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
Local

NYPD looking for man they say assaulted elderly…

      The New York City Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating a Hispanic male 20's wanted in connection with…

Local

Three arrested after allegedly assaulting off-duty officer in…

Three men were arrested early Saturday morning after allegedly assaulting an off-duty officer at a Bronx bodega, and the NYPD is asking for the public's…

Local

Healthcare union creates vibrant West Indian Day Parade…

Volunteers worked almost around the clock through the weekend, putting the flashy finishing touches on hundreds of costume pieces 1199SEIU members will wear while marching…

National

Top 10 most hipster college campuses

Hipsters are everywhere these days. You can't walk down the anywhere anymore without seeing a pair of skinny jeans on a handlebar mustachioed 20-something, a…

Arts

Theater: Discouraging 'Poor Behavior'

Theresa Rebeck's latest off-Broadway play, about two couples sparring on a weekend getaway, repeats a few mistakes of her past.

Gossip

Chef Todd English arrested for DWI in the…

Celebrity chef Todd English is facing DWI charges after a traffic stop on Sunday.

Movies

Box office: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is 2014's…

This weekend "The Guardians of the Galaxy" passed the fourth "Transformers" movie to become the highest grossing film of 2014.

Gossip

Spears back with controversial ex?

Is Briteny Spears back with Adnan Ghalib?

Sports

Novak Djokovic feeds off US Open crowd to…

Novak Djokovic isn't a native New Yorker, but he sure knows how to use the U.S. Open crowd to his advantage.

NFL

Odell Beckham still 'weeks away,' Tom Coughlin angry…

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has fought a losing battle against the media all preseason over the status of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…

Sex

When it comes to dating, height matters

Does a man’s height really matter when it comes to dating? Unfortunately - according to a new study - the answer looks like it’s yes.…

Travel

10 free apps to make traveling easier

Finding the nearest bathroom, calculating currency exchanges and locating your departure gate must have been difficult for travelers of previous generations. But we wouldn't know,…

Travel

How to get a seat upgrade to business…

It used to be much easier to upgrade your coach seat to business or even first class, but rigid rules and tighter schedules have made…