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Scott Estep serves as University football team’s chaplain, provides spiritual guidance

Scott Estep

After marrying his high school sweetheart, Scott Estep came to Bowling Green to serve as Pastor for the Church of the Nazarene.

Though faced with difficulties, he maintained passion for two things that have kept him strong: God and football.

“I love the atmosphere of college athletics,” Estep said, “and I’d rather speak publicly than eat.”

This year will be his 10th season where he has gotten to enjoy those things together.

Estep serves as chaplain for the University football team when he’s not running Dayspring Church, part of the Assemblies of God, where he has served as lead pastor for six years.

Estep said having an outlet outside of Dayspring that ties in with his favorite sport is great, and he feels gratification when seeing players and coaches be successful.

As chaplain, he attends games on the sidelines, saying prayers with and for the team, and even holds weekly Bible studies with coaches. Estep is happy to have this position and says he “serves at the pleasure of the coach.”

“My primary goal is to support him and the spiritual development of the team,” Estep said.

While getting to travel with the team and be on the sidelines, Estep learns leadership experience from the coaches and athletic director that he then applies at Dayspring.

Before Dayspring, Estep was pastor at the Church of the Nazarene for 10 years. It was then he started being an assistant for the former chaplain and then took over the job in 2005. Between churches, Estep worked in realty to get him by financially, and because of his role as chaplain he still got to “talk Bible” to people and make a difference.

“They were my family during that time and still are,” he said.

He aims to keep the team spiritually united.

Ronnie Goble, a defensive end for the Falcons, has known Estep for five years.

He said he has done some ministry work with him and feels comfortable having him available.

“[As a team] we’re trying to perform the best we can, and I know he’s helped a lot of men,” Goble said. “Not only has he had an impact on me but a lot of other people too.”

At the last team meeting before a game, coaches release players notifying them of “chapel in 5 minutes,” which about 50-60 of these players regularly attend, Estep explained.

Defensive Back coach Nick Monroe has known Estep for four years and is usually one of the team members that voluntarily attends pre-game chapel.

Monroe explained how Estep has a very non-judgmental demeanor, and that’s what is key about having someone like a chaplain around.

“He listens; he’s sincere,” said Monroe. “He lets out a lot of fear and tension from players before games, just from talking to them.”

Monroe reiterated that player involvement with Estep’s services is completely voluntary.

Estep visits practices and said several players pray one-on-one with him before games. Coaches also have approached Estep if they think a player could use someone to talk to or if they’ve noticed changes in performance.

“I just want to be available,” Estep said.

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