October 31, 2022

Tony McCoy

1.1 min read| Published On: October 31st, 2022|

By James Combs

Tony McCoy

1.1 min read| Published On: October 31st, 2022|

A greater glory

As a defensive tackle for the Indianapolis Colts, Tony McCoy started 79 games and made 330 tackles and 23 sacks during a 9-year NFL career.

What he accomplished off the field was more meaningful. 

Tony started We As One Ministry, an outreach program designed to help Indianapolis’ struggling inner-city families. He’d repair abandoned homes and put families in them, teach basic life skills, and encourage involvement in local churches. 

On Monday nights, Tony invited inner-city families and his teammates to his home for Bible study.

“We held the Bible study class in my basement one hour before Monday Night Football,” Tony recalls. “Then we’d watch the football game. By doing that, I grew in faith because when you bring together — black people, white people, Hispanics, males, and females — there is a spiritual explosion in our midst.”

In 1996, Tony earned a minister’s license through the United Christian Church and Ministerial Association. Four years later, Tony went from the gridiron to the pulpit. He started Hope International Church in Groveland, where he continues serving as senior pastor. Under his leadership, the church’s congregation has grown to 600 members. 

Tony remains a gentle giant with a servant’s heart. His church has several ministries that serve a diverse group of people, including special needs children and their parents. His church also has a men’s ministry, a women’s ministry, a youth ministry, a couple’s ministry, and a senior’s ministry. 

Football made him a star. Faith made him the man he is today. 

“To give God your whole life is humbling,” Tony says. “I wouldn’t be who I am in life without Him. He’s my mentor, my director, my flashlight.”

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About the Author: James Combs

James Combs was a pillar of Akers Media Group since its inception in 2008. Over the years, he had the honor of interviewing Lake & Sumter County's most fascinating personalities, from innovative business owners to heroic war veterans, bringing their incredible stories to life. Throughout his career, James earned over 50 awards for writing excellence, a testament to his talent and dedication. In 2021, he was inducted into the Akers Media Group Hall of Fame. Sadly, James passed away in 2023 after a courageous battle with cancer. His legacy of storytelling and excellence continues to inspire us all.

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