July 24, 2014
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JANUARY  31, 2014 ARCHIVED STORIES:

NEWARK, N.J. (BP) -- Whether chasing down NFL players during Super Bowl week for a quote, talking to a gymnasium full of students or posting pictures of his latest adventures on Facebook, it is evident that Roman Gabriel III is passionate about three things: Jesus Christ, family and football.

Gabriel is a radio host, motivational speaker, evangelist and son of NFL quarterback Roman Gabriel Jr., who played for the Los Angeles Rams (1962-72) and Philadelphia Eagles (1973-1977). During Super Bowl week, the younger Gabriel has been right at home for the last 20 years talking to athletes, coaches and various media celebrities about their faith and values.

Gabriel, president of Sold Out Ministries, and other Christian media professionals put microphones in front of many NFL players and sports personalities on Super Bowl media day and throughout the week leading up to the game.

"This platform gives them a worldwide opportunity to speak the truth to people who would never walk in a church," said Gabriel, a member of Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Boone, N.C.

Super Bowl media day is an annual event that Gabriel lovingly refers to as a "circus" –- with NFL players, coaches and reporters converging in one location to talk about the big game. Media day and the rest of the week's interviews provide much of Gabriel's material for the year.

Once the final snap is taken during the Super Bowl and Gabriel's post-game interviews are complete, he heads back to his home in North Carolina to begin sifting through countless hours of footage and audio for various media outlets.

Gabriel's Sports Talk radio program on American Family Radio can be heard in 200 cities nationally and streams live at afr.net. Another of Gabriel's venues is the Biblical Recorder, newsjournal for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, where his sports Q&A runs in print and on the BR's website (brnow.org).

Gabriel also has spoken to thousands of middle and high school students, challenging them to live alcohol- and drug-free.

Before he was interviewing athletes and speaking in schools, Gabriel played quarterback for the University of New Mexico. He had a brief stint in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders and in the now-defunct USFL (United States Football League). A neck injury ended his football career.

"When people ask me [if I] miss football, I [say] no," Gabriel said. "The last time I played football was 1983, but ... I love what the platform has given me to talk to kids, to talk to people about Christ, to share my faith because I played a game."

Gabriel is just one of many Christian media professionals who see the NFL and athletics as an effective ministry tool.

Mike Barber of Mike Barber Ministries gathers media alongside Gabriel during Super Bowl week for his prison ministry and website Pro-claim.TV.

"It's the biggest platform in America," Barber said. "It reaches more homes. It gets the attention of the youth like no other event ... when ... one in six of our youth today will be locked up. What a great opportunity ... for a true genuine word to be heard loud and clear." Barber has been involved in prison ministry for 25 years, after playing tight end with the Houston Oilers, Los Angeles Rams and Denver Broncos (1976-1985).

Gabriel, who works with Barber on various Super Bowl-related projects, said, "He and I were doing this when nobody else was.... He's helped me a lot."

Gabriel recalled "the earlier years" -- long before Tebowmania when the media's attention swirled around former Denver Broncos quarterback and outspoken Christian Tim Tebow. ... Read More

2nd VIEW: Seahawk players seek to be champs beyond Super Bowl
NEWARK, N.J. (BP) -- Surrounded by a horde of reporters probing about nearly every aspect of the upcoming Super Bowl -- including questions not related such as "Where's Waldo?" and "Who is your favorite hockey player?" -- several Seahawks players are enjoying their moment on one of the biggest stages in sports to share their faith in Jesus. Read More
2nd VIEW: Bronco leans on faith, team after diagnosis; calls Manning 'man of faith'
NEWARK, N.J. (BP) -- Jacob Tamme is used to intense competition. He's taken hard hits on the football field in games and in practice during his six years in the NFL. But when his wife Allison was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last year, the Denver Bronco said he was forced to rely on his Christian faith more than ever. Read More
Carver tells congressional panel of concern over military's religious freedom climate
WASHINGTON (BP) -- Retired Gen. Doug Carver, who oversees Southern Baptists' chaplain ministry, shared concerns about "growing ignorance, insensitivity or intolerance regarding matters of religion" within the U.S. military during a House subcommittee hearing Wednesday, Jan. 29. Read More
Croston heads LifeWay black church outreach
NASHVILLE (BP) -- It was a day Mark Croston never saw coming. He had no reason to leave his 26-year pastorate in Suffolk, Va., except God's calling to unite with LifeWay Christian Resources. Read More
New era in U.S. culture assessed by panel
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP) -- While "cultural Christianity is dead" in an increasingly secular America, evangelicals have the "theological resources" to keep the faith, R. Albert Mohler Jr. said during a "Faith and Freedom in the Public Square" discussion at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Read More
Moore: Following Jesus means care for others
"(F)aith and obedience are not at odds with one another, as long as they're put in the right perspective and with the right priority."
–- Russell D. Moore
WASHINGTON (BP) -- Being a disciple of Jesus means growing in recognizing the importance of the common good of people in society, Southern Baptist ethicist Russell D. Moore told college students at a conference in the country's capital. Read More

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