Stephen Davenport is a member of the youth group at Colonial Hills Baptist Church and was in the youth group when Chad was youth pastor. Stephen was actually on the bus at the time of the accident and sustained injuries himself as a result of the accident. Since the accident Stephen, along with the rest of youth group, has had a tremendous desire to “fan the flame.” This God-given desire prompted the idea to start selling the "E.D.G.E.strong" wristbands. Throughout this trial Stephen has strived to reach out to others and use his own testimony as a catalyst for ministry.
This week Stephen attended a book-signing event for former Colts super bowl-winning coach Tony Dungy. He went to the event with one of his high school football coaches and Carl Weindorf. Carl is the son of Mrs. Tonya Weindorf who was also tragically lost in the bus crash. Stephen’s coach was able to get them VIP access to the signing so Stephen and Carl were super pumped about going. “I got up early . . . (on Monday) at 5am and we left at 5:30am,” Stephen said. When they arrived at the event Stephen and Carl immediately got in line with the rest of the attendees.
As they were standing in line they noticed that there were a bunch of former Colts players from the Super bowl team that Dungy coached. Stephen’s High School coach saw that Carl and Stephen were excited and thought it would be cool to introduce the boys to some of the players. “He brought me [and Carl] up to Dylan Gandy a former linemen for the Colts and currently a lineman with the Detroit Lions,” Stephen said. When the three of them got up to Dylan Gandy Stephen’s high school coach explained to Dillon who Stephen and Carl were and told him about the events of July 27th. Mr. Gandy remembered seeing the story on the news and told the boys he had been praying for them. “Right before I left I explained our E.D.G.Estrong foundation,” said Stephen, “I pulled the wristband off my arm and gave it to him. His face glowed with excitement.” Mr. Gandy asked Stephen what all of the letters meant on the wristband and Stephen was able to explain they stood for “Evangelism, Discipleship, Growth, and Encouragement.” Right then and there Stephen was able to briefly share the Gospel with him. Mr. Gandy told Stephen he would wear the wristband during the upcoming NFL season.
As the day progressed Stephen and Carl were able to get eight more signatures from former Colts players. “Me and Carl had hit jackpot!” Towards the end of the day Stephen’s High School coach led Stephen and Carl over to where Tony Dungy was signing autographs. Stephen’s Coach had told Mr. Dungy about who Stephen and Carl were and the events of July 27th so when they walked up to Mr. Dungy he immediately recognized them. Once Stephen and Carl got up to Tony Dungy his first words to them were, “I remember that [July 27, 2013] very well, it was the last time I was in Indy. Your youth group is still in my prayers.” As Stephen and Carl stood next to Tony Dungy to get a picture the media at the event swarmed around them and started taking pictures of the small group. “We asked Tony Dungy what had happened and he said that they were probably told who we were,” said Stephen, “I turned to Carl and said, ‘man, people still remember. We must still fan the flame!”
2/12/2014 11:54:37 pm
I am so proud of you Stephen. # 23 DAVENPORT
2/13/2014 03:49:04 am
Dylan is a believer!!! at the time they won the superbowl Dylan and his wife and children attended my church! it was always cool to see him on a sunday night 3 hours after playing an NFL game worshiping right alongside us.
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