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Tim Tebow Shares Gospel with High Security Offenders: ‘It’s One of My Favorite Things’

maximum security prison

Tim Tebow made a spontaneous visit to a maximum security prison for men in Gatesville, Texas, on October 3rd. While there, he encouraged and shared the gospel with the inmates, the majority of whom are guilty of murder and sexual offenses.

“So grateful to spend time with my new brothers in Christ at Alfred Hughes Prison and encouraging them in the hope that Jesus brings!” Tebow wrote in an Instagram post about his visit.

Five Hours at a Maximum Security Prison

KWTX News reports that Tebow was scheduled to speak that evening at the annual “Celebrate Life” banquet, which is put on by Care Net, a pregnancy care center. He did keep that engagement, but when the father of one of the inmates at Alfred D. Hughes Unit reached out by letter to the Tim Tebow foundation, the Heisman Trophy winner decided to make a detour. His foundation contacted a prison ministry called Discipleship Unlimited for help visiting the unit, and Tebow travelled 40 minutes out of his way to the prison to meet Suzanne and Terry McDonald, who work with the ministry.

The former professional football player arrived at Alfred Hughes around 10:30 a.m. and ended up being there for five hours. He spent the first hour with a handful of inmates who are not allowed to be in groups, and after that he delivered a message to 250 offenders. “He was just telling them that he was there because he loves them and they have a purpose and they can fulfill that purpose even where they are,” said Suzanne McDonald. “And he told them God loves them and there is nothing they could have done that would interfere with that love.”

Even Murderers and Sex Offenders?

One person commented on Tebow’s post, asking, “Tim, honest question: I looked up Alfred Hughes unit and most of these guys are murderers and sex offenders, what is your message to them?” Tebow replied, “I told them about their father in Heaven, what He did for them… how Jesus paved the way and that no matter what our past is, God’s love never leaves and He is always with us. We talked and prayed that through a faith in Jesus and His grace, that we could be brothers in Christ.”

Tebow also participated in—and lost—a pushup competition with one of the inmates. The ESPN commentator said, “We had fun, but I got smoked!…Excited to see how they will use their lives for the Kingdom as the [sic] grow closer to God and encourage others to live in faith! Thank you to the Warden and the entire staff- thank you for opening your doors and letting us love on your boys today!”

Why Go to a Maximum Security Prison?

“Honestly it’s one of my favorite things to do on this earth,” said Tebow according to Fox News. “I know it sounds weird, going to a prison, but man I just feel like it’s something God put on my heart a long time ago and he said, ‘Hey, most of the world forgot about them, but you don’t forget.’ So I try not to forget.” 

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Jessica Mouser is a writer for ChurchLeaders.com. She has always had a passion for the written word and has been writing professionally for the past two years. She especially enjoys evaluating how various beliefs play out within culture. When Jessica isn't writing, she enjoys playing the piano, reading, and spending time with her friends and family.