Congregants wore their team colors at Sunday’s ‘Jerseys for Jesus’ celebration at Pilgrim Baptist Church in Red Bank.  (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)


“You can have fun and worship Jesus at the same time,” says Reverend Terrence Porter, of Red Bank’s Pilgrim Baptist Church. And for the third year running, Porter and his flock demonstrated that belief once again Sunday with their annual ‘Jerseys for Jesus’ pre-Super Bowl celebration of faith and football.

Churchgoers were encouraged to wear jerseys for any team in any sport, and they took full advantage of the opportunity to leave their Sunday best at home.

Sermons at the church are already lighthearted, energetic, and fun, and the bright green, red and purple jerseys brought out a playful and healthy competitive spirit among attendees. Porter poked fun at the Jets, who “aren’t doing to well this year.”

“I personally think this is a good endeavor, because it gives everyone a chance to relax and dress down,” said Lee Williams, a church trustee. “It allows people to draw in new members to the church who might not have had a chance to hear the word of God.”

For those wondering where the Holy Trinity fit into the sometimes animalistic world of sports, Denzel Donaldson an historian and president of the men’s ministry, had an answer.

“God can help you be the best athlete you can be,” said Donaldson. “Being an athlete means being focused, and God can guide you on the right path.”