Descending from a sharecropper and growing up in a Texas town where his family were the first black residents, Jack Brewer has lived the realities of race. “Through my childhood and into my teen years, I had to battle with skinheads and Klansmen,” Jack says. “It deeply shaped me.”
His family didn’t have a lot of education. In fact, when he was just 11 years old, Jack taught his father to read and write. As is the case in many families, his mom was his spiritual mentor, pushing him to be active in their church community. “All those experiences impacted the man I am now,” he says.
Football was a big part of his childhood, and Brewer was able to use the sport as his vehicle. “As I found success playing sports” he explains, “I was able to elevate myself.” Jack excelled academically and graduated with his undergrad and master’s degree before getting signed with the NFL. Not only was football a vehicle for his academic and career mobility, but it also enabled him to launch his nonprofit foundation.
Jack always had a deep passion for serving. “When I got to the NFL, I was not a big-money player, but I had access, and I had a voice,” he says. He rallied his teammates to have charity fishing tournaments, football camps, etc., bringing others together for service. Since then, his foundation—The Jack Brewer Foundation—has grown to have global impact. “As I’ve gotten older, wiser, and closer to God, I know it’s now time for me to build a legacy for Christ.”
One of Jack’s most passionate causes is that of absent fathers, particular in our nation’s black community. One in four babies in the U.S. is born into a fatherless family. One recent statistic shows that 77% of babies born in the black community are born to single moms. “One of the biggest civil rights issues of our time is fatherhood,” Jack says. “Kids that don’t have fathers or positive male influences is devastating, and our institutionalized system has made this acceptable in black culture today.”
Among the programs Jack has instituted through his foundation is a prison ministry that teaches business and leadership skills to incarcerated men. The course is qualified for the First Step Act, which gives a reduced sentence for men who successfully complete the program. According to Jack, “This program is about rehabilitation, but, at the core, it’s about fatherhood. We talk about not just the father in the flesh, but about our Father in heaven.”
Another aspect of his work that focuses on the fatherless. Jack has worked hard to implement after school activities because so many programs have been eradicated. “Because this population is so underserved, these kids get out of school and have nowhere to go,” he says. “Our programs help bridge the gap of missing fathers by providing male role models.”
Racial reconciliation requires Christ
Jack emphasizes that the Gospel is about reconciliation and proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ—He’s the great Mediator and Reconciler. And once we are reconciled to Him, we can serve has His ambassadors. “Gospel reconciliation is at the core of the racial healing we need—as a nation and across the globe,” he says. “We are so divided because of identity, and the left has strategically used this to separate us, to invoke fear, and to get folks to bash each other. They call me names because they want to set my identity for me.”
Right now, there’s an entire generation of people outside the body of Christ. These people are searching for identity. Without a spiritual foundation, they are easily identified by others—and accept that without question. “In this situation, racial reconciliation becomes much more difficult,” Jack explains. “People forget that we are all children of Abraham, whether we’re white, black, green, or purple. So, our lineage is being redefined from the Biblical foundation to this identity crisis we have now. I’m trying to use my voice to wake America up.”
Recently, Jack Brewer has been in the media forefront because he called President Trump “the first black President.” He says it was an intentional, prayerful comment. “I did this for a reason. Although President Obama is half black, his policies and the things he stood for go against the Word of God. I will always stand against that.” Jack goes onto explain the problem of the black community placing their racial identity before their identity in Christ. “The former administration—Vice President Biden, specifically—wrote the 1994 crime bill that broke up millions of black families in our country. And he still stands by that bill today.”
All Christians, whatever color, must hold firm to an identity in the blood of Christ. Sadly, many people today who claim to be Christians do not vote according to the Bible’s truths. “They vote to abort babies, to redefine marriage, to keep people locked up,” Jack says. “You cannot vote those ways and serve God. This needs to change.”
Jack Brewer is on the forefront of that movement. “I have a voice as a black man, and I am calling for what I call a ‘Black Awakening’ in our great country. We must recognize that our political and cultural problems are spiritual problems.”
Citizens can try to figure out policies, schools, neighborhoods, etc., but at the end of the day, Jesus must simply be placed back on the Throne. Believers must act—and vote—like believers. “We can’t water down our faith to appease others for the sake of politics,” Jack says. “If you’re not willing to break off of a party that takes you way from your Christian principles, we’ll have a very long way to go.”
Jack Brewer is the founder of the Jack Brewer Foundation, a Champion for the Falkirk Center and a friend of Liberty University.