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Power Team spreads message in Statesboro
041207 POWER TEAM 1
Power Team member Joel Caldwell demonstrates his strength by smashing concrete blocks during an assembly as Bulloch Academy Thursday. The Power Team is a group of athletes who perform feats of strength to engage students in a discussion about contemporary issues of youths today. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

041207 POWER TEAM

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Ripping apart a phone book, breaking police hand cuffs and rolling a frying pan into the shape of a burrito may not seem like the work of God, but for members of the Power Team, it's just that.
    The Power Team is a group of world-class athletes who use their extraordinary strength as a way to get people's attention so they can spread the word of God.
    "It attracts people who wouldn't normally walk into a church and hear a pastor in a suit and tie speak," said Carey Leighow, one of the four members of the team in Statesboro through Sunday.
    "We use our physical strength to tell our story," explained Craig Lemley, another of the team members. "It draws people who may watch WWE (wrestling) who may not be coming to church."
    The team, which has been in existence for 30 years, has held crusades in every state in the country as well as 20 nations around the world.
    The team will be performing tonight, Saturday and Sunday night at the old West Building Supply behind Statesboro First United Methodist Church beginning at 7 p.m.
    Leighow said the most rewarding aspect of what he does is knowing that he's had a positive influence on a person's life.
    "To have a teenager tell you they were going to kill themselves that night but because of what you said, they're choosing life is a great feeling," he said. "It's not because of what we say, but because of God's word."
    In addition to the performances each night, the team is spending their days speaking at schools, though their message there is strictly secular.
    "We talk to them about making good choices," said Lemley. "In middle schools, we'll talk about drugs and alcohol and in high schools, we talk about drugs, alcohol and sex."
    To stay in shape, members of the team work out four to five times a week as well as getting lots of protein.
    "We try to lift a lot to stay massive," Lemley said.
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