A Geauga County gym offers an unlikely combination of boxing and ministry.

Founder of Round 1 Ministries, Reverend Morris Eason, is a boxer who is familiar with life’s ups and downs. He says he was a broken man but is now living in his purpose to help others.

Life can deliver punches you don’t see coming, but even when you’re down, you’re never out at Round 1 Ministries in Chesterland.

“The goal, the mission is to touch and reach people that are lost and help them find their way and find their confidence and find themselves to be who they are in Christ really,” Eason said.

Eason dedicated his life to helping people find the strength to get back on their feet.

“To me, it’s a calling,” Eason said.

Open for 20 years, Eason says Round 1 Ministries helps people overcome life’s many struggles. He went from bullied child to army veteran, turned drug abuser then inmate.

“I had to overcome drugs. I overcame a life of addiction, I went through prison life and that was the single best thing that could have happened to me.”

After clawing his way back into the ring, his offering now is service and helping people reach their goals.

“I struggled a lot with anxiety more recently, more than ever I kind of needed a release. My friends weren’t really doing it anymore, I was kind of pushing people away,” college student Zach McCarren said. “I needed to find confidence within myself, and I came here, and I loved it from the jump.”

Long-term clients turned friends also say they got hooked.

“We pray a lot I know my life has been better because of that and being with him. At this point, I kind of motivate him I think,” said Debbie Tomsic, Eason’s client of 18 years.

The real winners, he says, are the people who get up when they’re down. 

“It’s the God in this place. It really is a calling and it is a purpose. People come back, it’s just real. They can be who they are, they can talk and work out and find themselves.”

Eason also offers training to young people from disadvantaged communities and serves as a life coach.

To learn more about Round 1 Ministries, click here.