Date published: January 18, 2010
One of the most important elements of a good presentation is getting the audience's attention. Steve Carrier, "The Strongman," certainly has that practice mastered.
The December 4 Independent Mail of Anderson, South Carolina, reported on how the Anderson County Sheriff's Office turned something bad into something good by using seized drug money to pay the strongman's fees to bring a message of hope, dreams, and choosing the right path to nine elementary and junior-high schools in the area.
Using his incredible, God-given strength to hold the rapt attention of his authence, Carrier, founder and one-man cast of Mega Force Ministries, easily segues from entertainment into encouragement. After engrossing students with amazing feats of might including tearing phone books in half, bending rebar over his head, breaking baseball bats over his knee, crushing full soda cans, and more, the mighty man tells the students, "Today is not about strength, or being a worldclass athlete, it is about being a worldclass student, and a world-class person." Admonishing the children especially to avoid those who try to entice them into drug and alcohol use, he tells them to "have the courage to hold on to your dreams, and be willing to pay the price for them. Don't let anyone take them away from you."
As far as holding on to and paying the price for dreams. Carrier knows whereof he speaks. In an interview with sportsfaith.com, Steve related that he was born disabled, with a pronounced stutter and with legs severely atrophied owing to the bones not developing properly. Though constantly ridiculed by other children, Carrier did not get discouraged or give up, and with God's help determined to talk and walk normally. After years of intense labor, prayer, and determination, the stutter was gone, and by the age of 10, he had learned to walk without braces on his legs. Making up for lost time, Steve began running and building up his strength, eventually excelling at basketball and other sports. And when he saw Lou Ferrigno and Arnold Schwarzenegger, he knew he had found his passion - power lifting.
Combining his passion for power lifting with his passion for spreading the Gospel, Carrier now travels all over the world using his unique delivery to bring the message of hope to secular and church authences alike, and has even been featured on CNN, America 's Got Talent, and Ripley 's Believe It or Not. Though not allowed to share the Gospel during his public-school presentations, he can speak to students privately after his performances and invite them to hear the Good News, and this often has wonderful results.
Carrier recounted one incident to sportsfaith.com in which a 16-year-old girl came to school one day to bid farewell to her friends before her planned suicide, and happened to hear the muscleman's message. After the presentation, she told Steve that she had changed her mind about ending her life because of the encouragement she received. Carrier invited her to another event that night at a local church; the young lady attended with several of her friends, and all the girls accepted Christ.
Whether delivered to a secular authence or a church fellowship, the Mega Force message is effective. Anderson County Sheriff's Captain Randy Creamer told the Independent Mail that he is confident that Carrier's counseling will cause students to make "choices that will keep them out of prison someday." And given the unique presentation, it will likely be a long time before the authence forgets what they have seen and heard. "It's hard to forget seeing a man rip a phone book in two. I hope these kids will always remember Steve's message," Sheriff John Skipper told the Mail.
Although traveling away from his family is sometimes difficult for Carrier, it is a sacrifice well worth making. He concluded in the sportsfaith.com interview, "The time away from my family is hard, and at times it's stressful. [But] then a letter comes in from a changed life, or a family stops me after a show to tell me the difference I have made, and I am assured that I am doing what God wants me to do."