Siran Stacy gives emotional sermon on tragedy
OXFORD – Siran Stacy struggled with depression, anger and his own shaken religious faith after his wife and four of his children were killed in a car accident.
Now, the former Alabama running back is urging others to keep the faith whatever the circumstances.
“I could have decided not to come out of it,” Stacy told an overflow crowd at Oxford’s Meadowbrook Baptist Church Sunday. “But I came back. I told the devil to get away and I came back.”
Stacy, 39, was driving his family home from his mother’s house when a drunk driver crossed an intersection and struck his car on Nov. 19, 2007 near Dothan. The accident also killed 29-year-old Adam Wayman, the other car’s driver.
“I knew how he could play football, but I didn’t know how well he could preach. I wouldn’t be surprised for him to go into the ministry after what I saw today.”
– Gary Rivers, pastor of Meadowbrook Baptist Church
Stacy and his 3-year-old daughter, Shelly, were seriously injured in the crash.
“11-19-07 is a location in time I don’t want to go into, but nevertheless I do,” Stacy said. “I don’t remember the last words to my wife. I don’t remember being in a coma for a month in the hospital. I don’t remember anything. I do remember the day of my two daughters’ funeral, that night was the night I became broken.”
Speaking candidly and passionately, Stacy spoke of his struggles in the accident’s aftermath, of coping with coming home to a house where his family was no longer able to greet him.
Pastor Gary Rivers said the church normally seats 400, but estimated the crowd at between 500 and 600 to hear Stacy. Congregants filled extra seating and lined the back walls, and some wore Crimson Tide polo shirts.
They listened to Stacy’s testimony for nearly all the hour-long service.
“I knew how he could play football, but I didn’t know how well he could preach,” Rivers said. “He came in here powerful, sharing the word of God with us. I wouldn’t be surprised for him to go into the ministry after what I saw today.”
Stacy read from Scripture and called for others to have faith. Afterward, he shared hugs, signed autographs and prayed with many of the congregants for an hour and a half.
Former Alabama teammate Stacy Harrison drove from Atlanta for the service to support his friend.
“To be able to stand in front of a crowd of people to give his testimony is amazing,” Harrison said. “There’s really no word to express what I feel for him. Just hearing him speak just as he did on the football field you can tell in his speech that he’s real about it.”