A Talk with Jeff Gordon
BY: Dave Caldwell
What is your religious background?
I didn't grow up in a religious family, or even in a family that went to church. I always knew I believed in God, but I don't know if I actually knew what that meant, you know?
Further down the road, I got involved in the NASCAR Busch Series, in 1992, I started going to the chapel service that was going on there, then to the Winston Cup chapel service. I started kind of paying more attention, then became friends with Bobby Hillin, another driver. Then I got to know guys like Darrell Waltrip.
Then I met Max Helton with Motor Racing Outreach. He was a big influence for me. I admired him for a lot of different reasons. He never really was pushing people into it. He just very subtly would talk to me about God. He also came to me and said Joe Gibbs wanted to talk to me about driving for his Winston Cup team, so I liked that, too. (Laughs.)
Later, I met Brooke, who became my wife, and that was a part of her life she did grow up with. It was important to her, and she wanted it to be important to the person she was with. A lot of the (religious) questions that I felt I couldn't just ask of anybody, I felt I could ask her. I really became interested in it, and my belief just grew and grew and grew. It's just continued to grow from there.
Have you been re-born, or had a spiritual rebirth?
I guess you could call it that. Technically, that's what they call it. I've committed my life to Christ. I was also baptized in the same church that Brooke was baptized in. I did that just before we got married.
What is your home church?
We really don't have a home church. The church I was baptized at was in King, N.C., which is where Brooke's family goes to church. For me, it's just MRO, going to the chapel service that travels with us. Max Helton married Brooke and me. That's pretty much what I consider to be my church.
Do you read the Bible?
I go more by the message - the message in layman's terms that you can get into and understand. We have Bible studies that we go to every other week in our area. We have a lot of different Scripture books that we look at. As far as reading the Bible, I don't do it as much as I need to, that's for sure. I try to follow the message, and a lot of it we go through in our Bible studies.