Home Living Today Sports Diehard Bama fan in ‘dilemma’ as Ga. QB’s pastor by Tim Ellsworth

Diehard Bama fan in ‘dilemma’ as Ga. QB’s pastor by Tim Ellsworth

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WARNER ROBINS, Ga. (BP) — Jerry Walls has enjoyed three decades of a prosperous and peaceful pastorate of Southside Baptist Church.

The church in Warner Robins, Ga., has grown considerably under Walls’ leadership — from about 125 when he began to about 3,500 now. He loves his people, and they love him. You don’t serve at a church for 30 years without a deep and mutual affection between pastor and people.

But with Alabama and Georgia colliding on Monday night (Jan. 8) for the College Football Playoff National Championship, Walls and the Southside family are facing a challenge unlike any they’ve encountered together. It’s a challenge some might think could threaten the harmony that has characterized the church.

Walls, a native of Montgomery, Ala., is a diehard Crimson Tide devotee. He’s ministering in the midst of a church full of rabid Georgia Dawgs. And at the center of the brewing church controversy is one of Walls’ church members at Southside — Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm.

“I’m not going to cheer against Jake Fromm, I’m just going to tell you that,” Walls told BP. “Now, I’m not cheering against Alabama, either. I’m cheering for Jake, and I’m cheering for Bama. I’m in a dilemma, brother. I’m in a dilemma.”

Growing up in Montgomery, Walls watched and listened to Alabama football games every week with religious fervor. The Sunday afternoon “The Bear Bryant Show” was required family viewing. To know Walls is to know he bleeds crimson. Not one to hide his light under a bushel, Walls has been aggressively and passionately outspoken about his Alabama zeal ever since arriving in Warner Robins 30 years ago.

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