Minister Defying Odds After Being Told He'd Never Walk Again
Heel, toe, heel, toe, heel . . . that’s how Skip Redd thinks and walks – every single step. Focused on each step and feeling like his feet are encased in cement, Skip doesn’t complain because every step he takes is a witness to a miracle.
Skip, 69, is the executive pastor at University Church in Waxahachie, Texas, and he is supposed to be a quadriplegic. After suffering a broken neck in a trampoline mishap in 2017, he was told by doctors he would never use his legs again, but perhaps, one day, he might be able to use his right arm to feed himself.
God had a different idea.
As shared in a 2018 AG News story, a miracle — or more accurately stated, miracles — took place. Skip not only eats meals on his own, but roughly 16 months after the accident, he returned to work at his full-time job as a music and choir instructor at Life High School . . . walking!
“I look back at when Skip couldn’t feed himself, literally could do nothing for himself,” says Claudia, Skip’s wife of 47 years. “And I’m now just so thankful.”
However, Skip’s body has not yet been fully restored. Every step requires his undivided attention.
“If someone speaks to me while I’m walking somewhere, I need to stop walking before I respond,” Skip says with a bit of a laugh. “If I don’t, if I try to do both (walk and talk), I’ll trip or fall.”
But his slow and somewhat awkward-looking gait has had a silver lining: opportunity.
Since the accident and receiving a miraculous touch from God, Skip says that he is able to do many of the things he did prior to the accident, only not quite as well. For example, he can still play the piano, but no longer at the level to pass a collegiate board exam.
In August 2018, when he walked onto the high school football field when honored during a halftime, he sent the video to the case manager — leaving her stunned and excitedly sharing it with other team members.
“I have been so blessed,” Skip says. “I am still believing for a complete healing, but mindful that I am able to function more than many people with the same type of injury and others whom I have crossed path with during this journey.”
Yet, God has used Skip’s inability to walk well to enable divine appointments.
From August 2018 through May 2023, Skip continued teaching music at Life High School. While impacted by Skips miraculous recovery, students also identified with Skip’s step-by-step struggle.
“It seems a lot of kids who were really hurting or who were struggling with issues would see me, talk to me, and tell me things that they probably wouldn’t tell other teachers,” Skip relates. “When they approached me and talked to me, I wouldn’t hide the spiritual dynamic — I had a lot of opportunities I wouldn’t have had if I hadn’t broken my neck.”
Claudia says that Skip’s recovery has also impacted their grandchildren, especially their oldest granddaughter, who’s now 16.
“You can’t convince her that God isn’t real,” Claudia says. “She has seen God perform a miracle in Skip’s life.”
Even just a month or so ago, Skip’s labored walking resulted in an invitation to speak at a Baptist church and share his testimony.
“We were coming back from Florida, it was about 11:30 at night, and I was walking up the jetway from the plane, and I’m walking kind of slow,” he recalls. “People are walking by and then this man, with his family, stops and says to me, ‘I just want you to know, you’re encouraging to me. You could have asked for a wheelchair, but chose to walk instead.’”
An opportunity presented!
Skip shared his testimony with the man, who he then found out was a Baptist minister. Touched by what God had done in Skip’s life, the pastor asked Skip to come speak to his congregation in Mildred — just about a 40-minute drive from University Church.
Claudia says that for her and their four children, throughout the traumatic experience, God granted the biblical peace that passes all understanding. They never panicked or experienced fear — they knew God was with them and had His hand on Skip’s life.
“I heard that Scripture (Philippians 4:7) all my life, but now I have experienced it and so have our children,” Claudia says. “I think people may listen more closely to what we say now . . . perhaps we have more credibility because of what God has brought us through, and this all has hopefully bolstered people’s faith.”
Skip says the opportunities to share his testimony range from official invitations by churches to one-on-one conversations that happen to spring up. He has shared his testimony countless times, giving glory to God as well as expressing his thankfulness for the unending prayers that went up on his behalf.
“While I was still teaching (he retired in May 2023), every year, I would tell the students about what took place in my life,” Skip says. “And every time I shared with them what God had done for me, I cried — just so grateful to God for what He has done in my life.”
Through it all, Skip says that his family has grown closer together, the church body has had their faith enriched, and God has been glorified through the telling and re-telling of his testimony countless times.
Though Claudia notes that through this ongoing experience, an added compassion has been birthed in them.
“You don’t have to look far to find people who have a more difficult path than yourself,” she says. “People are hurting in so many different ways, and we just don’t know what they’re all dealing with. Everyone has a need to see God at work . . . and we know to be grateful as God has done something incredible for us.”