Church on wheels to dedicate chapel

September 23, 1994|By Alisa Samuels | Alisa Samuels,Sun Staff Writer

God's Trucking Ministry hopes to rev up the spiritual energy in Jessup tomorrow, at an all-day gospel concert and dedication for the ministry's chapel that is expected to draw a crowd of 200 people.

The gospel groups Hearts Afire, of Preston, and Brooklyn Boys, of Baltimore, are among the performers scheduled for the free event, which will run from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the truck trailer-turned-chapel on U.S. 1 behind Truckers Inn. The chapel dedication will be at 11:30 a.m.

"I'm really excited about it," said the ministry's chaplain, the Rev. James Brown. "I've been working on this for a long time. . . . I want the local churches and people in the area to know this ministry is here."

Mr. Brown said more local church support, including volunteers and money, are needed to back up his work with truck drivers. Most of his support comes from the Howard County Baptist Association, a group of 20 local churches.

God's Trucking Ministry was begun four years ago by Reginald Pelletier, a lay chaplain who rented a room at the inn to counsel and guide truckers who stopped for food and rest.

When Mr. Pelletier resigned in January, the ministry's board of advisers picked Mr. Brown as the new director. He started Feb. 1.

The nondenominational ministry has had a powerful impact on the truckers, Mr. Brown said.

"I help drivers if they have marriage problems and family problems, and I help them get budgets if they're having financial problems. I do a little bit of everything," said Mr. Brown, who spent 27 years as a trucker.

The ministry has been "an overwhelming success. I wasn't expecting it to go over this good so quick," he said. "I minister to about 300 truckers a month, not just at the chapel."

On Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Mr. Brown stays at a room he rents at the Truckers Inn, making himself available 24 hours a day. The rest of the week he spends at home in Hagerstown.

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