Christmas in September

Former All-American Quarterback & Auburn University Recruit
Shares His Story of Opportunities Lost and Purpose Found

 (LOUISVILLE, KY – June 8, 2017) —   A promising football career for an All-American high school quarterback from Northern Kentucky was sidelined by drug and alcohol addiction. Zeke Pike will tell his story of the opportunities he has lost, as well as the purpose he has found as a result of his addiction  at the 10th Annual Christmas in September Dinner on Thursday, September 7, 2017, at the Seelbach Hilton.

In 2012, Pike was a five-star quarterback recruit for Auburn University, poised to start his freshman year. However, he left Auburn abruptly following an arrest for public intoxication.  He then had a fresh start with the University of Louisville, but was suspended from the football program there in 2013 after a DUI charge. Pike had yet another opportunity at a football when he was offered a scholarship in 2015 to play quarterback at Murray State, but another DUI arrest ended his career there. As his football dreams faded, Pike dove deeper into his addiction, and at one point considered ending his life.

A timely arrest on the night he planned to commit suicide resulted in four felony charges and six months in jail. During his time in the Marion County Detention Center, Pike renewed his relationship with God and ended up writing sermons and bible studies that he shared with fellow inmates.

That, says Pike, gave him a new purpose in life and he founded Number 8 Ministries. Pike now travels to schools in Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama, sharing his story of addiction, redemption and motivation.

“Zeke’s story shines a light on the toll exacted by addiction, and the struggle that many of our clients face,” said Tony Ford, Chairman of the Board for Prodigal Ministries.  Proceeds from Christmas in September benefit the organization, which serves men and women inmates upon their release, helping them to avoid a return to prison.

“Prodigal Ministries gives hope to newly-released men & women, providing critical support such as housing, job training, and counseling that significantly increase their chances of not returning to prison,” said Jennifer Partin, Executive Director of Prodigal Ministries.

“The first 90 days are crucial. With no housing, no job prospects and no income source, many of these men & women are simply overwhelmed and fall back into old patterns that result in a return to prison. Of those that return to prison, a majority – nearly 85% – will reoffend within 30 days of release,” explained Partin.

The support services the organization provides have helped Prodigal Ministries to achieve a significantly reduced return-to-prison rate for its clients, compared to state and national rates.

Christmas in September will be held Thursday, September 7, at the Seelbach Hilton Louisville. Holiday attire is suggested. Tickets are $175 each, with tables of 10 at $1,750. For tickets, contact or 502-222-2389.

Sponsors include Stock Yards Bank & Trust Company, Brown-Forman, East and Westbrook Construction, Volare Italian Ristorante, Tafel Motors, Today’s Woman and Louisville Public Media.

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Author: Gretchen Sheridan

I'm a Christian, a wife, and a mother of a beautiful daughter. I love my Louisville Cardinals, especially men's basketball, I like making homemade cards, photography, reading and watching my daughter play tennis.