BIRMINGHAM, Ala (WIAT) — Jean Castille is a woman who loves people and lives by her faith. She grew up in a church in Phenix City, but it was her high school sweetheart who inspired her to take the next step in her faith.
“Jeremiah became a believer at an early age,” said Castille. “When I first met him, that’s what stood out to me the most. I grew up going to church, but I didn’t have what he had. As I got to know him, I got more and more inspired by him.”
Jean eventually married Jeremiah. She was 19, and he was 22. At the time, Jeremiah Castille was a beloved University of Alabama cornerback who played for Bear Bryant before getting into the NFL. From the day they were married, ministering to others was their mission in marriage. They had six children of their own, but Jean says they became mentors to many others, her spiritual children.
“I remember the first one to come stay with us. He said, ‘I’m without a home.’ Next thing I know here he is and we are loving on him and encouraging him to finish college at Montevallo,” Castille recalled. “That just flowed into a ministry for us.”
In 1999, the couple turned their life’s work into something bigger. They formed the Jeremiah Castille Foundation in Birmingham. Though football has been important in the Castille family—all three of the couple’s sons played football—their faith comes first.
Through the foundation, Jean ministers to young people, married couples, families, and anyone in need of support and understanding. Their mission is to show people love, especially those who feel alone in the world.
“I just want to be able to love people,” Castille said. “I just want to love and serve people. I would say I’m always looking for what can I do to make your life better.”
There’s no telling how many lives Jean has touched through the foundation. She prays her children and grandchildren continue to share her passion.
“That’s what we would like to see in 30 years down the road, that our children and grandchildren are still perpetuating the faith that Jeremiah and I have had,” Castille said. “The thing that makes me who I am is that I’m a believer. Everything about me is how I can make my life about Christ and to make him known.”
Check in with CBS 42 every Tuesday in March, as we unveil a new Remarkable Women finalist. The winner will be named “Central Alabama’s Woman of the Year” in a special ceremony on April 5 at 6:30 p.m., only on CBS 42.