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'Million Dollar Man' Ted DiBiase's path from wrestling to ministry

Posted at 10:07 AM, Jun 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-15 10:43:52-04

Throughout his career as a professional wrestler, Ted DiBiase was considered one of the most despicable villains of his time.

Known as the 'Million Dollar Man,' during his run with World Wrestling Entertainment, DiBiase was a grappler fans loved to hate. With his arrogant demeanor, flashy attire, servant Virgil and superior wrestling skills, DiBiase could rile up a crowd in no time.

“When I first started out with the [Million Dollar Man] character, I had no idea it would take off like it did,” DiBiase recalled of his WWE heyday. “We had a lot of fun with it.”

When a neck injury forced him to the sidelines in the late 1990s, he entered a different arena - preaching the 'Word of the Lord.'

In 1999 founded 'Heart of David Ministries,' and began traveling the world, telling his story to church groups, youth camps and religious conferences as an ordained minister.

“[Wrestler] Steve Keirn is one of my best friends, when I found out I was coming to Tampa with the ministry, I gave him a call,” DiBiase said. “I told him I wanted to get together with some of the boys and he said Ted, you picked a perfect time to come they will all be here.”

So, after DiBiase arrived in Tampa on Friday, he stopped by a gathering of his wrestling brethren at O’Brien’s Irish Pub in Carrollwood.

The Legends Luncheon featured some of DiBiase’s former foes and tag-team partners. Among them, Brian Knobbs of the Nasty Boys, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s Dad Rocky Johnson, Keirn, Bugsy McGraw, Bob Roop and David ‘The Cuban Assassin,’ Sierra.

Sunday, he will address the congregation at the Beall Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon.

“I’m just out there trying to make a difference in someone’s life, talking about my experiences, the mistakes I made and how Jesus made a difference in my life,” DiBiase said.

He will speak at the 11 a.m. Father’s Day gathering at the facility located at 2102 Bell Shoals Rd.

As for the ‘Legends Luncheons,’ they are hosted three times a year by former Hillsborough County Commissioner/wrestler Brian Blair – he has been doing so for 20 years. The next one will take place at O’Briens in September and all wrestling fans are welcome!

You can visit DiBiase's website here.