Former NFL star Tim Tebow and Duck Dynasty star Jep Robertson made a surprise visit to a Texas men’s high security prison last week.
Tebow, who was in Waco Thursday for a pro-life event, drove 40 minutes out of his way to the Gatesville facility after his foundation was contacted by an inmate’s father asking that the Heisman Trophy winner pay them a visit.
According to local station KWTX, “Tebow first spent time one-on-one with offenders not allowed to be in group settings. He then spent more than an hour in a commons area talking directly with five inmates.”
He later “addressed 250 men and offered them a message of hope,” the local news outlet reports.
Tebow shared a photo on Twitter with the inmates, writing, “So grateful to spend time with my new brothers in Christ at Alfred Hughes Unit and encouraging them in the hope that Jesus brings!”
Following the visit, Tebow explained that he feels visiting prisons is “something God put on my heart a long time ago.”
"Honestly it's one of my favorite things to do on this earth," Tebow said after walking out of the prison, according to Fox News. "I know it sounds weird, going to a prison, but man I just feel like it's something God put on my heart a long time ago and he said, 'Hey, most of the world forgot about them, but you don't forget.' So I try not to forget. I try to get with them and share with the hope that we have in our faith, to share encouragement...how they matter to me but more importantly how they matter to God."
He was able to get inside the unit to meet the inmates thanks to the prison ministry, Discipleship Unlimited, that helped set up the visit.
Duck Dynasty star Jep Robertson made the drive from Austin to join Tebow there.