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Bullfighter Frank Newsom was Rescued to Save Lives

It’s the life of a rodeo bullfighter but lived on Frank Newsom’s terms! Frank says, “I don’t have to worry if something was to happen to me whether it was on the way here, or while I’m here. Our medical team they’ve put me back together so many times over the years!”

The tough, rescuer nicknamed “Fearless Frank” has learned to manage his deepest fears emphasizing, “I know the confidence I have in my Savior and my salvation is key to that! Just knowing that – Jesus – He’s got this! He’s got me!"

Between competitions in the arena, Frank reflects on his role saying, “We’re a worker, we’re a servant. We’re a protector! Our job is to keep the guys safe! It’s about knowing if you got your job done or not. Knowing about your teammates, the guy next to you. If everybody’s working together.”

When rider is ready, Frank’s bullseye is clear! “The bull’s your main focus point,” says Frank. “Where he’s going to go, his speed, his momentum, to be there right on time. You see their eyes. You see if they’re looking around. Kind of an intensity there - that you can feel, you know, anticipating what they’re doing. You’re taking control or looking for that control over the bull. But we’re seeing the rider body language of when he’s going to come off and where he’s going to land.” 

Frank was raised in a cattle environment, saying, “I grew up around cattle working with my dad, working on different ranches. We would buck bulls after we worked. Some of the older guys trying to teach us how to ride bulls and we would take turns saving each other and, man I just knew that was my spot, being an overwhelming feeling, that you know, ‘Man I’m going to devote my life to this! This is me right here!'" 

Frank’s career took off quickly, winning both National and World Finals in just his second professional season. He recalls, “There was so much more freedom in what we do as rodeoing and bull riding than I was ever used to growing up. I was good at what I did so I made money.”

And with it, came distraction, believing he was “probably way immature for the success I was getting as far as how to handle that, I know I was! And I wanted to be the best but then bad habits just kept creeping in and getting bigger and bigger and bigger.”

The rodeo’s traveling pace and the bullfighter’s pain led to Frank’s growing substance abuse and addiction. Frank says, “Once I allowed the drugs in my life, things just got way wilder. You’re not sleeping, but you’re going to all these bull ridings and rodeos and you’re getting your body beat up. You’re drinking more! I just couldn’t see in the moment how my addiction was tearing my life apart. And you’re still having success! ‘I got this, I can handle this, you know.’”

Until Frank’s private struggles caught up with him. He remembers, “I got pulled over. I was way out of hand. Driving way too fast, just being really reckless, getting thrown in jail and having to face that. Having that consequence come down on me. You know, I needed that!” 

Instead of competing in the Bull Riders 2000 Finals, Frank was alone in jail. Franks recalls, “I owed people money. I owed time for law’s I broke. I had broken relationships. All the things that I grew up knowing that were important – man, I trashed ‘em! Due to sin, just letting sin control me!”                                                    

Hitting rock bottom, it was Frank’s turn to be rescued. So he prayed!

Frank describes it, “I was just like, ‘Man this is reality, how’d it get like this?’ The first step of truly wanting Jesus in my life – you know, it wasn’t no more about getting out of trouble! ‘Lord, I need you! I need you, Lord! I’ve made a mess of things!’ And He knew that and He was there!”  

After losing his career, Frank rebuilt his reputation, saying “I had to go back to the very bottom and work my way back up in the arena as a bullfighter but also in life and gain trust day by day with people.”

Since 2005, “Fearless Frank” has restored his place among the profession’s greats as a well-respected bullfighting competitor and mentor. Frank says, “My motivation is not just about me doing my profession but it’s like, ‘Man if I can say this guy’s life maybe that’s one more day that gives him an opportunity to be saved that he can spend eternity in heaven! He can go home to his wife and kids and lead them in a good direction. Trust the Lord right now without having to hit rock bottom. Trust Him right now! Let Him be your master and let Him be who He is!”

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