BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Former professional football player Art Moore has done charity work all over the country. He recently moved to South Mississippi from Baton Rouge, LA. Now, he's looking to spread his message of hope and inspiration across the coast.
Standing 6'6", in the 1970s, Art was known as one of the most dominant defensive lineman in the NFL.
"They say I hold the most single season tackles against OJ Simpson," Art said. "I played against the Namaths and the Terry Bradshaws."
Art spent six seasons with the New England Patriots when he said his career was cut short after a near death experience. That experience led to a life changing encounter.
"One day, a lady with a big white kitchen Bible and prayed for me," Art said. "All I know is I wasn't making it, and then after, that lady prayed for me. I ended up recovering."
From that day on, Art was committed to helping others along with his wife, Gail, who has her own claim to fame.
"I've been singing forever and ever, Amen," Gail Moore said.
Gail was a backup vocalist for some of the biggest names in music, including Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. Together, Art and Gail created the Yes I Can Ministry.
"Predominantly, we look for kids and families in crisis or situations in the community that we can offer a message of hope and try to make things better," Art said.
Art and Gail have taken their motivational messages to schools and prisons. They've organized events, all with the goal of changing lives for the better. They say young lives can change with just a few words of encouragement.
"The element of love is so important," Gail said. "These kids need to know that you love them, and they need to know that they can trust you."
Art knows firsthand what division looks like. He was in high school in Texas during integration.
From that experience, he learned it can take more than words to break through, so he's also taking action to give children in trouble new life experiences.
"We found out that a group of kids had never been to the restaurant," Art said. "So, we rented a limo and had the limo pick them up from the alternative school and take them to the most high priced restaurant. They were freaking out like wow, people live like this."
Now, the Moores live in Biloxi, and they're looking for ways to help change lives in South Mississippi. Thanks to a conversation with Harlem Globetrotter Meadowlark Lemon, Art understands he is in a unique position to help, and he's glad to do it.
"He (Meadowlark Lemon) said Moses had a stick in the Bible, and Moses used that stick to deliver people," Art said. "He said basketball is my stick, music is Gail's stick, and football is your stick, because those are the things that people will open up to you. You use that stick to find out if there's a way that you can help people."
Art and Gail's Yes I Can Ministry is partnered with Mike Alise, of Gulf Coast Produce. This weekend, they're teaming up to provide 500 meals for Pine Belt tornado victims and volunteers at East Jerusalem Baptist Church in Hattiesburg.
For more information on Art and Gail Moore's charity work, visit: http://www.yesican1.com/index.php?display=about_us