You don’t find out who you are until placed in situations where victory seems hopeless. A singular focus takes over, as if you’re on a mission, to see things through.
It’s a sentiment you get after talking to Madison Herrin, new softball coach and Baptist Collegiate Ministries director at Brewton-Parker College. There’s a persona we tend to put forward, in whatever area of life. It’s problem-free with a sheen from the perfect Instagram filter.
But real life comes with challenges, obstacles, and opponents. How we respond to them, according to Herrin, says a lot about our relationship with Christ.
“Coaching – and sports in general – tend to put us in situations that seem impossible,” he pointed out. “We have to learn that our character is always what we should care about. In sports, I tell my teams we have to play as hard as we can as long as we can without compromising our integrity.”
A south Georgia native, Herrin starred at Brantley County High School. While there he led the Herons to their first region championship before playing at BPC as a catcher and designated hitter, finishing with a .320 batting average. During that time he also played with the Saskatoon Yellow Jackets in Canada (the team wasn’t considered a professional ball club and Herrin wasn’t paid, thus not interfering with his amateur status at Brewton-Parker).
After college, Herrin began his coaching career at Robert Toombs Christian Academy in Lyons. There, he undertook head coach responsibilities for the middle school baseball squad while an assistant for the high school softball and baseball teams. In that time, his teams won region titles and competed in the postseason.
At the beginning of the 2007-08 school year, Herrin moved on to Montgomery County High in Mount Vernon, where he eventually became head coach for both baseball and softball. During his time there both teams set school records in wins and returned to postseason play.
In 2012, Herrin stepped away to answer a call to vocational ministry, landing at Tabernacle Baptist Church in nearby Vidalia.
Coaching and ministry
His time at MCHS paved the way for involvement at BPC. “I’d been involved at Brewton-Parker as athletic chaplain for nearly two years before going to Tabernacle. I also coached the baseball team for half a season as an interim,” Herrin said.
Tabernacle tasked Herrin, as associate pastor, to help build up its student outreach. “We launched a new collegiate ministry over the last year and worked directly with Brewton-Parker students as well as other colleges like Southern Regional Technical College and East Georgia State College,” he noted.
As campus minister/BCM director, Herrin works as an extension of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board’s Collegiate Ministries department, partnering with Steve Edwards, who serves as BPC campus pastor.
More than wins on the field
“God placed me at Bewton-Parker as a student for reasons I didn’t understand,” he testified. “Looking back now, I see His wonderful plan for me to meet my future wife, Lyndsay. We now have four beautiful children.”
Herrin emphasized that growth on the softball team won’t be completely measured in wins and losses.
“We’re going to stretch the bounds of our physical, mental, and spiritual abilities on and off the field. I’m excited about growing the spiritual element of the team. I believe there are tons of spiritual lessons we can learn in sports and live as believers in the Lord Jesus!”
Spoken like a coach, someone charged with taking an individual and challenging them to improve. Only with Herrin there’s a dual purpose.
“My philosophy in coaching and ministry is ‘life is hard,’ but we have the greatest example to follow, and that’s Jesus. He took every type of hardship we deserve and took it on Himself and completed the mission.”