Bill Rieser grew up on the streets of a small Italian neighborhood in the midst of Black and Spanish Harlem in New York City. Although his childhood was tough, Bill was a star of high school basketball—he was reported to have a 44-inch vertical leap! He was heavily recruited by major colleges and seemed destined to play in the NBA. But God had other plans for Bill’s life.
Watch Bill's story on video:
Bill’s life and circumstances hardened him, and he lived hard and fast—as far away from God as possible. He injured his knee before his sophomore year in college and could no longer play at the level he had become accustomed. Growing impatient with officials pushing him to play before he could heal, Bill transferred to Eastern Kentucky University, where his agent guaranteed him lots of playing time and a sure NBA future. It didn’t work out that way.
After this, Bill spent more than fifteen years resenting all that had gone wrong in his life, blaming everyone but himself. He continued to make the wrong decisions and indulge in a fast and furious lifestyle. His wife saw his life spiraling out of control and agreed to support him if he would accept Jesus as his Savior and give his life to Christ.
More than ten years later, the change in Bill has been dramatic. God continues to do great things in his life. Bill’s testimony emphasizes the faithfulness of God and His plan and purpose for every believer. Although he was gifted in basketball, Bill says he’s found the most important gift of all: God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. He even likes to say his “vertical reaches further than he could have ever imagined”!
Bill currently lives in Rockford, IL and serves as Director of Recovery Ministries for Heartland Community Church. He also authored a new book with Moody Publishers entitled They Called Me White Jesus.
At Life Story Foundation, we are continually looking for inspirational videos and stories that describe a person's life before and after they found their Christian faith. If you know of a Christian testimony story or video online, please email us the link so we can post it on our site.
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