Homecoming Victory of Three Football Players Baptized

October 13, 2021
IMG 2795 Homecoming and Family Weekend is a time for celebration, camaraderie, athletic competition, and tremendous pride in our school. Alumni come back to campus to reminisce about their time in college, families come to visit their loved ones, and teams have high expectations to win.  Trinity, however, takes pride in something greater than wins on the field, as important as they are. The redemptive work God is doing in and through our community is cause for celebration, a celebration for which we give God all the glory. This is the core of our mission. So when at Homecoming & Family Weekend four student athletes were baptized on the heels of their professions of faith, Trinity celebrated.

Going 3 and 1

On Friday, October 8, three TIU football players—Javier Acosta (BA, Sports Management ‘24), Jawan Rabb (BA, Business ’23), and Judel Vilus (BA, Business ‘25)—professed their commitment to Christ and were then baptized by Chaplain Kim Beach outside of the Meyer Sports Complex.  Head Football Coach Willie Tillman, who participated in each of the students’ baptisms, counted the weekend as a win. “It’s hard to put words together to express how proud I am of these guys. While we lost a football game, for the weekend I went three and one. I had three players baptized, and that’s our victory!” Chaplain Kim Beach began by reciting Romans 10:9 and saying, “Baptism services are always my favorite! It’s a celebration. Baptism begins with a choice: we choose Christ, we leave our old lives behind, and we are new in Christ.” She then invited each of the young men to share their story and their desire to be baptized.

New Life

Javier Acosta Baptism

Javier Acosta

Jawan Rabb

Judel Vilus

Javier Acosta said his faith had grown substantially. “I had a rough childhood and went through a lot of adversity growing up,” Acosta said. “God has placed people in my life who not only challenge me to be a better person but also help me deepen my faith.” This year, Acosta has been a leader amongst his peers, even sharing his story with students during New Student Orientation so that he can encourage them in their walk with Christ.  Jawan Rabb transferred to Trinity this fall and has drawn closer to the Lord since doing so. “I wanted to celebrate a new life in Christ and be more committed to God,” Rabb said. “He helped me fight through challenges, changed my perspective on life, and put positive people in my life, all of which has made me very thankful.” Freshman Judel Vilus is already thriving at Trinity. “Before coming here, it felt like I was always doing things for myself. But the last couple months have been filled with some of the best experiences of my life. The genuine people I have met and the football culture here have both motivated me to be more faithful and grow into something better for the world.”

"This new life doesn’t mean we are perfect—it means we have put our faith in a God who is perfect, and we trust God the Father and his Son and his Holy Spirit to guide us in our lives.”

Kim Beach, Trinity Athletics Chaplain

IMG 2784 Chaplain Beach ended the service with encouragement, wisdom, and prayer saying, “Today we celebrate new life in Christ! This new life doesn’t mean we are perfect—it means we have put our faith in a God who is perfect, and we trust God the Father and his Son and his Holy Spirit to guide us in our lives.” Coach Tillman and the other football coaches are key mentors and leaders, who will continue to encourage these young men in their daily walk with Jesus Christ. “Part of the vision of our program is for students to leave Trinity with a closer relationship to Christ. This is a moment they will always remember, and it will have an everlasting effect on their lives,” Tillman said.  At Trinity, a student’s spiritual development ranks as high as any professional preparation we can offer. We celebrate and praise God for the faith and new life he has provided each of these students, for it is greater than any traditional homecoming victory.

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