Football and faith a first for EverBank Field

First Baptist Orange Park to hold church services at Sunday's game

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Thousands are expected to pack EverBank Field this Sunday as the Jaguars face off against the Indianapolis Colts.

The hours leading up to the game are usually spent tailgating with fellow fans. However this weekend, one local church is hoping to bring worship into the equation. For the first time, Sunday service will be brought directly to the fans.

Come Sunday morning the EverBank Field parking lot will be packed with fans, but they’ll be sharing the space with a local congregation.

Pastor Davis Tarkington of First Baptist Orange Park is hoping to combine football with faith.

“We have a lot of football fans in Jacksonville,” Tarkington said. “A lot of folks are people of faith. Some attend church, some do not, why not go where the crowd already is.”

The church plans to take their message on the road. From 11 a.m. to noon Sunday, services will be held under a tent in the parking lot surrounded by football fans.

“The intent is to be able to offer it next year at every home game,” Tarkington said. ‘The dream would be to go to London and offer it at a game there, but we’re going to shoot for just the ones here in Jacksonville, right now.”

Tarkington said he hopes to go beyond the outreach showing those who may never step foot inside his church, worship can be for anybody.

“If a family member has been inviting someone to come to church for a long time and they just aren’t interested, this is a real easy way to say, ‘Why don’t we just gather together and have a good time, and go to the ball game together?’’’ Tarkington suggested.