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Centered

Trading Your Plans for a Life That Matters

Jason Brown & Paul Asay

About Centered

This riveting story of a top-earning NFL center and his family who walked away from it all to follow God's call to alleviate hunger as farmers—a life they knew absolutely nothing about—illustrates the sacrifice and ultimate reward of obedience to our heavenly Father even when it doesn't make earthly sense.
 
“A remarkable story where family, deep self-reflection, and an unshakable belief in a path predestined by God triumph over fortune and comfort.”—John Harbaugh, head coach of the Baltimore Ravens
 
NFL lineman Jason Brown had everything in the world. He was the highest-paid center in the game. He lived in luxury. Millions of people saw and admired him every week. Then in 2012, Jason heard a call from God that changed everything. 

Leaving behind an incredibly successful football career that paid millions, Jason turned toward a life he knew nothing about: farming. It was only the beginning of his journey. Through third-party mismanagement and a run of bad luck, Jason lost most of the money he’d saved from his NFL days—the same money he’d planned to use to start his new career and donate fresh produce to hungry kids. Only a miracle could save Jason’s new dream.
 
And that’s exactly what happened. 
 
Centered is an inspiring riches-to-rags-to-true-riches story of one man willing to risk it all for the sake of his family. For the sake of loving others. For the sake of seeking God’s dreams first—and reminding each of us to do the same.

Praise

“Former NFL player Jason Brown walked away from comfort and familiarity to accept a new calling that was out of his comfort zone. As owner of First Fruits Farm in North Carolina, Brown is known today as the Sweet Potato Whisperer. Farming has stretched him and his family yet brought them closer together and benefited countless families in need. The stories Jason shares point to a heavenly Father who loves to bless those who are obedient to His call.”—James Robison, founder and president of LIFE Outreach International

“Jason Brown’s inspiring journey is a powerful self-reflection of a life filled with pride, humility, and a series of twists and turns that ultimately drove him and his family to give it all up, only to gain it all back and more, through his dramatic decision to walk by faith and follow God’s confusing and, at times, questionable calling. —Chip Paillex, president and founder of America’s Grow-a-Row

“This story chronicles the sacrifices, trials, and ultimately the provision, protection, purpose, and blessings that Jason and Tay Brown found as they left wealth and riches to follow God’s call to serve in His kingdom. Their lives offer inspiration to everyone, and this book gives pause and a chance for self-reflection of one’s own choices and priorities.”—John Mahshie, executive director of Veterans Healing Farm

“Jason tells a very personal story—from being bullied as a child in a racially segregated community to becoming the highest paid center in the NFL, then retiring at the height of his career to follow God’s calling for him. His joy and fulfillment from helping others, while overcoming his own despair when his farm was on the verge of bankruptcy, is motivating. This is an excellent read from an inspiring person.”—Bubba Cunningham, director of athletics at the University of North Carolina

“Jason Brown’s journey through faith and obedience is cut straight from the Old Testament. Examples of Job, Joseph, and Daniel all come to mind as Jason rises above worldly success and acts obediently to share Christ with the hurting.”—Edward Graham, Samaritan’s Purse

“Jason Brown’s story is a remarkable testament to living a life that exemplifies the true qualities most of us desire but too often fall short of attaining. At age twenty-seven, at the height of his NFL career filled with prestige, fame, and worldly fortune, he walked away from it all. Jason’s rock-solid faith led him to farming and a new life, of abundance and blessings for his family and neighbors in need, well beyond anything he could have imagined.”—Joe Lamp’l, Emmy Award–winning creator and executive producer of Growing a Greener World and founder of Joe Gardener

About Jason Brown

Jason Brown grew up in Henderson, North Carolina. He went on to attend the University of North Carolina, where he played both guard and tackle before moving to center. He never missed a game. He was drafted in the fourth round by the Baltimore Ravens in 2005. Brown became a free agent in 2009 and was signed by the St. Louis Rams for $37.5 million, making him the highest-paid center in the league. He was again a free agent three years later, but rather than signing a new contract, Brown left the NFL and bought a 1,000-acre farm nearly Louisburg, North Carolina. Brown has been farming full-time since 2013, and he gives nearly everything that he grows (mostly sweet potatoes) to the poor. He and his wife, Tay, have been married since 2003 and have eight children.

Product Details

224 pages | Published by WaterBrook

On Sale Date: Feb 9, 2021

Trim Size: 6 x 9

Carton Quantity: 12

Sneak Peek

Start reading chapter one This riveting story of a top-earning NFL center and his family who walked away from it all to follow God's call to alleviate hunger as farmers--a life they knew absolutely nothing about--illustrates the sacrifice and ultimate reward of obedience to our heavenly Father even when it doesn't make earthly sense. NFL lineman Jason Brown had everything he could ever want. He was the highest-paid center in the game, lived a life of luxury, and was cheered on by millions of people every week. Then, in 2012, Jason heard a call from God that changed everything. Jason turned his back on an incredibly successful career in football to pursue a new dream: ending hunger. But through third-party mismanagement and bad luck, Jason lost most of his savings from the NFL--the same money he'd planned to use to start his new career. He desperately needed the miracle that soon came. Today, Jason and his family run First Fruits Farms in Louisburg, North Carolina, a state where one in four children don't know where their next meal will come from. Since 2014, the Browns have donated more than 1.6 million servings of fresh produce to their community. Their motto: Never stop giving. Never stop loving. Never stop growing. With powerful and deeply personal insight, Centered is an inspiration to embrace the joy of following where God leads--no matter how crazy it sounds.

