Wrestler grapples with spiritual matters

by Marci Wormser, Signal Staff Writer
July 11, 1999

(Published with permission from People Just Like Us)

World Championship Wrestling star Steve Borden, aka Sting, discussed his spiritual awakening with several dozen people, many of whom came out for a chance to see the professional wrestler in person, in the parking lot of Family Christian Stores in Canyon County Saturday afternoon.

Borden, who became a born-again Christian less than a year ago, arrived by motorcycle to speak to the crowd about how his spiritual renewal.

Steve Borden, aka "Sting" had affected him and why he believes it's important for others to experience a spiritual awakening as well.

'My walk with Christ began only 11 months ago, ' said Borden. 'This has been my first real opportunity for me to speak to the public about Jesus Christ. '

'I grew up in Santa Clarita, ' Borden told the crowd. 'I can relate to all you people here. '

Borden, a Canyon Country resident, attended Peachland Elementary School, Placerita Junior High School, Hart High School and College of the Canyons.

Tammy Morrell, the manager of the First Christian Stores in Canyon Country, arranged to have Borden as the featured speaker at the store's grand opening event Saturday. Other featured events included pony rides for children, a children's astro jump and music played by Christian music station 96.3 FM, who attended the grand opening. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was also held in which Mayor Jo Anne Darcy attended.

First Christian Stores is a national corporation that sells Christian-based books, gifts, cards, jewelry and figurines. The store opened on Soledad Canyon Road about six weeks ago.

Tammy's husband, Mike, is the worship leader of Santa Clarita's Church On The Rock, where Borden is a member. She said she asked Borden to attend the event in order to emphasize to others the impact Christianity can have on their lives.

'I knew he would touch lives, ' she said.

Borden 's brother, Jeff, who is the pastor at the church, spoke to the crowd about the importance of spiritual renewal, and conducted a prayer for those seeking spiritual guidance.

Steve Borden told the crowd that his renewal started as a result of feeling that something was missing from his life, in spite of having 'it all, ' including fame and material wealth.

He hopes to be able to make more public appearances to discuss his renewal, and said that he believes that it will help to make him a better example to the community.

'Yes, wrestlers can be Christians, too, ' Borden told the applauding audience.

Some members of the audience came out just to see Borden, while others said they came out strictly to browse through the store.

The Rev. Dave Sanders, an independently ordained minister, said he came to the event to see Borden and to find out what the store has to offer.

Sanders, an SCV resident who started the Spiritual World Wrestling Association, believes that Christianity and wrestling can complement each other. He said that the physical aspect of wrestling can be compared to wrestling spiritually.

'We all wrestle, ' Sanders said. 'We all have our personal demons. ' Many church members are wrestling fans, he said, adding although many people don 't wrestle physically, all people wrestle through life and spiritually.

Sanders, who brought his wife and children to see Borden, has been a wrestling fan for 30 years.

'I knew it would be a once-in-a-lifetime thing for my son to meet him, ' said Sanders.

Below is part of an article from The Miami Herald:

Miami Herald: I understand you were born again not long ago. How has that changed your life?

Sting: I think I set a better example now. I still make mistakes. For example, I did something pretty stupid on Nitro a few weeks back. I thought the cameras were off and I said that "I've got two words for ya..." thing. I was thoroughly embarrassed, and I shouldn't be saying stuff like that. First off, it's kind of a ridiculous thing to say anyway, and second, it is something from the other guys, and not us. So, I still make mistakes like that. But I set a better example for my kids now. Some persecute religion and some are anti-Jesus Christ, but I'm a lot more at peace with myself now. I was so wide-open with my life before. I'm a better father and a much better husband now. It makes wrestling more of a challenge because I won't do certain things I used to do. For example, if I was wrestling Flair and he knocked me down and then gyrated above me, I would have to gyrate in front of him after I got him down a few minutes later. Now, I've found myself and my spirituality, and I won't compromise that. I know some people will want to see that other stuff, but I hope some people will appreciate what I'll do now. It would be nice if we could all think about doing what's right. And the same goes in wrestling. Let's make lots of parity. Let's be creative with our storylines and characters, and rise above the crap that is so much a part of wrestling nowadays.

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