Tag Archives: Jordan Payton

Passion for teaching. Compassion for students.

jordan-payton-kathy-payton

Kathy Patyon’s son, Jordan, plays for the Cleveland Browns in the NFL. He, too, is a strong Christian.

Today Mrs. Kathy Payton is the fountain of love and advice for many of the girls at Lighthouse Christian Academy. Maybe the reason why she’s so understanding was she went through some struggles as a young lady.

Born in the “Windy City” of Chicago, Mrs. Payton was forced to go to Catholic mass, and it became a boring chore. As a teenager, she drifted away from God and starting drinking and going to parties. She didn’t care or think about if it was wrong.

She moved to Los Angeles and found true love in her quiet husband, Jerry. Still something didn’t feel right. A voice kept telling her to grab a Bible and read it. But she didn’t understand the sentences she read.

Her husband used to turn on the TV, and there would be a preacher relating to exactly what they were going through in her family, but she would say, “I don’t need to watch that.”

Her life was starting to get stressful and all she wanted was some peace. “I did pray once or twice, but I felt like God wasn’t working fast enough, like there was some type of wall blocking my prayer.”

Her life was falling apart and her relationship with her husband wasn’t the same and she wanted to leave.

Then one day, she walked into a store, and this lady invited her to church and prayer meetings. She went to church and felt like God was speaking to her in a way she couldn’t explain. The words filled her spirit. She became a “different person.” Read the rest about LCA’s Independent Study Program teacher.

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Jordan Payton and Kate Sommer: record breakers, classmates, friends

JordanPrays

Jordan Payton thanks God after a touchdown.

They were born together, played together, studied together and competed against each other. Whether it was Olympic Day or dodge ball, Jordan Payton, growing tall and strong even as a kid, always beat Kate Sommer.

Now at age 21, Kate finally beat Jordan.

Both students playing Div. 1 sports have broken their respective universities’ records – Kate for digs on women’s volleyball and Jordan for receptions on football. And though they broke records almost at the same time, Kate hit the new high first.

kate sommer on court

“She got me on this one,” Jordan said after practice recently. “She definitely did.”

Kate hit gold in mid-October with four years of digs for Washington State University, spiking the previous high mark of 1,744.

Jordan caught his 194th pass on Nov. 21 – about three weeks later.

“It’s crazy that we both broke records at the same time,” Kate said. “I would always some in second. He would always win. I was always behind him. I actually wanted to beat him.”

Jordan Payton Kate SommerThe feat is indeed extraordinary, in part, because both record-busters came from a tiny school, Lighthouse, which averages 100 enrollment with its primary, middle and high school combined.

But not only did they both go to the same school, they were in the same classroom, which oscillated between 10 and 12 students year-to-year. After middle school, Jordan attended Oaks Christian for its high profile football program – and so inseparable friends started to wend separate paths into the world.

The story of Jordan’s and Kate’s friendship literally started in the womb. Both are youngest children, so their parents became friends as their older brothers and sisters played together in sports, in the Lighthouse Church and in the schools. Read the rest of this fascinating account about record breakers in this Christian school Los Angeles.

UCLA prays

UCLA football prays

Picture from fansided. I don’t own the rights to this photo, and I’m not making any money on it.

What impressed me most about UCLA’s 17-7 victory over University of Arizona was not Jordan Payton’s 70-yard touchdown reception. Jordan is a member of my church, the Lighthouse Church in Santa Monica, and attended Lighthouse Church School.

What impressed me most was how not only Jordan prayed in endzone but several UCLA players. Such a display of unafraid devotion to God receives only mocking attention from the media. It’s not that God favors one team against another, as the jeers suggest. But there are young men willing to proclaim their love of God, superior over love of football, in front of thousands. They pray to do their best. Of course, they want to win and maybe even pray to win, but if their faith is deep enough, they know that ultimately the only victory is making it into Heaven.

