Jim Kelly, the iconic quarterback renowned for leading the Buffalo Bills to four consecutive Super Bowl appearances, has embarked on a spiritual journey and recently shared his newfound faith on Instagram. The NFL Hall of Famer, now 63 years old, hopes that his story of discovering Christianity can inspire and uplift others.
In his Instagram post, Kelly candidly expresses how his faith has brought him peace after enduring the loss of his son, Hunter, in 2005 and battling squamous cell carcinoma in his upper jaw. He acknowledges that he may not be one to use religious jargon, but he emphasizes that God transformed his life.
Kelly shares, “I’m not a man of many words and I don’t speak ‘Christianese.’ All I know is that God changed my life. After Hunter went to heaven I was so lost and angry at God. But God loved me anyway and he never gave up on me. Becoming a Christian is the best decision I’ve made in my life. I wish I would’ve come to him sooner. But his timing is perfect. And finally, I was baptized. I have so many people to thank especially all of the people who have prayed for me for so long. THANK YOU.” The post is accompanied by a video of his baptism.
Kelly’s journey through life has been marked by both triumphs and tribulations. After joining the Buffalo Bills in 1986, he achieved stardom while leading his team to six divisional titles during his 11-year tenure as quarterback. His remarkable career culminated in his induction into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2002.
However, Kelly and his family faced significant challenges. In 1997, their son, Hunter James Kelly, was born with Krabbe Disease, a rare condition, and tragically passed away at the age of eight. The couple established a foundation in Hunter’s memory and later founded the Hunter James Kelly Research Institute at the University of Buffalo, dedicated to finding a cure for the disease.
In 2013, Jim Kelly received a diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma, a type of jaw cancer, which led to multiple surgeries and treatments over several years. Despite these health battles, Kelly remains an active philanthropist, hosting an annual Jim Kelly Celebrity Golf Classic to benefit his children’s foundation and mentoring aspiring young football players at an annual summer camp held at the Bills stadium.