Mayo Sowell is no stranger to how choices can steer a person’s path in life and how faith, redemption and forgiveness can ultimately lead them to their destiny. Born in Los Angeles, California and raised in Natchitoches, Louisiana, Mayo was an outspoken, energetic young boy who grew up in a hard-working, blue-collared household.

Sports and football in particular was his outlet and would later become a passion and pursuit. After graduating highschool as one of the nation’s top-ranked linebackers, Mayo was recruited to play football for Auburn University alongside notable recruits such as Ronnie Brown, Junior Rosegreen and Jason Campbell. Their team was unstoppable and would go on to win the SEC Championship in 2004. After Auburn, Mayo pursued his dream of playing professional football in the NFL but his time was cut short after a career-ending injury.  Mayo then decided it was time for something new and moved to Atlanta, Georgia. But, the fast-paced lifestyle of the city would ultimately lead him to making the choices that would change his life forever. In an effort to keep up with the world around him, Mayo chose a more non-traditional way to make his money; dealing drugs. After several years, this choice caught up to him and led to a federal investigation that landed him behind bars for five years.

The details of his story have no other explanation other than his destiny was greater than the choices he made. The last year in prison, Mayo radically found his faith, purpose and calling which brought him to who he is today — a pastor, a husband, a father and an inspiration to all. In 2022, Mayo and his wife Kai Sowell launched LIIV Atlanta — a local church located in Sandy Springs, Georgia after serving as pastors in Birmingham, Alabama for one of the nation’s largest churches, Church of the Highlands. They have three kids, Cannon, Brave and Liberty.

His hope is that his story will encourage athletes to make the right choices, fully live out their purpose and start influencing NOW.