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Meet Eric Merriweather

Today we’d like to introduce you to Eric Merriweather.

Eric, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’ve wanted to act since I was a child, but didn’t get started until 2015. I immediately fell in love with it. Acting allows me to be me, which is something I’ve struggled with my entire life. My story is one of tenacity, transformation and the freedom to be me. In my book Knowing Your Identity Through Christ, I share intimate details of my life. From abuse, childhood molestation, rape and living with a chronic illness to becoming who I am today. I have improved my self-worth and now understand how in control of my life I really am. My journey hasn’t been easy, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My path has been anything but easy. I’ve gone through being an innocent child who was molested, to a man who struggled with my sexuality; a healthy athlete, to testing positive for HIV and given 7-10 years to live; and becoming so ill that I lost everything. Through it all, I knew God had a plan for my life.

From 1984 to 1998 I challenged my diagnosis and surpassed the time I was told I had to live. It wasn’t until I received a flu shot that sent my body spiraling out of control and I lost 40 lbs in two weeks that I started to lose hope. The doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me, so I thought I was going to die. I wasn’t ready to go because I knew there was more for me to do. One night, I told God that I was ready to be his servant and do whatever he wants. In a matter of days my condition began to improve and in a couple of weeks I was discharged from the hospital. My life has never been the same.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
In addition to being an author, life coach and speaker, I’ve been the founder and president of The African American Association of Georgia for the last 18 years. We believe that children can’t focus on their future if they have to focus on survival, so we provide resources to youth, their families and community partners. As an actor, I’ve been on several tv shows and worked on an animation project with John Amos and EG Daily. I am a track and field athlete on the Master’s Circuit with the US with a total of 15 World Championships and 2 Masters Olympic Games. I am accomplished with running 100M, 200M, 4×100 and 4×400 relays. I currently have two Masters World Olympic Games Gold Medals and several golds, silver and bronze medals at the World Championships. I received the Lifetime Achievement Award from President Barack Obama which has been my proudest moment. What sets me apart from others is that I chose to live life instead letting life choose how I live.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
The way in which you value yourself will determine how far you go in life. Believe that you are worth the very best and deserve the very best no matter what, and you will always find a way to make it happen.

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Image Credit:

CW Studios and Marie Thomas

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