It was announced this week that 22-year-old Jinger Duggar is officially courting Jeremy Vuolo — a tall, dark, and handsome 28-year-old former professional soccer player born and raised just outside of Philadelphia. Jeremy is now an ordained pastor who is very open about his sinful past during his sermons. He talks about drinking, partying, and lusting during his high school and college years, including one regretful incident that landed him in jail!
Here is an excerpt from Jeremy’s testimonial in which he mentions being arrested for “refusing to obey a police officer during a night downtown:”
The test of my own faith began during the last year of high school. I had been home schooled most of my life, but began attending public school in my junior and senior year. It was during my senior year that a lot of sin began to be exposed in my heart. I began to drink and to attend parties on the weekends with different people. This continued into college, and the sin became worse and worse. Thankfully, God spared me from much during those years, but I also gave into much. I was part of the college party scene and was living foolishly. I began sliding deeper and deeper into the pits of lust and selfishness and pride.
During this time I was also training to become a professional soccer player — a goal I had had since I was just eight years old. I was attending a small school in New York and playing for their soccer team. But as my life in the party scene got worse, my performance on the field did as well — and so did the relationships with those around me. At one point it got so bad that I even spent a night in a holding cell at the local police station for refusing to obey a police officer during a night downtown.
I did some research online and uncovered some more information. According to online court records, Jeremy pleaded guilty to second-degree harassment in February of 2008 when he was 20 years old. The result was a $250 fine and a “one-year conditional discharge.” (Unfortunately, I was unable to track down a Jeremy Vuolo mug shot photo from his arrest.)
UPDATE – In Touch obtained the police report from the incident and here is how the patrolman involved described what happened:
On January 16, 2008 at approximately 1:10 AM Sgt. Brenner/Ptl D’Agostino were investigating a possible assault in front of 7 Market St in the City of Oneonta, NY. At about this time, an intoxicated male who appeared to be a friend of the male that was involved was acting belligerent and shouting obscenities while in front of numerous subjects. Identified later via a Hartwick ID as Jeremy Vuolo, DOB 09/05/87, Vuolo was instructed several times to calm down while officers were attempting to help his friend. For no apparent reason, Vuolo walked up to Ptl D’Agostino and grabbed his right arm/bicep in a forced manner. Subsequently, Vuolo was arrested and transported back to HQ, where he was booked and later released to a sober friend, .13% BAC. Vuolo is scheduled to appear in City court on 1/30/08 at 8:30 AM.
Jeremy goes on to talk about how that night behind bars changed his life:
My sin was catching up with me, and I knew it. I remember sitting with my head in my hands and crying out to God, “God, I cannot live like this any more.” I had come to the end of myself. My sin had become such a burden to me, and I wanted out of it. It was then that I cried out to God and repented of the ways I had forsaken his ways and rebelled against his commands. Looking at Jesus with faith in what He had done, I forsook my sin and ran to the cross for forgiveness.
Though Christ had forgiven me and made me a new creation in Him, there were many trials and temptations still to come. Over the next several years I continued to battle against the lust of my flesh, except now I began to see great victory in my life. The sins which had once enslaved me and shackled me, I now began to have victory over. I was not perfect. And listen to me — Christianity does not mean you become a perfect person. It means that the bondage to sin in your life is broken, and though we may stumble and wrestle against sin, there is victory.
It sounds as though Jeremy had some very rebellious years in high school and college! I’m guessing that with him being thrust into the public spotlight, we will be seeing numerous former friends (and girlfriends?) from that time in his life coming forward with stories — especially after Jeremy makes his official TV debut on Counting On later this summer! Stay tuned 🙂
Meanwhile, here’s the full video of Jeremy talking about his sinful past followed by his description of the clip to put it all in perspective:
My name is Jeremy Vuolo and I am a Christian—which means that I follow Jesus Christ.
And before I tell my story, I want to share the Apostle Paul’s words from Romans 6:21-23: ’21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’
That is the story for me: I look back upon my life with great shame at the things that I had done. For the end of those things is death—but Jesus Christ has set me free from sin and death and has made me a servant of the most high God!
The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. My prayer is that the testimony of my life may demonstrate just how great this free gift of eternal life in Jesus truly is.