Serena Williams takes a stand for faith
Updated: Jan 24
Serena Williams, the former tennis player, considered "the greatest-ever female tennis player", recently got baptized at Jehovah's Witness Assembly in Florida. After 27 years and 23 Grand slam titles, she retired from the sport in September 2022.
Throughout her career, Serena Williams never shied away from talking about her faith. She mentioned it as one of the reasons behind her achievement, claiming that it somehow helped her ability. It was also noted that she has often thanked Jehovah God after her matches.
Since bowing out, Serena Williams has been more focused on religion and has recently been baptized as a Jehovah's Witness in Florida.
Notable times when the tennis player has made mention of her faith.
When her sister, Yetunde Price was murdered in 2003 - Serena, like many of us, found comfort in Scripture. She took time away from the sport to attend church meetings three times a week. She said, "I tried to develop a better relationship with God. You have a strong solid foundation, the bible says, you won't crack, but the man who built his house in the sand, his house went down spiritually. I have a really strong foundation. That's how I was raised."
After a profanity-laden outburst against a U.S. Open line judge in 2009 - during which the woman claimed the athlete threatened her - Serena had to face elder witnesses.
"They had to have a talk with me," she said in 2012. "And I knew it was coming. I just felt really bad, though, because it's like, that's not who I am. They just talk to you. They show you Scriptures. Not ministers; they call them elders. It's almost like a reprimand, but it's not bad because in the Bible it says God loves you, and if someone reprimands you, they love you."
As her career took off over the years - and she married Alexis Ohanian and welcomed their daughter in 2017 - she started returning to her faith. She said to Vogue in 2017, "Being a Jehovah's Witness is important to me, but I've never really practiced it and have been wanting to get into it,"
In 2018, Serena Williams surprised fans when she said she wouldn't celebrate her daughter Alexis Olympia's first birthday - or any, going forward. When asked, "why?" at U.S. Open press conference she said, "We're Jehovah's Witnesses, so we don't do that".