac’s records.

He also said that during this process, he ran into people who claimed have his best interest in mind, but they were later exposed which led him to many realizations.

“I’ve learned that having a team of people that care about your best interest and have a common goal is excellent,” Reins said. “Everybody brings something to the table.”

He says that he is still trying to change the game this time from the background, but refers to this generation as the “faces of change”.

McElroy spoke on day two about his six years spent playing in the NFL as a defensive back and the inspiration that drove his career.

He’s been retired from the NFL for 15 years and now spends his time speaking at schools all over the country. McElroy played four years with the Indianapolis Colts and spent his last two years with the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears.

“When you don’t know where you’re going in life, any road looks good to you,” he said during day two of the event. “Nine times of of ten those poor choices we make end up being dead ends. The danger of making a poor choice at the wrong time is that you just can’t just turn around and go back the other way.”

He said that he chose his path to be football at the age of seven although he was not the best athlete on the field.

As a former NFL player who wasn’t even ranked at a non-ranking high school, he wants youth to understand that their goals are reachable as long as they give it their all.

At the end of both nights, students were offered pizza and the chance to speak with both Reins and McElroy.

The club’s meetings are held on Fridays at 3:15 to four o’clock in room 104 North.