Don Lowrey was a high school sports official for 37 years, from 1976-2013. He also has been featured in The Baptist Messenger, even recently in the Feb. 12 Messenger as he reminisced about his kidnapping experience 40 years ago.
Lowrey wrote a book titled I Didn’t Have A Prayer, But That’s What Saved Me that gives details about being kidnapped, beaten with bricks, shot in the head and left for dead. But because of prayer, Lowrey was rescued by a passerby who just happened to come across the abandoned shack where Lowrey was found in a weak condition.
The book was a powerful testimony that appealed to many readers. Some even asked Lowrey when he would write another book. Lowrey’s humorous response was, “Well, I’m not planning to get kidnapped again.”
But then someone suggested to Lowrey that he write about his experiences in officiating. The admirer said Lowrey told interesting stories about things that happened on the football field or the basketball court.
That prompted Lowrey to write his second book, Officially Christian, which was recently released, and Lowrey said the book title was an easy decision.
“I’m an official. I’m a Christian, so I’m officially Christian,” he said.
Lowrey is featured on the book cover, showing as he said “his best side.” With his back to the camera, wearing his referee uniform, Lowrey looks to be signaling a touchdown, but he said it also appears like he is praising the cross which is featured on the cover above a goal post.
The book gives many anecdotal stories of Lowrey and his years of sports officiating. He said the first half of the book contains stories of how he became an official. The second half features stories that relate to his experiences on the playing field, and every story has scriptural references.
In one chapter, Lowrey gives a version of the “spiritual armor” that Paul describes in Eph. 6. He writes about the equipment that is necessary to do his job properly as an official, and every time he would go out to work a game, he would go through a ritual of a mental checklist to make sure he had all of his equipment.
“Wouldn’t it be neat if before we went out as Christians that we would do a mental checklist?” he asked. “Have I got on my helmet? Have I got on my breastplate? Do I have the sword?”
A member of Oklahoma City, Cherokee Hills, Lowrey said he has shared his testimony approximately 1,500 times in public settings since the mid 1990s. He has been a regular speaker at Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) events.
“God’s calling on Don’s life is so evident in everything he does and everywhere he goes,” Jeremy Tims, FCA area director, wrote as an endorsement for Officially Christian. “His ability to communicate God’s love and purpose to groups of all ages is amazing! Don’s stories, humor and trust speak directly to the hearts of his audience. His relationship with Christ creates passion and encouragement in others. Don has left a lasting legacy in schools, teams, churches and communities across the state of Oklahoma! It is a privilege to call him friend!”
Matt Gill, marketing strategist and former basketball official, also endorsed Lowrey’s new book, saying “Officially Christian will give any sports enthusiast enlightening life lessons through entertaining stories and parallels drawn from real sports events for your life and faith as seen through the eyes of a respected veteran sports official.”
To order Lowrey’s book, visit www.OfficiallyChristian.com, or email him at [email protected]