Heisman winner Tebow talks faith in Upper Sandusky

More than 500 people gathered Wednesday night at Trinity Evangelical Church in Upper Sandusky to hear former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow speak.

The former NFL quarterback spoke for nearly a hour about how he rose from a nearly-aborted baby to national champion at Florida.

A majority of the evening was spent discussing the bible verses he wore on his eye black as quarterback. The first verse discussed was Proverbs 3:5-6, which Tebow noted was then used by his teammates.

Tebow was born in the Philippines, where his dad was a minister. The doctors initially thought Tebow was a tumor, but eventually was delivered as a miracle baby, as a majority of the placenta was not attached when he was born. That story was not told until the week leading up to Tebow’s Heisman win as a sophomore.

Tebow then told about Ephesians 2:10, discussing that all have worth in life, even if it is tough.

“If there is no purpose for life, what are we doing?” Tebow said. “You have a purpose on this Earth — no matter your background.”

Isaiah 40:31 was discussed by Tebow, who noted that you can always be your best. Tebow told the story of a teammate at Florida that was one of the best Christians on the team, but did not give his best. The player did not achieve what he could have and stumbled through his career.

Tebow then discussed Philippians 4:6-7, Philippians 4:13, and Hebrews 12:1-2. Tebow discussed life being tough, but that you have to persevere. Tebow said the race is tough and it will get your heart pumping.

The attention was turned to the most famous verse that Tebow wore — John 3:16. During his junior year, Tebow decided to first wear eye black before the Tennessee game, using Philippians 4:13. The Gators found themselves in a No. 1 vs. 2 SEC title game against Alabama before Tebow had realized his full purpose.

Florida won that matchup and Tebow decided to flip the script and wear a different verse — John 3:16 — before the national championship game against Oklahoma. Tebow had to tell then-Florida coach Urban Meyer, who was surprised, but agreed. Florida won the title, but the deeper meaning came a few days later over lunch.

The public relations employee for the university called Meyer, who relayed to Tebow that more than 94 million people had searched for John 3:16 during the title game.

It came full circle exactly three years later when, as the quarterback for the Denver Broncos, Tebow completed an 80-yard touchdown pass in overtime to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers in a playoff game. Tebow had 316 yards passing that night, averaging 3.16 yards per rush, and 31.6 yards per completion.

“You could believe in a coincidence, or you could believe in a really big God,” Tebow said.

The last verse was John 16:33.

“We can only understand our need for a Savior when we reach desperation,” Tebow said.

The evening concluded with Tebow praying a prayer of belief with all in attendance.