From Male Stripper to California Freeway Cheerleader

You may have seen him standing on an overpass in Sacramento.

You may have seen him standing on an overpass in Sacramento.

He’s the one in the bright orange shirt for five days a week, before work and during lunch, John Parrish waving at oncoming traffic.

Lately he can be found on Highway 50, but the freeway cheerleader has been to overpasses all over Sacramento. His actions may seem unusual but, what's even more unusual is the path that brought Parrish up here in the first place.

"I was a stripper for four or five years," said Parrish.

His colorful past took a new direction after a run in with some internal demons. The lifestyle of an exotic dancer stripped Parrish of more than just clothes.

"That part of the work got to me... my values started eroding and here I was taking steroids," said Parrish.

Steroid use sent Parrish down a bad path that lead to a divorce, deep depression and then a failed suicide.

"I got a moment of realization that I can't do this," Parrish said.

Parrish found faith and a new direction in a simple bible verse. "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son..." John 3:16 became a foundation for Parrish. A verse he proudly advertises on his bright orange shirt.

But his mission isn’t to convert commuters.

"No, that is not my agenda," Parrish said. "Not my agenda at all. It is just to love people. Make them smile."

Not all roads lead to heaven, but maybe a friendly waive will help direct you on a better path.

"I just want to turn peoples day around," Parrish said. "One step at a time. One overpass at a time." 

Even when Parrish is not waiving, he still spreads his message. Every bridge he goes to, he writes “JOHN 3:16” in washable chalk.

You can find out where he has been by following him on his Facebook page.

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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