Trey Sermon’s Parents: Mother’s Tragic Life & Father’s Support

By AustinPublished on: February 5, 2024 Updated on: February 7, 2024
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Trey Sermon is an American football running back known for his extensive National Football League (NFL) career. However smooth it might look, his journey has not been without hurdles. Lucky for Sermon, he was not alone. His parents, Odell Sermon, and Natoshia Mitchell, have been his pillar of support throughout his life.

Want to know more about them? Keep reading this article until the end.

Trey Sermon’s Parents Are Not Together

The football star was born as An’treyon Sermon on January 30, 1999, in St. Petersburg, Florida, to Odell and Natoshia. Despite not being together, Sermon’s father and mother have heavily contributed to his upbringing. While the nature of their relationship remains unknown, the athlete’s mom looked after him alone for the most part, with child support.

Trey Sermon's parents are Odell Sermon and Natoshia Mitchell
Trey with his mother, Natoshia.

Natoshia’s life has not been easy, but through it all, she raised her son like a champ.

Sermon Is Not The Only Child Of The Family

Odell and Natoshia have another kid, a daughter named Oneisha, who is four years older than her football star brother. She has a daughter named A’Mia. Trey is a father figure for his niece.

Trey’s mom also had children from her past relationship: a son named Antonio Brazel and a sister, who are not with us anymore.

Trey’s Mother’s Tragic Childhood

Natoshia Eleece Mitchell, born on September 4, 1973, is 50 years old as of 2024. She was among the seven children of her late parents, Darrell T. Mitchell and Lizzie L. Mells.

Her siblings are two brothers, Stanley T. Mitchell and Vernon M. Mitchell, and her four sisters, Tenisha, Tareyia, Shakita, and Ashley. Unfortunately, Vernon was shot seven times, and her father, Darrell, died in a car accident.

Similarly, her childhood was abusive. The series of tragedies that began at a tender age followed her into her adult years.

Natoshia’s Abusive Relationship And Death Of Her Children

When the football star’s mother was in high school, she was in a relationship with a 30-year-old man named Greg Flournoy. Flournoy was an abusive man who beat her regularly. He even abused her young child, Antonio.

Likewise, Flournoy also threatened to kill Michell and her son, but she never pressed charges, a decision she later regretted.

During her high school graduation, she left her ex-boyfriend to babysit her son. She was surprised to hear that her little boy smashed his head against the dashboard of a 1989 Ford Bronco and passed away. But autopsy told another tale. Flournoy had murdered Antonio.

He is currently in prison as prisoner No. 261728, serving his sentence, and may not get out anytime soon.

Little Antonio was only two when he was murdered on June 10, 1993. Sermon and his half-brother looked a lot like one another at that age.

Trey Sermon and his late brother Antonio Brazel
Trey and his late half-brother.

Similarly, Mitchell lost another child, a daughter. The little angel passed away at birth. The hardships in her life are beyond comprehension. But she never gave up. Mitchell has detailed these struggles in her book, When My Soul Cried.

When her abusive partner was facing trials in court, Mitchell testified. And after Flournoy was convicted, his mother and sister attacked her. Amidst all of that, Flournoy rushed towards Mitchell. We all know what he was capable of. Thankfully, Trey’s father, Odell, was there to intercept.

Natoshia Mitchell Rose Like A Phoenix Through Ashes

Considering everything Mitchell had been through, to say her life was tough would be an understatement. From domestic violence to the death of her children, there is nothing Sermon’s mother has not been through.

She never gave up. Instead, she completely changed her life and called it her “second life.” Mitchell moved from Florida to Georgia and raised her two children alone. While she looked back, it was to remind herself where she came from.

Trey Sermon's mother, Natoshia Mitchell, turned her life around
Mitchell turned her life around.

Besides, Mitchell did not sideline this aspect of her life from children. She told Trey and Oneisha everything and took them to their brother’s grave.

Furthermore, decades later, she has completed her education and now runs a successful practice helping others using her own experiences.

From Natoshia to Dr. Natoshia

Dr. Natoshia completed her high school education at Dixie Hollins High. Because of the tragedy that occurred during her graduation, the principal of the school actually brought the diploma to her mother’s home.

Similarly, she completed her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management from the University of Phoenix-Atlanta Campus in 2010 and her MBA from Strayer University-Atlanta Campus in Health/Health Care Administration/Management) in 2014.

Moreover, Mitchell received a Doctor of Philosophy – PhD in Mental and Social Health Services degree in 2018.

Trey Sermon’s Mom Runs A Nonprofit

Mitchell is the founder of Arise By Faith. She is the executive director of the nonprofit organization offering comprehensive educational and referral resources for clients, including domestic violence victims and people who need bereavement assistance services.

Over the years, Dr. Mitchell has worked at multiple organizations, including Emory Healthcare, Parallon Business Solutions, Avery Partners Healthcare, and Payments MD. With the extensive experience she gathered through these roles, she helps her diverse clientele.

Furthermore, she is also an author who has written two books, When My Soul Cried and Shaking the Field, a Mother’s Prayers.

His Mother Inspires Him

The football star’s mom has been a perfect role model not just for her children but also for thousands of people. It is not just Trey who has acknowledged his mother’s influence in his life but also his high school coach, Billy Shackelford. Talking about Mitchell, Shackelford said,

I attribute a lot of his success to the strength of his mom. His mom is a phenomenal lady. She brings both bags of tricks: She’s tough, but also nurturing and loving.

Besides, the athlete garners strength from his mother’s story. Seeing her after everything she has gone through inspires and gives him strength. Dr. Mitchell has done everything for her kids. Even during the family’s hardships, she shed tears, but never in front of them.

Furthermore, the family is a devout Christian and finds solace in Christ in times of need.

Trey Sermon’s Father Is 13 Years Older Than His Mother

Odell Sermon, born on  July 30, 1960, is 63 years old as of 2024. His former partner is 13 years younger than him. For his 61st birthday, Sermon created a fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

While Mr. Sermon maintains a private profile, he has been an influential figure in his son’s life. He has not been publicly seen with Trey. However, the father and son are friends on Facebook.

Trey Sermon's father is 13 years older than Natoshia Mitchell
Odell enjoying one of his dances.

He has a lot of nieces and nephews, and Keyatta Sermon is one of them.

Trey And Odell’s Relationship: A Supportive Father

Although the athlete has not mentioned anything about his father to the media, his X (formerly Twitter) tells another tale.

Trey Sermon has tweeted some wholesome texts about his father Odell Sermon
Odell is loved by his son.

On May 24, 2014, Sermon shared about a moment with his old man. “Hearing my dad say “you gon make it ” is all the motivation I needed !” he tweeted.

That did not end there. Five months later, Trey again tweeted about Odell. “I love my dad soo much man, (sic)” Sermon wrote in a wholesome tweet.

A Father Figure

The Sermon family went through a lot when the athlete broke his back, a fracture in one of his lower vertebrae. His mom had to sell her car and work extra hours to meet the cost of rehabilitation. Everything changed when Tuna Burhanan, whom Mitchell refers to as a “godsend,”  entered their life.

Burhanan, a friend of Trey’s high school track coach, aided immensely in his recovery. He supported him both emotionally and physically. He became a father figure. Burhanan is still his mentor and trainer.

At present, Trey’s mother lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and his father lives in the Tampa area, Florida. Mitchell proudly shares her son’s achievements on her socials. All in all, Sermon has recognized everything his parents have done for him.