Finding your path in life

Mar. 19, 2013 @ 07:32 PM

When he was born, doctors said he would never walk.

Today, Steve Carrier stands 6-foot-4, weighs 290 pounds, has 22-inch biceps, and competes in strongmen competitions aired on ESPN.

He is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Mega Force Ministries, an organization helping local pastors do the work of an evangelist by providing refreshing soul winning events.

On Tuesday he was at Vance Charter School using his motivational story of overcoming adversity to connect with young students, and preach the power of choice.

“Choose to believe in friends that believe in you,” Carrier said. “If you’ve got to do something to get someone to like you, you don’t need them to like you.

“A true friend will brag about your strengths and defend your weaknesses.”

Carrier, from Dallas, is in town to participate in a week long revival at South Henderson Church of God on J.P. Taylor Road. He will visit a total of seven schools in Vance County this week as he works toward completing a record 300 assemblies this year.

On Monday Carrier was at Northern Vance High School and Henderson Middle School. Prior to visiting Vance Charter on Tuesday he was at Southern Vance High. He is scheduled to hit Western Vance High, Crossroads Christian, and Eaton-Johnson later in the week.

Picked on as a child for wearing leg braces and having a stutter, Carrier is working to put an end to bullying in schools.

“I’m trying to really make a difference in the nationwide epidemic,” Carrier said. “The message is to be a dream maker, not a dream breaker.”

Jaws began to drop as Carrier opened his presentation with incredible displays of strength, capturing the attention of every student in the audience.

“When I first started I was in a suit and tie giving lectures,” Carrier said. “One thing I learned is kids don’t listen to lectures.”

Dressed in a bright red and gold suit, Carrier cranked up music, and encouraged noise from the crowd as he began his routine.

Ripped pages from a phone book were tossed in the air after Carrier tore it in half with his bare hands.

Helping Carrier demonstrate the strength of a steel bar he would later twist into a pretzel like shape, two girls from the audience stepped forward. Clinging to either end of the steel rod, the girls were hoisted into the air as Carrier lifted it over his head.

Carrier holds a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for breaking 30 bats over his thigh in just 53 seconds.

“Today, you will see me use 450 pounds of pressure on this bat, snapping it in half like a toothpick,” Carrier said.

While Carrier used his muscles to briefly capture attention from the audience, his words created lasting memories.

“He showed me that everything is possible if you work hard,” said Gracie Mason, an eighth-grader at Vance Charter. “I want to be a missionary.”

Katie Orr, another eighth-grader, said she was inspired by the fact that Carrier’s parents were told he was crippled at birth, he wore leg braces until the age 11 and was now a power lifting champion.

“He was little, and had the braces, and he overcame not being able to walk,” Orr said. “He didn’t let it bring him down. He just worked harder.”

Contact the writer at amauser@hendersondispatch.com.