Tebow: OK, I Won't Appear at Controversial Church

Cancels sermons at Pastor Robert Jeffress' church

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 21, 2013 2:15 PM CST

(Newser) – Up until last night, Tim Tebow was scheduled to appear at Pastor Robert Jeffress' Dallas megachurch in April, but he announced today that he canceled the appearance after "new information" was brought to his attention. Jeffress is a controversial figure who has called Mormonism a "cult," gays "perverse," and Islam a religion that "promote[s] pedophilia," USA Today reports. Tebow's statement doesn't mention anything about rescheduling, but a rep for First Baptist Church says that when the football star called to cancel last night, he said he wanted to "speak at a future date."

Tebow had been criticized for the planned visit, at which he was to deliver two sermons. A rep for the church tells TMZ that Tebow backed out because of "pressure ... from numerous New York and national sports and news media who grossly misrepresented past comments made by our pastor, Dr. Robert Jeffress, specifically related to issues of homosexuality and AIDS, as well as Judaism." The rep adds that Tebow told Jeffress he "needed to avoid controversy."

In a Dec. 30, 2012, file photo, New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow warms up before a game.   (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert, File)
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