Aspiring teenage preacher who baptized baseball teammates in Georgia to play at The Citadel


CHARLESTON, S.C. — An aspiring young preacher and baseball player who baptized most of his teammates at a Georgia junior college last fall has committed to play for The Citadel beginning next season.

Robbie Lane, the starting shortstop at East Georgia State College in Swainsboro, described being recruited to play for the Division I school in Charleston as a dream come true.

“I was extremely excited because I knew the Lord was answering my prayers,” he said “After visiting the school, I knew it was where the Lord wanted me to go.”

The 19-year-old Lane baptized 11 of his teammates in a shiny aluminum watering trough set up on the baseball field in December.

Lane said he had sensed that the Lord was calling him to ministry last summer. Initially, he said he thought that would mean giving up baseball. But, instead, baseball became a key to his ministry, opening doors to preaching assignments in Georgia churches.

“I’m just so thankful for the Lord,” Lane said. “And looking back at the things that I’ve gone through, the trials I’ve faced, the storms I’ve been through, it’s all been for a purpose.”

When Lane began leading an on-campus Bible study, his teammates began showing up to hear about Jesus. One after another, those teammates began committing their lives to Christ.

Pembroke Pastor Tommy Smith described Lane as personable, humble and charismatic.

“God’s just really got a finger on this young man,” Smith said.

Lane had shared the gospel with his East Georgia teammates just before Thanksgiving last year and invited them to respond to the gospel.

“One stood up, then another stood up, and another stood up,” Lane said at the time. “Before you knew it, 11 people had stood up and walked forward.”

Lane said he felt deflated when he came out of high school without landing a spot at a Division I university, but he said he now understands that playing at the junior college was part of God’s plan for him. Not only did he grow physically stronger here, he said he also grew spiritually stronger.

“The Lord had a plan for me the whole time,” he said.

At times, Lane said he thought his baseball career might end at the junior college level, without a Division I school picking him up.

“There were weeks when I wouldn’t hear back from coaches, and I would think that it was all over, and then, out of nowhere, they would reach out,” he said. “I was tested a lot throughout the process of recruitment due to the ups and downs.”

Lane said he doesn’t have words to describe how elated he was when he was offered a spot on The Citadel baseball team.

“I wanted to break down in tears of joy knowing that the good Lord was up there the whole time answering my prayers and guiding me down the right path,” he said. “The Lord definitely opened up a door with my offer to play at The Citadel. This is how I knew that The Citadel was the place for me.”