QUINCY -- Seven times Darryl Strawberry appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
At one time, Strawberry was one of the most popular and recognized athletes in the world.
Then came a well-publicized battle with various addictions that torpedoed what might have been a Hall of Fame baseball career.
And then came another well-publicized battle, this one with several forms of cancer.
Strawberry, 56, now a born-again evangelical Christian minister, will speak at 6 p.m. Thursday at the 48th Street campus of the Crossing. A crowd of about 1,000 is expected to hear his message and testimony.
Strawberry also will speak at 8:30 p.m. at Friday's men's conference at the church. The conference, which is titled "Uncommon," runs from 3 p.m. Friday through noon Saturday.
"We've never had a sports guy as the speaker for this," said the Rev. Jim Dennis, the Crossing's campus pastor at 48th Street. "(Strawberry) is a guy who is not only well-known to an older generation, but a lot of younger guys, too. He had it all -- and then it fell apart."
During his career, Strawberry was best-known for teaming with Dwight "Doc" Gooden in helping lead the New York Mets to a World Series championship in 1986. Strawberry was also part of New York Yankees teams that won the World Series in 1996, 1998 and 1999.
Strawberry also was suspended three times by Major League Baseball for substance abuse, which led to many narratives about his potential going unfulfilled.
He was always one of baseball's most popular players and was voted to the All-Star Game by the fans eight straight times from 1984 to 1991.
Now residing in St. Charles County, Mo., with his third wife, Tracy, whom he met at a drug recovery convention, Strawberry helps coordinate the Darryl Strawberry Foundation. The organization is dedicated to children with autism.
During his major league career, Strawberry hit 335 home runs. He hit 280 of his homers before age 30.
Strawberry also played for the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants.