According to the Hufington Post NY Jets QB, Tim Tebow drew a crowd of about 15,000 to an outdoor Easter church service Sunday in Texas, telling the gathering it’s important to be outspoken about faith while admonishing athletes about not being better role models. “In Christianity, it’s the Pope and Tebow right now,” Celebration Church pastor Joe Champion he said. “We didn’t have enough room to handle the Pope.” Tebow – devout Christian, backup NFL quarterback and cultural phenomenon – has a flock of admirers drawn as much to his religious leanings as his Heisman Trophy skills. Tebow told them he welcomed the attention on his convictions as well as the “Tebowing” prayer pose he often strikes on the field because it puts his faith and prayer in the public conversation. “It’s being talked about,” he said. “That’s exciting.” Some at the “Easter on the Hill” morning service under sunny skies about 20 miles north of Austin drove more 100 miles to hear Tebow speak.
The service took on the feel of a rock concert with more than a 100 school buses shuttling people to the sprawling mega-church campus from local shopping center and the nearby college. The service was peppered with lively Christian rock songs and Tebow took the large stage to cheers from those who could see him while others toward the back watched on massive video screens. He sat for a 20-minute interview with Champion to talk about his faith and its role in his public life. “It’s OK to be outspoken about your faith,” Tebow said.He also took a shot at professional athletes who insist they are not role models. “Yes you are. You’re just not a good one,” Tebow said. Debbie Sandoval and her husband and two sons arrived before sunrise. They wore Tebow’s Jets jerseys and set up camp close the large soundstage with a row of chairs. “I love that boy. … He’s like my third son,” said Sandoval, who is not a regular member of the church but wasn’t going to miss a chance to hear Tebow speak. A self-described “lifelong Broncos fan,” Sandoval said she became a Jets fan because of Tebow. The quarterback led the Broncos to the playoffs last season and was acquired by the Jets in a trade March 21. “Everything about this young man’s extraordinary life is special,” Sandoval said. The people love Tim Tebow! He is a great role model. I hope he does well this season!