VINEMONT — For C.J. Shearer, it was nothing more than a matter of conscience.

Ever since the former Vinemont High baseball coach began planning a summer camp, there was no question what direction Shearer would take with it.

Even if it was on public school property.

“One of the best quotes I’ve heard is, ‘Preach the gospel at all times, and sometimes use words,’” said Shearer, who conducted the first day of his Discipleship Baseball Camp Wednesday on the campus of Vinemont High School.

While teaching kids ages 5-14 the fundamentals of baseball, Shearer and several assistants also delivered the gospel of Jesus Christ. Shearer, a former teacher at Vinemont, said there was no way he would leave out the part about spreading his faith.

“That’s the most important thing,” said Shearer, who was one of 45 non-tenured teachers let go last week by the Cullman County Board of Education. “I’ve been blessed with an opportunity to share my faith in Jesus Christ, and I’m going to. It would be wrong for me not to.

Shearer said he started planning the camp last fall, well before he learned of CCBOE’s decision.

“It’s more important than a job,” he added. “I’m going to answer to Him one day.”

The two-day camp concludes today. It begins at 9 a.m. and runs until noon.

After running the 19 campers through fundamental drills, Shearer ended the first day of the event with a brief message about God’s love.

“I want you guys to know that the most important thing is to keep striving in your relationship with Jesus Christ,” Shearer told the players.

Shearer wasn’t alone in teaching fundamentals and Christian values to the kids. He was joined by Marion Military Institute head coach Brett Davis and former Cullman High star Luke Satterfield, who is now an assistant at Tuscaloosa County High.

Five members of Vinemont’s baseball team also helped. They were Cory Meyer, Isaac Yarbrough, Cody Weaver, Tyler Morgan and Caleb Cupp.

According to Shearer, the support of his former players — as well as the Vinemont community — has been invaluable while planning the event.

“The parents have been 100 percent supportive,” he said. “The parents at Vinemont High School have been great … they’ve been nothing but supportive.”

‰ Michael Cummings can be reached by e-mail at michaelc@cullmantimes.com or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 258.

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