By MADDY VITALE
Philadelphia Eagles team chaplain Ted Winsley is proud of the players.
But it isn’t just because of their success on the field, not to mention the coveted 2018 Super Bowl win.
It is how his players are spiritually, and the fact that many of them — about 40 percent — attend his Bible studies.
The team members, he told an audience at the Ocean City Tabernacle in two programs Sunday, share a philosophy he has instilled in them over 18 years as the team’s chaplain.
Out of 53 players, 22 take part in Winsley’s Bible studies.
“There really is a Christian culture here,” he said of the Eagles.
He has played a key role in the spiritual development and team dynamic the Philly team is known for.
Winsley spoke to the Tabernacle audience about the message he imparts on the players.
He gave an uplifting sermon where he had audience members recite scripture and his words to live by that flashed on the Tabernacle screens.
During an interview before his sermon, Winsley spoke about the advice he gives to his players. Some of them have become Born Again Christians during their time with the Eagles.
“The idea is to create balance in an imbalanced world,” said Winsley, a married father of two. “Something I say to all of the players is football is not a purpose. It is a platform.”
That platform, he said, could be used to help others. Many of the players are involved in charities and use their position to help others, he noted.
“Pastor Ted,” as he is affectionately called, is a native of Dover, Del., and currently resides in South Jersey, where he is a pastor at a church in Voorhees called “The Family Church,” according to a Tabernacle press release.
He showed his Super Bowl ring to the audience and with a smile gave a Sunday game prediction for the Eagles: “Win.”
Winsley told the audience that, while they are not professional football players, they all have major responsibilities and hurdles.
It could be a problem at work, or a health issue, but God gives a blueprint and a person’s faith will see them through, he said.
The battles, he said, can be won with faith and knowing you can do it and to be strong.
Winsley weaved in the 2018 Super Bowl win. It was all of the work and faith that led up to the big victory, he said.
Success, he said, does not happen on the field. It happens beforehand. He credited the spiritual beliefs of many of the players who attended Bible studies.
Many hurdles could have set the team back. There were injuries to key players along the way, especially to star quarterback, Carson Wentz, who helped bring the team to the Super Bowl, but could not play in it.
There was the thought, there was “no way you’re going to win without the starting quarterback,” Winsley noted.
But, as in any other team effort, one person does not do it alone, he stressed.
And then there was something — rather, someone else — who helped in a time of need.
“God always has a Nick Foles waiting in the bushes,” Winsley said.
Tabernacle CEO and President Pastor Jay Reimer said he was pleased to have Winsley join them to speak before the audience.
“My hope today is that Eagles fans here today will hear about how the pastor works with the Eagles players,” Reimer said. “In my childhood, I read a book about different NFL players and their stories how they related to God. That is one of the reasons I became a Christian.”
For more information about upcoming events, visit www.octabernacle.org.