JordanPrays

Jordan Payton prays before games. (This picture is not from the Arizona game. It came from Jordan Payton’s facebook page.

UCLA star Jordan Payton honors God

Jordan paytonWhen former Lighthouse student Jordan Payton scored a touchdown for the UCLA on Saturday, he took a knee and bowed his head to thank God.

Move over, Tim Tebow. There’s a sophomore with sticky fingers and fancy footwork who’s also publicly acknowledging something greater than thousands of raucous fans.

Payton – known as “JP” by his Bruin teammates but as “Big Joe” when he was a student at Lighthouse K-8th grade – credits Christ as the big motivation of his life – even bigger than one day winning a Super Bowl.

Lighthouse prepared me in every aspect – spiritually and physically,” Payton told LCA News last year. “Spiritually, they’ve given me the best path to stay on. I understand the world’s a crazy place, and I need God in my life.”

UCLA football

Mom Kathy Payton holds up the newspaper the day her son signed for UCLA.

Payton’s mom, Kathy, who teaches at Lighthouse Christian Academy in the Independent Study Program, is not surprised her son has gone so far in football.

It was Kathy who scolded his Pop Warner coach at half time for not playing him in a Las Vegas tournament – Jordan was only eight playing with 10- to 12-year-olds. “You need to play Jordan,” she told the Pacific Palisades team coach. “He can catch the ball.”

Wisely, that coach heeded Kathy, and Jordan went in to catch a long bomb pass that ultimately led the Bruins (was the name prophetic?) to overturning the halftime losing scoreline.

UCLA football team

Extreme left, Jordan Payton

Payton has always been big and strong – so big that he was out of his weight class in seventh grade and couldn’t play Pop Warner. Now 6’2” and 212 pounds, he’s fast and fierce on the field. On the Oct. 5 game against the University of Utah, the wide-receiver caught a pass and strong-armed his coverage to score a touchdown, his first this season. See touchdown here.

While he’s fearsome to foes, he’s humble and gentle to everyone else. Christianity marks his life more than the pigskin. In the pre-season, Payton wisely avoided an antagonistic war of words with another UCLA player competing for Jordan’s first string spot.

“God is #1 in his life,” said Kathy. “He knows that God has given him a gift. He really believes he’s going to go to the NFL. From that point, how ever God uses him to help others – physically, spiritually or financially – that’s just how Jordan is.”

Payton didn’t feature in Lighthouse football because he wanted to play 11-man, so he opted for Westlake Village-based Oaks Christian High. LCA only has 8-man football.

The biggest influence in his life was his older brother, Michael Payton, who played for Santa Monica College, then for Oregon State University and finally for West Virginia Tech – all after wreaking havoc on opponents as an LCA player, Kathy said.

LCA’s football program launched with Pastor Rob Scribner, an LA Rams player  1973-74, as coach. Later it flourished under the direction of former Principal George Neos, a three time Ivy League champion at Dartmouth University.

The Saints’ football program is experiencing an unexpected revival this year under coach Justin Kayne. They are currently 5-1 in CIF southern section.

While at Oaks, Jordan Payton went on mission trips to China and Haiti. In that Caribbean island, he and fellow students built a house after an earthquake decimated the island. “It was hard for him to see,” Kathy said.

There’s a compassionate side to Jordan side that opponents don’t see.

Since he “pulled a Tim Tebow,” does Payton admire that NFL quarterback who sparked controversy a few years ago by openly honoring God?

“He doesn’t watch Tim Tebow,” Kathy said. “He took a knee just because he was so thankful he got a touchdown after all the rigmarole he has had to go through fighting for a position. He has to work extra hard every single practice to show the coaches that he’s the one to play.”

To date, Payton has made 9 receptions and rushed 163 yards this season.

This article originally ran at http://www.thelighthousechristianacademy.com/jordan-payton-offers-power-as-wide-receiver-at-ucla/