By Mark Ellis
At only 11-years-old he was throwing 50-yard passes with his older brother, David Carr, then a rookie NFL quarterback. Raised in a godly Christian home, younger brother Derek sowed his share of wild oats until the love of Jesus expressed through a woman drew his heart back to God.
“I grew up in this church and I knew who Christ was and I knew who God was and I loved him,” Derek shared in his home church in Fresno, California in 2015.
But even though Derek prayed to God and knew who He was, he didn’t fully give his life to Christ and follow Him until later.
“I grew up loving football, basketball, and baseball,” he recounted. “My dad went to all my games and if he couldn’t be at a game, he would call me on the phone and pray for me. He was always there for me. My mom was always there to pray for me and talk to me. My family life was awesome. I had parents who loved me.”
His father taught him about discipline and order by using a ball box in the garage. “He wanted everything put back in that box a certain exact way. It was his house and that was how he wanted it done and I respected him,” Carr said.
The family lived in Bakersfield, California before they moved to Texas in 2002 when David became the first draft pick of the Houston Texans. Derek and his family moved back to Bakersfield for his senior year, where he attended Bakersfield Christian High School.
Derek admits he made some bad choices in high school. “I was smoking weed, having sex. I wish I didn’t do those things. I was out partying, staying out late.”
Still, he maintained a façade around his parents. “I was a different kid on Sunday than I was on Friday and Saturday night.