Valley Church to host former OSU player for Football Sunday


PIQUA — The Valley Church, 1400 Seidel Parkway, Piqua, will kick off Super Bowl Sunday with their own Football Sunday celebration on Feb. 12 at both the 9:15 a.m. and 11 a.m. services. The services will feature Joel Penton, a former Ohio State University (OSU) football player, who will talk about his faith journey with Jesus and how it has changed his life.

“We’re having Football Sunday at The Valley right before the Super Bowl because a lot of people love football and a lot more just love the energy around the Super Bowl game. It inspires them, but I believe it can also awaken in them a desire for something more,” said Pastor Andy Monnin.

“Football Sunday is a day to have fun, but also to use the metaphor of a sports contest to apply it to our journey toward God. Paul in his letters to the churches in the Bible often refers to the spiritual life as a race, a boxing match, or a military contest and so we focus that day on a game plan that will allow us to win in life, using what we know about football to help us,” Monnin said.

During both services, Penton, a graduate of OSU, who played five years of football for the Buckeyes, will share his journey. Penton was a member of three Big Ten championship teams, a member of the National Championship team and a four-time Academic All-Big Ten selection.

In his senior year, Penton received the Wuerffel Trophy, also known as the Humanitarian Heisman. The trophy is a national award that recognizes the one college football player in the entire country who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.

Since his time as a Buckeye, Penton has been working to make a positive impact off the field as an author, speaker and nonprofit founder and leader.

As a speaker, Penton has presented to more than 2,000 live audiences and over one million people across the country. He is also the founder of Relevant Speakers Network, an organization that has touched more than 3,000 public schools and two million students nationwide.

Penton is currently serving as the founder and CEO of LifeWise Academy, a nonprofit that provides Bible education to public school students during school hours. After its launch in 2019, LifeWise has quickly grown to serve more than 100 schools nationwide.

Penton lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife, Bethany, and their five children.

During the services at The Valley that day, there will be “sports commentators” providing a half-time show and following the services there will be indoor “tailgating” including chili, hot dogs and nachos with cheese. There will also be giveaways during the services.

Those attending Football Sunday are encouraged to wear their favorite team’s jerseys, T-shirts or hoodies.

The services are open to the public and everyone is invited to attend and invite their friends and family members.

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