The chairman and CEO of the Kansas City Chiefs thanked the coaches, players and fans while accepting the AFC Championship trophy Sunday but also took a moment to credit God.
“I want to thank the Lord for blessing us with the opportunity,” Clark Hunt said on national television. “The glory belongs to Him.”
Obviously I’m a Browns fan— but I don’t care who it is or where it’s said—I always love to see people unashamed to give the Lord glory on any stage 🙌🏾— T.C. Stallings (@TCStallings) January 19, 2020
“I wanna thank the Lord for blessing us with this opportunity—The glory is all His...” -Clark Hunt pic.twitter.com/ABXXRrPBG8
The faith-centric moment was not an anomaly for Clark, who along with his siblings inherited ownership of the Chiefs following the death of their father, Lamar Hunt, in 2006. The elder Hunt founded the Chiefs and was co-founder of the American Football League, the predecessor to the AFC.
Hunt has been vocal about his Christian faith during his tenure, including the past few years as the Chiefs have become one of the NFL’s most dominant teams. The Chiefs will play San Francisco in the Super Bowl Feb. 2.
“We want our employees to develop spiritually,” Hunt said last year while speaking to a men’s luncheon in Tyler, Texas. He became a Christian at age 10, he told the men. “In the National Football League, Christ is really glorified. My identity is my faith in Christ.”
Hunt and his wife, Tavia, partnered with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in 2014 to launch a non-denominational chapel service for fans attending the Chiefs’ Sunday games. Services are held at the Pavilion, a structure next to the Chiefs’ Arrowhead Stadium. About 350 fans attended the first service – most of them wearing Chiefs’ apparel. Eight people accepted Christ during the first service, according to FCA.
Clark and Tavia Hunt attend the services.
“It’s neat that he makes the effort for him and his family to come,” Kris Thomas, an FCA area representative, told FCA.org in a profile about the chapel services. “... I haven’t been here where they haven’t been here."
Supporters hope other NFL teams copy the concept.
“I love it because it’s evangelism,” Alex Campbell, FCA’s Kansas City center area director, told FCA.org. “You get to walk alongside people who you don’t get to meet every day. I’m all for that.”
Many fans arrive early to the games in order to attend the chapel service. When it’s over, they tailgate.
“You’re establishing a new culture,” Campbell said. “You get to see this thing come to fruition where lives can be changed. Now people are actually saying, ‘If this happens, then I’ll get season tickets [for next year].’ The service has that much of an impact, and the season-ticket holders are saying, ‘We need this.’ It’s got to be fulfillment for the Hunt family for even having the vision.”
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Peter Aiken/Stringer
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.