Magic Johnson, 60, is considered among the great basketball players in the world. He played professionally with the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers from 1979 to 1991 and in 1996.
In March 2019, Magic announced that he would be stepping down as President of Basketball Operations for the Lakers and becoming involved with the ministry of West Angeles Church of God in Christ (COGIC) a Pentecostal church in Los Angeles.
In announcing this decision, COGIC’s senior pastor, Bishop Charles Blake, said that the two would be starting an initiative to help African American men lead successful lives. Part of this includes starting a center that will work with boys and families in the inner city.
I was struck by this announcement, because I believe this is the heart of God. In Malachi, God says that He wants to restore the hearts of the father to their children and the hearts of their children to their fathers (Malachi 4:6).
Children need fathers and I believe fatherless families is becoming an epidemic plaguing modern society.
Larry Elder is a black lawyer, writer and popular conservative radio host in Los Angeles and in an interview with Dave Rubin, Elder said the major problem facing the black community is the fact 75% of the children in black homes are raised without their fathers.
Of course, this problem is not limited to just black families, it is becoming a major problem in society as a whole as divorce and single parenting numbers continue to grow. Elder describes fatherless families as a “neutron bomb dropped on this country.”
Magic Johnson’s announcement signifies a major shift for the former NBA star who was a house hold name during his basketball career.
During his playing days, Magic was chosen three times as the NBA’s most valuable players, three times as the playoffs MVP and 12 times selected to the NBA all star team and even made the NBA’s 50th anniversary all star team.
However, a physical before the start of the 1991-92 basketball season revealed Magic had AIDS, and he immediately announced his retirement from professional basketball. Though retired he was still nominated by fans that year to the NBA all star team and actually played in the game leading his team to victory.
Magic later revealed he had carried on sexual relationships with several women while playing basketball and this helped people understand that AIDS was not just a gay disease.
So what led to Magic becoming a Christian?
The change started nearly twenty years ago, when Magic’s wife, Cookie, started attending COGIC. A short time later, Magic joined her in attending the church.
Today, Magic is very vocal about his faith stating in an interview with the Gospel Herald, it was “the most important thing in his life.”
In a recent presentation at his church, Magic said that he praying more than ever before and is surrounding himself with people of faith.
- Magic Johnson Testifies His Christian Faith in God at Connecticut Huskies vs. Michigan State Spartans NCAA’s March Madness 2014 Game: Gospel Herald
- Magic Johnson Leaves NBA to Serve More in His Pentecostal Church: Charisman News
- Magic Johnson leaves NBA post to serve his community and his church: West Angeles Church of God in Christ News Release