Jeremy Williamson hasn't changed his stand - just his platform.
"I want to reach this generation, and I'm going to do it the way God allows it," said Williamson, a former youth pastor who is aspiring to be a top fitness model and actor.
Williamson placed sixth in the Model America contest in September in Las Vegas.
During April, the 31-year-old Grovetown resident planned to participate in three fitness model competitions in Atlanta; Tulsa, Okla.;4 and Connecticut.
He spent a month in Los Angeles recently and taped a segment with the new NBC game show Identity. He was not a contestant, but one of the people whose identity the contestants must guess. The show is scheduled to air Friday.
Williamson says he has always been interested in fitness and nutrition. At the age of 13, he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
"There's no cure for it, but with proper care, you can keep it from beating you," he said.
During the past several months, Williamson has undertaken a rigorous diet and workout routine, which has helped his management of the disease.
"I've had to decrease my insulin," he said.
He said people are often surprised to learn he is a diabetic. He would like to use his disease to reach other people.
In February, he was a guest speaker at a diabetes camp at Fort Discovery.
"I want to go to the public schools and talk about fitness," he said. "If we can teach the importance of fitness and nutrition now, we can change the statistic that the average American is overweight."
Williamson has always wanted to reach teenagers.
He went to Rhema Bible Training College in Oklahoma and spent several years as youth pastor at New Life Christian Center in Augusta. He and his wife, Nikki, still attend New Life and teach Sunday school to 5- and 6-year-olds.
"People think I've left the church and turned my back on this generation," he said. "God has focused me on what I'm supposed to do ... I have never turned my back. I'm focused on what I'm doing - obtaining influence in pop culture to be an influence."
With a name and a few titles, Williamson believes, doors could open to him that wouldn't necessarily open as a "youth pastor."
While he might not be able to talk about what he believes if he were allowed to speak in public schools, he said he hopes he could generate enough curiosity that people would check out his Web site, www.jmiahonline.com.
"They are going to search my Web site and read my bio and find I love God. It's out there," he said.
Williamson also wants to influence adults in the industry.
"Jesus never told us to push our beliefs. He told us to love God and love people," he said.
Just being a friend to some of the models has already opened doors for him to share his faith, he said.
Williamson said he's gotten a lot of "crazy offers" for jobs that would require him to compromise his faith but has turned them down.
"I'm on a mission. That's what matters," he said.
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