By Abigail Roberts | Echo
Athlete Tim Tebow will be visiting Taylor University on Nov. 2 in conjunction with Muncie's Fields of Faith event.
"I don't think we've had someone in chapel of Tim's notoriety in the 11 years I've been here," Executive Director of Development Mike Falder said.
One element Taylor has asked Tebow to speak on orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), in light of Taylor's specialized OVC major. Tebow runs a ministry known as the Tebow Association which spends its time and resources on orphan and vulnerable children care.
Jeff Mosier, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA)East Central Indiana Area Director, has been working to bring Tebow to Muncie since Tebow spoke at Grace College last February.
"I was like hold it, hold it, what about Muncie?" Mosier said. "Why not have a Fields of Faith event in Ball State University Worthen Arena and invite Tim Tebow?"
Once FCA had a contract signed with Tim Tebow, Mosier immediately contacted Taylor University as being a potential financial partner to make the event happen.
Taylor instantly saw the value in the event and said they would support it. The opportunity to be a blessing to the Muncie community and have someone as well known as Tebow at Taylor was too great to pass up.
"But how were we going to come up with money no one has?" Falder said.
The Fields of Faith event cost a total of $165,000 alone.
Taylor approached business owners, primarily alumni and parent-owned business in the Midwest. The response was almost immediate. 11 businesses and individuals pledged contributions, the biggest of which were Ashley Industrial Molding and Berne Apparel.
Taylor's honorarium will help offset the payment package for both Tebow's speaking event in Taylor's chapel and FCA's Fields of Faith event.
"I think the name Tim Tebow was very helpful," Falder said. "There are things that we raise money for that are easier than others."
Sponsors are allowed to attend the private chapel and a private meet and greet with Tebow.
The chapel service will be a private, ticketed event. Similar to Silent Night, all Taylor faculty, staff, students and an estimated 500 24@Taylor admissions visitors will receive tickets to present at the door.
"It is weird having a ticketed chapel," Falder said. "But Alumni were gathering groups together to drive up, parents were planning on coming in and Taylor could not have accommodated all those in attendance."
Tebow's speaking contract also necessitated the event to be private.
In order to accommodate for the large attendance Chapel will be held in the KSAC Fieldhouse, used for commencement in the past.
"It was difficult to anticipate what kind of overwhelming response we would get to Tim," said Director of Media Relations Jim Garringer. "Advertising it not as a public event was like walking a tightrope."
Taylor has invited all former football coaches to attend as well as opened 150 spots for football alumni. Current football students have been asked to help usher during chapel.
"I am excited, our coach told us the other day that we have been asked to be ushers for the Tim Tebow event," said senior football player Brandon George. "This will be my second time hearing him speak . . . I just can't wait to hear what he has to say this time, coming to Taylor especially."
Tebow will be on campus for three hours, 15 minutes of which he is booked for an ESPN interview.
"This is the Day," Tebow's newly released book will be on sale before and after chapel.
"Taylor University has historically been a place that attracts people of stature in the Christian universe," Garringer said. "People, who because they love Jesus and love others, God has been able to do mighty things in their lives."