Buckeyes Make Jesus the Main Event

Ohio State football players use fame to talk of Christ.

  • by Greg Stoughton

An outreach called "The Main Event" drew 6,500 fans to the St. John Arena in Columbus, Ohio, late October (see video below). Athletes in Action, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and more than 50 churches of 40 different denominations participated.

Following performances by cheerleaders and the university band, Buckeye coach Jim Tressel and well-known players spoke passionately of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

The lineup included marquee players such as cornerback Malcolm Jenkins, linebacker Marcus Freeman and linebacker James Laurinaitis, a candidate for multiple "player of the year" awards.

A reported 170 people indicated decisions to pray and receive Christ, with an added 1,300 indicating on comment cards a re-commitment to live their life in obedience to God.

"It was fantastic to see these players grow in their faith to a point where they are willing to take a public stand for him," said Athletes in Action staff member Jim Schmidtke, whose focus is working with coaches. "You could clearly sense they wanted people in the audience to come to the Lord."

Two weeks after the event, approximately 400 people attended a session designed to explain more of what it is to be a Christian and inform young believers of the next steps they could take in their faith.