Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News
March 2, 2008
Paul Anderson used his great strength to help young people
Some forty years ago I met Paul Anderson, known then as the strongest man in the world. We became friends and I invited him to speak in several meetings I arranged. He was a hit every time. Both his testimony and his strength were greatly admired by those who heard him.
years I lost contact with Paul but never lost my admiration for him. Recently I
tried to locate him and found that he had died in 1994. Paul and I were the
same age. We discovered
I was surprised to learn that Paul still holds the Guinness record for the most weight in a back lift – 6,270 pounds. The back lift was Paul’s most amazing feat. Everywhere he went his closing demonstration was lifting a table with several big men standing on it.
Paul was a
man with a mission. He used his strength and his testimony to raise money for
the Youth Home he operated in
lifting weights after earning a football scholarship to attend
Paul was elected to the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1974. Two years before his death from a kidney disease, he was named the “Strongest Man of the Century.”
I never felt Paul was overly impressed with himself. He gave God the glory for his unusual strength. More than once I heard him say, “If I, the strongest man in the world, need Christ in my life, perhaps you need him too.” He was not timid about sharing his faith.
I am glad I knew Paul and counted him a friend. I never knew Samson, the better known strong man of the Bible. He was before my time. Samson’s tragic story might have been different if he had known a weightlifter like Paul Anderson. He could have learned how to use his phenomenal strength to honor God and help troubled young men.
In my lifetime I have known many fine men who used the gifts God gave them to make a difference. Paul Anderson was one of them. + + +