How God Helped Interstate Battery CEO Norm Miller Overcome Alcoholism and Find New Life in Christ (Gospel Light Minute #128)

Norm Miller
Norm Miller

He is the chairman of Interstate Battery. From humble beginnings as a salesman, he worked his way up through the departmental ranks of the company to become CEO. He expanded the company’s dealerships to over 200,000 across America and helped build up a brand name and reputation that is known for excellence and honesty.

As a young child growing up in Galveston, Texas, he often watched his father drink heavily on many evenings after work. Consequently, when he entered junior high, he began drinking as well. His drinking and partying continued all the way through high school and college. After college, he got a job with Interstate which kept him on the road a lot, and many days after working on cars and trucks, he would drink until the bar closed in the wee hours of the morning.

However, on one occasion, he was driving home after a night of drinking and got pulled over by the police. He says in his testimony: “I already had been convicted of two DUIs, but somehow I talked my way out of getting arrested. When I woke up the next morning all hung over, I called in sick to work. Then as I lay there in bed, the truth overwhelmed me. I was an alcoholic just like my father. I’d lost control of my life. That was a frightening realization! At the very instant I realized I had become an alcoholic, I blurted out in a half-yell of desperation, ‘God, help me! I can’t handle it!’ I’ll never forget those words, because He took the compulsion to drink away completely. It was over right then. I realize it doesn’t happen that way for everyone, but it did for me, and I’m eternally thankful. The weird thing is that if you’d asked me the day before if I believed in God, I would have told you that I didn’t know — that I hadn’t given much thought to it.”

After a friend came along and shared with him the truth of the Bible, he gradually began to understand it, and it began to take hold in his heart. He goes on to say, “An important verse for me was, ‘Seek and you shall find…’ I told God that if He was for real, I was a ‘seeker’ and I wanted to find the TRUTH. The Bible says that ‘Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.’ It teaches that we’re all ‘slaves’ — not just to alcohol and drugs, but to sin. Each of us has sinned against God and gone our own way, independent of Him. With a self-centered, do-our-own-thing attitude, all of our lives have fallen short of God’s intentions for us. Just as the Bible says in Romans 3:23, ‘For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’ I knew that was true for me! But the good news is that ‘the Truth shall make you free,’ and Jesus Christ is the Truth! So I accepted Him just as the Bible teaches: as my Lord and Savior, as God’s only begotten Son who died as payment for MY sins. In Him is the forgiveness of sin and the power of self-control in being freed from the bondage of sin. Jesus is the gift of freedom, the power for living, and He gives eternal life!”

Today, he serves as a board member for Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas Seminary Foundation, the Overseas Council and BEE World. He is co-founder of the Great American Race and a founding team member of I Am Second. His name is Norm Miller.

Having Jesus Christ in his Life Made Former Alcoholic Pat Summerall Feel ‘Ecstatic, Invigorated, Happy, and Free’ (Gospel Light Minute #95)

Pat Summerall
Pat Summerall

He was an American football player and television sportscaster who worked at CBS, Fox, and ESPN. In addition to football, he also announced major golf and tennis events. In total, he announced 16 Super Bowls on network television (more than any other announcer), 26 Masters Tournaments, and 21 US Opens. He also contributed to 10 Super Bowl broadcasts on CBS Radio as a pregame host or analyst. After retiring as a football player, he joined CBS as a commentator and worked with Tom Brookshier and John Madden on NFL telecasts for CBS and Fox. Though he retired in 2002, he continued to announce games on occasion.

He was named the National Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association in 1977, and inducted into their Hall of Fame in 1994. That year, he also received the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award from the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the American Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame in 1999. He was honored by the NFL with an award named after him which is presented during Super Bowl weekend at the NFL headquarters “to a deserving recipient who through their career has demonstrated the character, integrity and leadership both on and off the field that his name represents.”

Early on in his career, much of his life was characterized by alcoholism and the abandonment of his family. In 1992, his friends and family staged an intervention on his behalf, encouraging him to get professional help for his alcohol problems. He was angry at the idea but reluctantly agreed to enter rehab. While in rehab, he made the decision that changed his life.

He said, “I realized there was a Savior, there was a God.” He made the decision to accept Christ as his Saviour and said, “once I began to realize His involvement in my life, it was easy [to overcome alcoholism]. I never had a craving since then. My thirst for alcohol was being replaced by a thirst for knowledge about faith and God. I began reading the Bible regularly at the treatment center, and it became a part of my daily routine. The more I read, the more I felt a void in my life that needed to be filled.”

He was later baptized at the First Baptist Church in Euless, Texas. He described emerging from the water as though he was surfacing in a new world. He said, “For the first time in my life, I knew what people meant about being ‘born again’. I had already accepted that Jesus Christ was the Son of God who died for our sins. Now, I felt I was truly part of his family. I felt ecstatic, invigorated, happier, and freer. I felt as though my soul had been washed clean.” His name is Pat Summerall.