Several hundred women spanning four generations, some dressed for a tea party, donning fancy hats, and others causally dressed, met in the sanctuary of Anastasia Baptist Church May 31. They came ready to hear church Bible study class leaders present information, accolades and invitations to join the study groups offered at the church, located on Anastasia Island.
The sanctuary setting had been transformed into a garden with plants and flowers and complete with an outdoor table and chairs to fit the theme of Garden Tea with the King, which culminated with a catered lunch served with tea that would follow the sanctuary presentations.
When the keynote speaker took to the pulpit, however, the garden could have been a football field, with the game running more than 60 minutes, but without timeouts or a halftime. Throughout the mesmerizing presentation, the women nodded approval, and often laughed, as Pam Tebow, mother of University of Florida star quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, related her experiences as a mother, a missionary, a teacher and now an evangelist.
Pam Tebow's talk centered on the power of influence. As an example of how influence may be misinterpreted, she related a grocery store experience.
"We're a health-conscious family including what we eat," she said, prefacing the story.
As she and Tim were shopping, on a whim Tim picked up a small box of Cocoa Krispies and put it in the shopping cart. A young boy, who was a fan of Tim's, witnessed the event and later told his school classmates that
"I know what cereal Tim Tebow eats. It's Cocoa Krispies!"
"Now that shows the power of influence," Tebow said.
"But the real secret is how you use it."
Throughout her talk, Tebow frequently mentioned experiences as she homeschooled her five children where the emphasis was first on the Bible and scriptures and then on academics. All were taught the importance and the power of God as they learned to memorize and recite and even sing important and influencing scriptures.
All five earned college scholarships and four of the children have graduated from colleges. Tim, the youngest, is in his junior year at the University of Florida. And, according to the proud mother,
"All five and their spouses are active in various ministries."
She urged her audience to also rely on the Bible.
"Let the scriptures influence your own life," she said.
"Develop a Biblical mindset -- think like a servant and always focus on eternity," she urged.
The Tebow family lived in the Philippines for many years where husband and father Bob Tebow served as a missionary. His missionary work, the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association, continues and has expanded through the years to include an orphanage in the Philippines that cares for 50 children and has a staff of 40 personnel, which is supported by donations.
Pam Tebow described a recent experience that has led to opportunities for her to influence pregnant women.
As the Tebow family gathered in New York last December for the announcement of the college Heisman Trophy winner, they were bombarded with media interview requests that included questions about their life in the Philippines, especially since Tim was born there.
In one interview, Pam Tebow related that during that pregnancy, a Philippine doctor suggested that she abort the fetus because the strong medications she was being treated with for amoebic dysentery, which she had contacted early in the pregnancy, could cause serious disabilities to the fetus.
"We knew that we could not do that," she said of the suggested abortion.
"We all prayed to God for a healthy baby," she recalled.
"And God answered our prayers when Timmy was born."
Those comments have paved the way for her to find a new platform to use her influence. Since that interview, Pam Tebow has been contacted by pro-life organizations requesting her to keynote upcoming conventions and gatherings. She said she is excited about the opportunity to share her pro-life beliefs and has already been scheduled for appearances and speeches in Dallas and Louisville.