LAPEL, Ind.– A church in Lapel is showing their support for the high school football team by providing team meals the night before a game. On Thursday night, they’ll have a special guest in attendance.
Every Thursday, 60 to 70 Lapel High School football players file into Bethel Baptist Church for a free meal and team bonding. The meals are provided at no cost to the athletes and churchgoers say it’s a great way to show their support for the Bulldogs.
Tonight’s gathering is extra special. That’s because 1976 All-Pro Baltimore Colts wide receiver Roger Carr will be in attendance to speak to the team. Carr was selected in the first round of the 1974 draft by the Baltimore Colts.
“I love the Colts,” Carr said. “I never would have had the chance without Jimmy Irsay and his father. I go way back with the Irsays. I’m so grateful they picked me and I had a wonderful career. Ten years in the NFL.”
So why is the former NFL star headed to small town Indiana?
It all started when the pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Lapel, Jimmy Gilbert, just so happened to meet Carr while they were vacationing in the same place. The two men, both pastors, became friends and Carr offered to fly up to Lapel to encourage the young team hoping to follow in his NFL footsteps.
“We want to mix faith and football and we’re able to do that with team dinners,” Gilbert said. “It goes beyond that.”
The entire community is invited to attend tonight’s meal and listen to Carr share his story! Dinner is at 5:30 at Bethel Baptist Church. The address is: 3308 IN-13, Lapel, IN 46051. Chick-fil-A will be provided at no cost.