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Tim Tebow: 'Take me to the (OKC) prom'

Heisman trophy winner and college football analyst Tim Tebow takes a selfie with a guest at the 2018 "Night to Shine OKC" prom-night experience on Friday, Feb. 9, at Putnam City Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. [Photo by Carla Hinton, The Oklahoman]
Heisman trophy winner and college football analyst Tim Tebow takes a selfie with a guest at the 2018 "Night to Shine OKC" prom-night experience on Friday, Feb. 9, at Putnam City Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. [Photo by Carla Hinton, The Oklahoman]


Robert Miller knew that the visionary behind "Night to Shine" might show up to the Oklahoma City prom-night experience -- he just didn't know when.

Miller coordinated the first and second Night to Shine OKC events and each year, he heard that Tim Tebow had visited a handful of the events held simultanously across the globe.

Tim Tebow, the celebrated Heisman trophy winner and college football analyst, and his foundation created Night to Shine as an unforgettable experience for individuals with special needs timed around Valentine's Day as a celebration of God's love for them.

More than 500 churches around the world, including Putnam City Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, hosted a Night to Shine prom event on Friday.

But before the festivities began, before he was even dressed in his finest duds for the event, Miller got a call that Tebow would be visiting Putnam City Baptist in about 45 minutes.  It was about two hours before the event was to start and Miller rushed over to the church where he was on hand to greet Tebow.

Tim Tebow leans down to visit with a woman in a wheelchair at the 2018 "Night to Shine" prom-night event on Friday, Feb. 9, at Putnam City Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. [Photo by Carla Hinton, The Oklahoman]
Tim Tebow leans down to visit with a woman in a wheelchair at the 2018 "Night to Shine" prom-night event on Friday, Feb. 9, at Putnam City Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. [Photo by Carla Hinton, The Oklahoman]

Putnam City Baptist member Pam Telford, a Night to Shine volunteer, said he was very gracious.

"He was up on the stage and everyone was wanting his picture," she said. "It was just a thrill to see him."  

Miller said Tebow's plane experienced problems and a decision was made to land in Oklahoma. He asked where the biggest Night to Shine event was taking place and he was directed to Putnam City Baptist.

He left after about an hour and a half, about half an hour before most of the honored guests had made it to the red carpet. 

Tim Tebow poses for a photo with a guest at the 2018 "Night to Shine OKC" event on Friday, Feb. 9, at Putnam City Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. [Photo by Carla Hinton, The Oklahoman]
Tim Tebow poses for a photo with a guest at the 2018 "Night to Shine OKC" event on Friday, Feb. 9, at Putnam City Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. [Photo by Carla Hinton, The Oklahoman]
Tim Tebow poses for a photo with a guest at the 2018 "Night to Shine OKC" event on Friday, Feb. 9, at Putnam City Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. [Photo by Carla Hinton, The Oklahoman]
Tim Tebow poses for a photo with a guest at the 2018 "Night to Shine OKC" event on Friday, Feb. 9, at Putnam City Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. [Photo by Carla Hinton, The Oklahoman]


Miller said then, Tebow experienced plane troubles when he tried to leave the state a second time.

Instead of settling down for the evening at a local hotel, he decided to go back to the prom where everything that he had envisioned was taking place.

Once word got out that Tebow was in the building, there was a mad dash to see him. The dance floor quickly filled with people trying to get a glimpse of him. They wanted to take pictures with him and tell him how much they appreciated Night to Shine.

One of them was Chris Howell, whose crown fit for a king of the prom, was placed over his huge black cowboy hat. When the time came for Howell to meet Tebow, his excitement was palpable.

"He makes me happy," Howell said of his hero.

Chris Howell, a special guest at the 2018 "Night to Shine OKC" prom-night experience, takes a picture with Heisman trophy winner and college football analyst Tim Tebow on Friday, Feb. 9, at Putnam City Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. [Photo by Carla Hinton, The Oklahoman]
Chris Howell, a special guest at the 2018 "Night to Shine OKC" prom-night experience, takes a picture with Heisman trophy winner and college football analyst Tim Tebow on Friday, Feb. 9, at Putnam City Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. [Photo by Carla Hinton, The Oklahoman]

Miller had already proclaimed the evening a success. He said Tebow's return and decision to stay for the rest of the prom, made the night even more special.

"What you see in Tim Tebow is what you get," Miller said Friday.

"He could have said take me back to the hotel and he didn't. He said take me to the prom.  

"We were the beneficiary of some bad luck for him but he seemed like he had a great time."

Robert Miller, chairman of "Night to Shine OKC," stands on the stage with Tim Tebow at the prom-night event on Friday, Feb. 9, at Putnam City Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. [Photo by Carla Hinton, The Oklahoman]
Robert Miller, chairman of "Night to Shine OKC," stands on the stage with Tim Tebow at the prom-night event on Friday, Feb. 9, at Putnam City Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. [Photo by Carla Hinton, The Oklahoman]


Carla Hinton

Religion Editor 

Related Photos

Heisman trophy winner and college football analyst Tim Tebow takes a selfie with a guest at the 2018 "Night to Shine OKC" prom-night experience on Friday, Feb. 9, at Putnam City Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. [Photo by Carla Hinton, The Oklahoman]

Heisman trophy winner and college football analyst Tim Tebow takes a selfie with a guest at the 2018 "Night to Shine OKC" prom-night experience on Friday, Feb. 9, at Putnam City Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. [Photo by Carla Hinton, The Oklahoman]

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Carla Hinton

Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide... Read more ›

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