Lord’s Library editors created this short profile on Khari Willis’ faith in Jesus Christ as an encouragement and to highlight Christians doing bold things in popular culture.
Khari Willis, a former safety for the Indianapolis Colts, made a noteworthy decision in 2022 when he announced his retirement from the NFL at the young age of 26 to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This decision came as he was approaching what could have been the most lucrative contract of his career.
Drafted in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Colts, Willis quickly established himself as a key playmaker on the team’s defensive unit. By the middle of his rookie season, he had become the starting strong safety, a position he maintained throughout his tenure with the team. In his three seasons, Willis accumulated impressive statistics, including 219 tackles and four interceptions in 33 games.
Khari Willis’ Faith in Jesus Christ
Despite his success on the field, however, Willis felt a different calling. He expressed this in an Instagram post, stating his decision came after much prayer and deliberation. He thanked his family, friends, and fans for their support and expressed excitement in pursuing what God had ordained for the rest of his life.
Willis’s faith had already been a significant part of his life, even before his NFL career. He had previously spoken about how his faith was a personal journey with its ups and downs but emphasized that it kept him focused on who he is in Christ. His decision to retire early from the NFL and devote his life to Christian ministry is a testament to his faith commitment and willingness to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Colts Head Coach Frank Reich, who is also a Christian, expressed his support for Willis’s decision. Reich respected, and even admired, Willis’s choice to transition into the next stage of his life beyond football. Willis’s teammates, including Pro Bowl cornerback Kenny Moore II, also showed their support, acknowledging his character and the impact he had both on and off the field.
Willis’s story is a powerful example of someone choosing to follow their Christian conviction, even when it means trading a potentially lucrative career to further spread the Gospel.
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