Summer 2024

NFL Chaplains share encouragement with Liberty University students

On Wednesday April 4, NFL team chaplains spoke at Liberty University’s Convocation and shared how they are impacting the lives of professional football players.

Below are a few quotes from the Q+A that host David Nasser did with the various chaplains and representatives including Corwin Anthony from Athletes in Action, Johnny Shelton from the Baltimore Ravens, Buccaneers chaplain Doug Gilcrease and George McGovern from the New York Giants.

“One of our ministry is the ministry of presence,” Corwin Anthony from Athletes in Action shared. “Because you have to be there when the spirit of God is pricking at someone’s heart. Because there is a window of time in these guy’s lives, where they’re open, they’re vulnerable and something’s that’s happen and they’re thinking about the right things, and if you’re not around, that window just passes them by.” 

“As I read the Gospels and look at Jesus’ life, his life is predicated on relationships,” Ravens chaplain Johnny Shelton said. “Jesus lived this model to where He loved all. Through loving all, He helped many. By helping many, He discipled few. It’s a here today, gone tomorrow league, but when you build relationships, it’s going to manifest something that will last a lifetime. It doesn’t matter what team you’re on, we’re all on God’s team. We stay in contact with players and those that we have built those discipleship relationships with.” 

“If he submits to the word of God, no matter how much money he makes, or where he is in his life in terms of celebrity, that will be the thing that will motivate him to be a man of integrity himself,” Giants chaplain George McGovern. “The common denominator that these guys face is adversity. No matter how much money he’s guaranteed, no matter how successful or his name becomes recognized, when those winds and storms of adversity come, he will not be able to withstand them. But if he’s got Jesus Christ as his savior and Lord, then no matter what happens to him, no matter how much money he’s guaranteed, that will be the foundation for his life.” 

“Football is a great career, but it’s a really bad foundation,” Buccaneers chaplain Doug Gilcrease said. “In my opinion, the best foundation is a relationship with Jesus Christ.”

A total of 15 team chaplains visited Liberty over a 2 day span for a retreat on campus. They discussed their stories on investing into some of the most prominent and influential NFL players as well as the importance of higher education and a “plan B” for athletes.

You can watch the entire Liberty Convocation below.