Cheers filled the cafeteria at Mossy Creek Elementary School today as Shonn Keels bent a metal rod into the shape of a fish, tore a phone book in half and broke a wooden bat.
Once he had their attention, he spoke to the pupils and encouraged them to listen to the right voices, make the right choices and follow dream makers, not dream takers.
“There will be people who will laugh at your goals and dreams,” he said, adding that people should instead surround themselves with people who will enthusiastically cheer them on.
Keels, a member of Team Impact, and fellow teammate Chip Minton, spent today traveling to schools in the North Augusta area, showcasing their strength and sharing messages with pupils about going for their goals, dreams and respect.
“Team Impact is a group of world class athletes that travel around the world doing feats of strength and sharing the message of hope and inspiration,” said Keels, who has been on the team since it was founded in 2000.
Starting tonight through Sunday, Big Stevens Creek Baptist Church is hosting Keels and Minton as they demonstrate their strength and talk about their faith and personal relationships with God. Each session is at 7 p.m. in the church’s Family Life Center.
Keels will preach at the 10:45 a.m. service Sunday, said Pastor Tommy Meador.
Team Impact is made up of 15 athletes who come from various backgrounds. Keels is a former U.S. Navy rescue swimmer and power lifting champion. Minton competed in the 1994 and 1998 Winter Olympics on the U.S. bobsledding team and is a former WCW wrestler who was known as Mr. World Class.
Team members use their athleticism to capture the audience's attention. Once they have their attention, the audience is more likely to listen to the message, said Keels.
Each member of the team travels about 30 to 36 weeks of the year, but they don’t mind being on the road.
“We do what we do because we have the opportunity to see lives changed,” he said. “...Ultimately, the life change we get to experience on the road is what keeps us going from city to city.”
He encourages everyone to come out this weekend to the sessions.
“Team Impact is a family-friendly event. It’s fun for the whole family,” he said. “Come early and get a good seat.”