PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Eagles are dominant in the NFL right now- with one of the best starts to the season they’ve had in years. But what’s the secret?
KYW Community Affairs reporter Cherri Gregg got some insights from their team chaplain.
“There’s something significantly special about this team,” says Rev. Dr. Herb Lusk, who played running back for the Philadelphia Eagles for three seasons beginning in 1976. “I believe they have a divine connection- I really do.”
Once an Eagle always an Eagle, Rev. Lusk has served as team chaplain for the past 15 years, leading team pre-game prayers and Bible study.
Lusk says this team is lead by the faithful from Coach Doug Peterson, who he says “never misses Bible study,” to Quarterback Carson Wentz, who has been open about his Christian faith. B
But Lusk says this team is different, because the entire team seems driven by a higher purpose.
“You’ve got a guy like Chris Long who donated his salary to public education and who raised over a million dollars for water wells in Africa,” says Lusk, “and the offense coordinator- Frank Reich- he is a theologian with a Masters in Divinity.”
Lusk, who is currently senior pastor at Greater Exodus Baptist Church, was honored this week for 35 years of service. The community change agent also leads People for People, Inc., a non profit that has empowered underserved communities.
“We not only minister to the soul, but we minister to the total man,” says Lusk.
His organizations own a number of properties that have helped revitalize a portion of North Broad Street. He runs charter schools and has extensive connections providing services in a number of African nations, something that has driven the football lover for many years.
A political conservative, Lusk worked with President George Bush for years, providing aid to African nations to deal with HIV and AIDS. He even spoke to hundreds of thousands alongside Pope Francis when the pontiff visited Philadelphia.
“That was my Super Bowl,” says Lusk.
Today, he’s working to ensure that communities of color take advantage of economic opportunity.
“You have cranes everywhere,” he says, “why can’t we have cranes for communities?”
On Thursday, November 9th, Lusk will host People for People Inc.’s 28th Anniversary Gala and Fundraiser, which will honor former Eagle Vince Papale and his wife Janet.
Tickets are still available at peopleforpeople.org.