Christian Jerseys Used to Minister to Black Youth

When working in a Christian gift retail booth in an urban mall, Cornell Jackson noticed that only "older, conservative type" people came into the stores to buy Christian merchandise while the younger generation shied away. He knew that there must be a way to minister to the youth and still let them keep their "coolness" they strive so hard to maintain.

From his home in Birmingham, Ala., where 26% of the population is black according the 2000 U.S. Census Bureau report, Jackson noticed that many of the black youth wore Basketball, Baseball, Football, and Hockey jerseys.

"It wasn't cool enough for them to wear the (regular) shirts," Jackson told the Christian Post. But he felt that "it would be great if they had something to represent Jesus, the Lord and Savior, and at the same time feel the coolness they want to feel."

That's when God gave him a vision to combine throwback jerseys with a Biblical message. He then founded Christian Throwback Jersey Company which sells religious sports and athletic attire that display versus such as Proverbs 3 "God is in control."

But Jackson said the Christian apparel is not just for the "black culture," it appeals to everybody.

"The youth are so influenced by what they see on T.V.," he continued, naming things like MTV, Hip-Hop artist 50-cent and Hip-Hop group G-unit.

"Someone needs to promote God in that same positive light with the same emphasis we put on wear on the G-unit and Fubu stuff," said Jackson.

The jerseys display verses such as Proverbs 3, "God is in control," and Mark 10:27, "With God all things are possible," which became the motto for the company and is also included in the company's number.

Jackson said he made the verse the company's motto because he felt the company was birthed from divine inspiration.

"I didn't even wear jerseys," he said, "but for God to give me a vision to make jerseys then I thought it must be God."

In addition to jerseys, the company also makes golf shirts and custom team uniforms and is looking into hat designs.

Groups that order from the company include Word of Faith Family Worship Cathedral in Austelle, Ga., right outside of Atlanta. The church is ordering uniforms for its "Hands Team," a group that uses sign language as a ministerial tool.

Although specific verses are chosen for the clothing apparel, Jackson said everything in the Bible is important.

He said, "All of it is great and a powerful message."