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Chelsea Woodward, Publicist
cwoodward@penguinrandomhouse.com / (719) 268-1915
 
Contact: Lisa Beech, Asst. Publicity Director
lbeech@penguinrandomhouse.com / (719) 268-1917 
 
“A remarkable story in which family, deep self-reflection, and an unshakable belief in a path predestined by God triumph over fortune and comfort. There truly is no testimony without a test—a point Jason proves many times over in this wonderfully impactful read.”
—John Harbaugh, head coach of the Baltimore Ravens

“The stories Jason shares point to a heavenly Father who loves to bless those who are obedient to His call.”

—James Robison, founder and president of LIFE Outreach International
 

CENTERED
By Jason Brown
with Paul Asay
A WaterBrook Hardcover | On Sale 2/9/21 
Former NFL Center Tells his Story of Leaving Behind Football, Fame, and Fortune to Feed the Hungry

NFL lineman Jason Brown had a career that most people only dream of. As the highest-paid center in the game, he lived a life of luxury and was admired by millions of people every week. Then in 2012, Brown heard a call from God that changed everything. 

In his debut book co-authored with Paul Asay, CENTERED: Trading Your Plans for a Life That Matters (February 9, 2021; WaterBrook), Brown tells his inspiring riches-to-rags-to-true-riches story of leaving behind his successful football career for the sake of his family and God’s call on his life—alleviating hunger through farming.

While the NFL had been good to his bank account and fame, his marriage and family were suffering. He was doing exactly what he promised himself he’d never do—sacrificing time with his wife and kids to provide for them, even living in a different state for a period of time.

With several lucrative offers for a new NFL contract on the table, he took a leap of faith instead into a life he knew nothing about—purchasing and running a thousand-acre farm. As an African American who was in his late twenties at the time, a career change into a role primarily held by white men over 55 would make Brown a rarity. 
 
Moving his family from a mansion to a broken-down farmhouse proved to be even harder than he initially thought. Through third-party mismanagement and a run of bad luck, Brown lost most of the money he’d saved to get the farm up and running and begin donating fresh produce to the poor. It would take several miracles—and the Browns’ faithfulness to God’s call—to make this new dream a reality.  

Today, Brown and his family of 10 run First Fruits Farm in Louisburg, North Carolina, a state where one in four children don’t know where their next meal will come from. Since 2014, the Browns have donated more than 1.6 million servings of fresh produce to their community and continue to give away nearly everything they grow. And at the center of it all? Faith and family.
As Brown’s wife, Tay, once reminded him, “The most important thing growing on First Fruits Farm is our family. The love between a husband and a wife. The love that we share with our children.” 

With powerful and deeply personal insight, Centered will challenge and inspire readers to embrace the joy of following where God leads—even when it doesn’t make sense.
 
In an interview, Brown can speak to:
- His NFL career and why he decided to leave football
- The mission of First Fruits Farm
- The numerous miracles and answered prayers on the farm 
- Finding peace and contentment when we boldly follow God’s call 
- Raising eight children and farming as a family
- As a 30-something Black farmer, Brown is “a minority within a minority within a minority”
- The new initiatives at First Fruits Farm to fund their ministry and donate even more food 
- The mass exodus from cities as people seek a simpler life
 
For more information, visit www.waterbrookmultnomah.com.
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Jason Brown grew up in Henderson, North Carolina. He went on to attend the University of North Carolina, where he played both guard and tackle before moving to center. He never missed a game. He was drafted in the fourth round by the Baltimore Ravens in 2005. Brown became a free agent in 2009 and was signed by the St. Louis Rams for $37.5 million, making him the highest-paid center in the league. He was again a free agent three years later, but rather than signing a new contract, Brown left the NFL and bought a 1,000-acre farm nearly Louisburg, North Carolina. Brown has been farming full-time since 2013, and he gives nearly everything that he grows (mostly sweet potatoes) to the poor. He and his wife, Tay, have been married since 2003 and have eight children.

ADDITIONAL PRAISE FOR CENTERED

“Jason Brown’s story is a remarkable testament to living a life that exemplifies the true qualities most of us desire but too often fall short of attaining. At age twenty-seven, at the height of his NFL career filled with prestige, fame, and worldly fortune, he walked away from it all. Jason’s rock-solid faith led him to farming and a new life, of abundance and blessings for his family and neighbors in need, well beyond anything he could have imagined.”
—Joe Lamp’l, Emmy Award–winning creator and executive producer of Growing a Greener World and founder of joegardener.com

“This story chronicles the sacrifices, trials, and ultimately the provision, protection, purpose, and blessings that Jason and Tay Brown found as they left wealth and riches to follow God’s call to serve in His kingdom. As Jesus said, ‘It is easier for a camel to go through theeye of a needle than for a rich person’ to do this. Their lives offer inspiration to everyone, and this book gives pause and a chance for self-reflection of one’s own choices and priorities. Jason and Tay Brown are an inspiration of courage, faith, and commitment to God, family, and community.”
—John Mahshie, executive director of Veterans Healing Farm

Centered is engaging, enlightening, and reflective. Jason tells a very personal story—from being bullied as a child in a racially segregated community to becoming the highest paid center in the NFL, then retiring at the height of his career to follow God’s calling for him. His joy and fulfillment from helping others, while overcoming his own despair when his farm was on the verge of bankruptcy, is motivating. This is an excellent read from an inspiring person.”
—Bubba Cunningham, director of athletics at the University of North Carolina

“Jason Brown’s story is bathed in Scripture, and his journey through faith and obedience is cut straight from the Old Testament. Examples of Job, Joseph, and Daniel all come to mind as Jason rises above worldly success and acts obediently to share Christ with the hurting.”
—Edward Graham, Samaritan’s Purse

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