Quarterback Tim Tebow talks football, faith at Texas Easter service

bfb0d29036a7495652459e8a8aa72a2e

The devout Christian who has been called “God’s quarterback” talked faith and football in front of thousands on a warm, sunny Easter Sunday at a Central Texas megachurch.

“Win or lose, it is most important that I honor my Lord and savior Jesus Christ,” Tim Tebow said as he talked with Joe Champion, pastor of the Celebration Church in Georgetown, about 15 miles north of Austin.

An adoring crowd of 15,000 to 20,000 at the outdoor service spilled across a hill overlooking Interstate 35, enjoying sunny skies and cool breezes and relishing spending Easter Sunday with the most outspoken Christian in American sports.

“Getting up at 3 a.m. to head to church,” Celebration Church volunteer Jeremiah Cheney said on Twitter early today.

He was far from alone. Crowds started gathering at the three designated parking locations before dawn for the 10 a.m. event.

Church officials said they used 90 buses to shuttle the crowd to the hillside, and some 300 portable outdoor toilets were on hand to serve their more worldly needs.

Champion said the high-profile event happened almost by accident. The then-Denver Broncos quarterback – who was recently traded to the New York Jets – called him several weeks ago, suggesting he was interested in speaking to his congregation.

“I said, ‘What about Easter?’” Champion recalled. “His people replied that Easter might work, and it snowballed from there. It really went viral.”

Tebow may have been drawn to Celebration Church by his own football background, Champion said. Champion was a star offensive lineman at Louisiana State University, and his father was a long-time NFL assistant coach.

Champion said he spoke to the football team at the University of Florida, Tebow’s alma mater, last fall.

Rather than delivering a traditional sermon, Tebow chatted with Champion on stage for about twenty minutes, discussing the importance of athletes being role models, and his own struggle with faith.

“I don’t think I was the first athlete to get down on one knee and pray,” he said in a reference to “Tebow-ing,” the practice of striking a pose on one knee to celebrate an accomplishment – a viral Internet sensation celebrated from YouTube to the Daily Show to Tosh.O.

Champion said it was entirely appropriate for a professional football player to speak to the Christian faithful on Easter Sunday. “This is our Super Bowl,” he told KVUE television in Austin. “Easter is the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which we celebrate in our faith.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…

International

British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…

Local

DA: Homeless man severely beat by men in…

Two former college football players pleaded not guilty to the alleged severe beating of a homeless man in Allston earlier this year.

National

Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement

The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

Going Out

Thursty: Revamped Audubon is back in action

Having been a long time fan of Trina's Starlite Lounge in Inman Square, one of my only complaints about the place is that there's only…

Entertainment

Here's what to do in Boston this weekend

MUSIC Huun Huur Tu Friday, 8 p.m. First Church in Cambridge 11 Garden St., Cambridge $28, 617-876-4275 www.worldmusic.org This group comes from the tiny nation…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox top Yankees, 5-1

John Lackey shines, Pineda ejected in Red Sox win

NHL

Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston…

Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston greedy for more dominance

MLB

Fantasy baseball: Searching for early season prospects

It’s relatively rare for a mediocre 30-year-old hitter to suddenly go nuts offensively for 162 games. That’s why minor league prospects are so exciting.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."