One Heart Community Church Pastor Randy Davis (right) welcomed motivational speaker Clay Dyer, to speak to his congregation Oct. 17. Dyer, who has no legs and half of one arm, is a professional fisherman, and volunteers as a high-school football coach in Alabama.
By Jason A. Smith
Leaders at a Stockbridge church said they were challenged and encouraged, by the words of a man who has met a lifetime of hardships with an attitude of perseverance.
Clay Dyer was the featured speaker, recently, at One Heart Community Church, located at 134 East Atlanta Road in Stockbridge. Dyer is a professional fisherman, and a volunteer assistant football coach, for Hamilton High School in Alabama.
He was born May 23, 1978 with no legs, no left arm, and his right arm is 16 inches with no right hand. He said he is not considered a quadriplegic, because he is not paralyzed.
Dyer said throughout his life, he was determined not to let his physical limitations prevent him from achieving his goals." I knew that if I had my faith in God, everything would take care of itself," he said.
Dyer began his career as a motivational speaker in 1997, soon after becoming a Christian. He said he wanted to share his testimony and personal triumphs with others, including members of One Heart Community.
"I've always been thankful for what I had, and I knew I wanted to take my story to be a positive influence," Dyer said. "The world is tough to live in, and I wanted to show people that you can succeed no matter what, despite the adversity that might be standing between you, and your dreams."
He said he also tried, as a coach, to instill an attitude of perseverance within the students on the football field.
"I have no excuses, and I'm not going to let them have any excuses," Dyer said. "I tell them, 'If I can, you can, and winners never quit.'"
Dyer said the response he received from members of the Stockbridge church, on Sunday, was "incredible."
"They seemed to be very receptive, and gave a positive response of how thankful they were," the speaker added.
Pastor Randy Davis has led One Heart Community Church for seven years. He said the church was "packed out" with people, many of whom crowded around the altar after hearing Dyer speak.
Davis called Dyer an "amazing person," and said he admires Dyer's outlook on life. Others would do well to learn from the speaker's example, said Davis.
"He's got the same feelings that I do, about being able to accomplish your hopes and dreams God has given you, even if there are obstacles to overcome," Davis said. "We were never promised it would be easy. We were just promised that God would help us."
Penny Phagan, a member of One Heart Community's Marketing and Media Ministry, was in attendance for the service. She described Dyer as "an inspiration," whose story has a positive impact on those who hear it.
"He's just a phenomenal man, to overcome the challenges he's faced in life," she said. "He's used his disability, to really make a difference in the world. You can be challenged by his testimony."