The Main Event

by Public Relations Office - Cedarville, OH

“He was the biggest person I’d ever seen,” said a Cedarville student when Joel Penton, defensive star for the Ohio State Buckeyes football team, stepped onto the chapel stage. His size was definitely an advantage, but his message was even more compelling. Joel asked Cedarville students to help with an evangelistic outreach known as The Main Event, to be held on the campus of The Ohio State University on October 30. The response from Cedarville students was overwhelming.

When October 30 arrived, nearly 400 Cedarville students traveled to Columbus to serve and to share. Working as ushers and counselors, following up with students who made decisions, and being available to help in any way needed, Cedarville students were a key factor in The Main Event’s success.

More than 12,000 people packed St. John Arena for the event, an exciting mix of football rally and evangelistic crusade. Along with game video highlights, humorous anecdotes, and OSU Marching Band favorites, listeners heard from Coach Jim Tressel, former quarterback Craig Krenzel, and OSU players Joel Penton, David Patterson, Roy Hall, and Stan White Jr, who all shared their personal testimonies of how they came to know Christ and how He has made a difference in their lives. Athletes in Action served as the event organizer, and Cedarville’s CDR Radio Network jumped on board as the primary media sponsor.

Although Cedarville did not have a stage presence at The Main Event, the students’ involvement was significant. Emily Kraft ’09 said, “Helping with The Main Event was an outstanding opportunity. Personally, I took it as a challenge to make a step in our community goal of ‘Going and Making Disciples.’ The players were articulate in communicating a clear gospel message, unbelievers were impacted, and we were able to help fellow believers outside our normal Cedarville limits.”

For many of the Cedarville students, the commitment did not end at the close of the program. Some worked until 4 a.m. making sure that decision cards were properly organized and entered into computers for follow-up.

The time and effort put forth were not in vain. According to John Wambold ’95, director of community ministries at Cedarville, more than 1,300 attendees indicated that they accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, and nearly 2,200 people filled out cards requesting follow-up.

Cedarville alumni were also involved volunteering time to make The Main Event a reality. Steve Hubbard ’82 brought two buses of high school football players and church members from Logan, Ohio. When asked about the event, Steve said, “It was exciting to see Cedarville involved in such a tremendous opportunity. The Ohio State players took full advantage of a format no one else would have to preach Christ boldly.”

To purchase a CD recording of The Main Event, contact CDR Radio at 1-800-333-0601 or visit