Former Korn guitarist Brian "Head" Welch and Dallas Cowboys linebacker Bradie James helped celebrate the I Am Second movement's second anniversary Thursday evening.
The movement drew some of the celebrities that have shared their testimonies in I Am Second videos to Bent Tree Bible Fellowship in Carrollton, Texas, to recall how a billboard campaign in the Dallas-Fort Worth area transformed into a video movement that has impacted people worldwide. The I Am Second website has attracted 3.3 million visitors from 214 countries/regions.
"When I first saw the I Am Second billboards two years ago, I said, 'They'll never have me up there,'" recalled James during the evening program. "At the time … we all have struggles and all have to deal with them. For me to be here today that just shows God is working in a lot of our lives."
I Am Second seeks to inspire people struggling with everyday life as well as destructive lifestyles by allowing them to see and hear video testimonies of how celebrities – including actors, musicians, athletes, politicians, authors – have overcome their problems through finding their identity in Christ. The videos end with the speaker saying they have learned to put God first and themselves second.
The second anniversary celebration included praise and worship by Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Matthew West, I Am Second videos, and testimonies and responses by participants on their experience with the movement.
"I sacrificed a lot when I left Korn," said former metal artist Brian "Head" Welch on Thursday. "What I'm doing now doesn't pay much but to see people's lives changed, that's my paycheck. It's what I live for."
Navy Seal John "Remi" Adeleke shared how the I Am Second stories have impacted his troop overseas. He recalled showing the videos to his troop during a church service to help the men understand they were not the only ones struggling in life. One of the men watching the video shared that he was considering leaving his wife until he saw the video by Biggest Loser Season 6 winner Michelle Aguilar on the negative effect her parents' divorce had on her. Adeleke thanked Aguilar for sharing her story.
"One of the biggest blessings of the I Am Second campaign is it goes places I can't go," said Aguilar to Adeleke. "These videos are going into places all around the world. I'm so thankful you would return the favor and share the story of how I Am Second is impacting you."
I Am Second was created by e3 Partners Ministry, Inc., as an outreach campaign that uses pure and heartfelt stories of those who have been transformed by Christ. The campaign wanted to avoid the negative stereotypes of the Church and simply focus on the raw message of the transforming power of Jesus Christ.
"[There's] a real jadedness people have in America towards institutional church" and the campaign can serve as "the shallow end of the pool that helps get people in a proper relationship with Christ," said Nathan Sheets of e3 Partners Ministry to The Christian Post in an earlier interview.
Other attendees included child actress Bailee Madison, pro skateboarder Brian Sumner, professional bass fisherman James Caldemeyer, and professional motorcycle racer Laura Klock.
The movement encourages those who believe they are second to take part in I Am Second Service Day on Dec. 4 by putting their faith into action. Participants can register their Service Day on the I Am Second website.
On the Web: iamsecond