Jinger Duggar has a boyfriend, and her soccer pro beau isn’t like the guys other Duggar daughters have dated; Jeremy Vuolo is a reformed wild child who once spent the night in jail. Now he’s a pastor at a Texas church with a website that boasts about “saving” gay men and Catholics.
As People reports, 22-year-old Jinger Duggar is being courted by 28-year-old Jeremy Vuolo. Jinger first met Jeremy last May, and they got to know each other during a mission trip. Jeremy later asked Jim Bob Duggar for permission to court Jinger, and now a TLC wedding special is likely in the couple’s future.
“It was there that I really saw his heart and really admired his character,” Jinger told People of her mission trip with Jeremy.
Jeremy Vuolo’s pro soccer career included short stints with the New York Red Bulls, Finland’s AC Oulu, and the now-defunct San Antonio Scorpions. Unlike Jinger Duggar, who was homeschooled her entire life, Jeremy attended a public high school and went to a brick-and-mortar college. He graduated from Syracuse University, but he only spent his senior year playing goalkeeper for the men’s soccer team. Before transferring to Syracuse, the Downington, Pennsylvania native attended Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York.
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According to Jinger Duggar’s new man, he partied a little too hard when he was younger. Jeremy Vuolo is currently the pastor of Grace Community Church in Laredo, Texas, and he appears in numerous videos on the church’s YouTube page. In one of these videos, Jeremy reveals that his upbringing was somewhat similar to that of Jinger Duggar; he was also raised in a Christian household, and he was also homeschooled. However, he began attending public school during his junior year. This is when he says his struggle with temptation began.
“It was during my senior year that a lot of sin began to be exposed in my heart. I began to drink and to attend parties on the weekends with different people,” Vuolo says in his “Testimony” video. “I was part of the college party scene and was living foolishly. I began sliding deeper and deeper into the pits of lust and selfishness and pride.”
According to Jeremy, he didn’t decide to turn things around until he spent the night in jail.
“At one point, it even got so bad that I spent the night in a holding cell at the local police station for refusing to obey a police officer during a night downtown.”
Jinger Duggar’s boyfriend has also confessed to struggling with a desire for fame and attention. During an interview with the Daily Orange, Jeremy Vuolo revealed that the sports psychologist for the New York Red Bulls was skeptical when the aspiring soccer star tried to argue that his main goal of being a good goalie was to “glorify God.”
“And the sports psychologist would always question me and say, ‘Yeah, OK. I’m buying that a little bit, but I think there’s more to it than that,'” Vuolo said. “And he’d say, ‘I think you want more money and I think you want more fame and I think you want more attention and approval.'”
Jeremy Vuolo eventually realized that the psychologist was right. He claims that “the Lord began systematically humbling” him, and he gradually lost interest in the game that he once loved. In 2013, he announced he was quitting the sport to pursue his ministry career full-time. However, Jeremy decided to give soccer one more go three weeks later when he was presented with the opportunity to play for the San Antonio Scorpions. The team no longer exists, so his soccer career is seemingly over.
There’s no word on whether Vuolo is similarly struggling with how he will be affected by money and fame that comes along with dating Jinger Duggar and appearing on the next season of Jill & Jessa: Counting On. The show has reportedly been renewed by TLC, and it will premiere sometime later this summer.
Jinger Duggar’s boyfriend is good pals with Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald, so the married couple has probably been filmed chaperoning Jinger and Jeremy’s dates for Counting On. Fans of the TLC show will likely be treated to yet another rundown of the Duggar family’s courtship rules, which include dates that must be chaperoned, a ban on hand-holding until Jeremy and Jinger are engaged, and the couple saving their first kiss for their wedding. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar will also monitor the courting couple’s text messages.
Jeremy Vuolo’s religious views may stir up controversy as Duggar family critics find out more about him. The website for his church includes a few “testimonies” that might raise eyebrows, including one in which a man talks about how finding God “saved” him “from a homosexual lifestyle that consumed his life for 27 years.” In another, a girl is described as a “lost Catholic” who “realized that her goods works were filthy before God.” As the Inquisitr previously reported, Jessa Duggar has been criticized for her anti-gay and anti-Catholic views.
What do you think of the man who will likely become Jinger Duggar’s husband?
[Image via TLC]