We noted below the passing this month of former Browns defensive back Bernie Parrish at age 83.
We also want to bring you a positive note about a teammate of Parrish’s on those great Browns teams in the ‘60s.
Bill Glass, a four-time time Pro Bowl defensive end, played in Cleveland from 1962-68. He had been drafted on the first round by the Lions in 1957 and later moved to the Browns in a multi-player trade.
His football career ended in Cleveland but Bill Glass’ real mission in life was just beginning.
Glass had attended Baylor University, a private Christian school, in the ‘50s. While playing with the Browns a decade later, he lived off-season in Fort Worth so that he could attend Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
He became a protege of the legendary evangelist Dr. Billy Graham and, in the early 70s, he formed the Bill Glass Ministries.
Glass was urged to devote his ministry to those incarcerated and his “Behind the Walls” prison program soon began.
“I was thrown into the new prison ministry kicking and screaming,” he recalls, “but the response from the inmates was just unbelievable.”
Glass brought famous athletes and entertainers with him into the prisons and, after the fun & music stopped, Glass would preach his spiritual healing.
For five decades, the Behind the Walls ministry has trained more than 55,000 volunteers who share their faith with millions of troubled individuals in prisons, jails and juvenile centers.
As for Bill Glass, the great-grandfather is 84 years young now and semi-retired from his ministry. However, he occasionally still goes into his Duncanville, Texas home office where his shelves are filled with copies of the dozen inspirational books he has authored over the years. We in the NFL Alumni family have been blessed to have Bill Glass as a leading member of our community.