Clearing hurdles - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Clearing hurdles

TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

By Ryan Peterson - bio | email

TYLER, TEXAS (KLTV) -  Since starting the T.K. Gorman track and field team, Reverend Jerome Milton has won eight straight state girls championships.  The Crusaders have won fifteen district titles.  And Rev. Milton has seen 151 students sign athletic scholarships.

Impressive? Sure.  But these accomplishments don't tell the whole story. Born in San Diego. Rev. Milton was tossed around 14 foster homes, two reformatories and two orphanages.   He lost his brother and sister to suicide.

"God was somebody I didn't like," said Rev. Milton.  "I didn't like God because if God was real then how come he allowed poor little boys to get abused, accused and misused in the orphanage.?"

At age 13, a special woman helped a lost boy see the light.  Datie Florence Brown finally gave reverend Milton a real home.

"Mrs. Brown told me don't let your abuse be your excuse," said Rev. Milton.  "The only thing she ever asked me for was do for a group of children, what she did for me and so many others."

Rev. Milton has used God and sports to fulfill that promise ever since.  He's adopted nine kids of his own.  Three of which he now coaches at Gorman.

"We're all so glad he adopted us," said his daughter Lakesha.  "And we're very thankful that we have lived a really good life. Very grateful for that."

Reverend, coach and father, Milton's ministry never stops.  He wants every child he coaches, to make their mark in the world.

"He'll push you to work the hardest you've ever done," said Gorman senior Racquel Satterwhite.   "You grow to love this guy. He's your papa. He's all our dads."

"He's been a huge influence," said Gorman senior Brie Smith.  "He's one of the most charismatic people I know. Without him as a coach I don't know that I'd be doing this."

Reverend Milton says his passion will never go away.  He's always looking for the next hurdle.

Copyright 2010 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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