At first, the chapel didn’t even have chairs or Bibles. However, thanks to the kindness of countless friends and neighbors, things soon changed, and today, says Carden, 98.7 cents of every dollar raised for the ministry comes from truck driver support. About 100 truckers a month visit the chapel, Carden says.
“I hadn’t planned on doing this full time when I got started,” Carden says. “But it has grown so much that now we have drivers who call us from all over the U.S., and we stay in touch with them whenever they are out on the road.”
The Truckers Chapel Outreach Ministries is open Tuesday through Sunday, with Sunday services at 10 and mid-week services on Wednesday nights. The chapel also has a website at this site.
Carden says his ministry is important because truckers are up against the same problems faced by everyone else in the country, but with the added guilt of being away from home.
The truckers he counsels often feel they are not in control of their lives, he says.
“So many drivers find themselves faced with an impossible time schedule,” Carden says. “Truckers don’t have a way to get into a local congregation and grow. They must be provided with a way to mature in their walk with God and become the person that the Lord has called them to be, but in order to do that they have to have people around them who will strengthen that.”
Live and Learn
Outreach program offers distance education course on the Bible
You can turn your truck into your own private chapel with recorded Bible classes from The Truckers Chapel Outreach Ministries in Cottondale, Ala. Pastor James Carden says the program is designed to bring the Bible to life.
The program consists of about 40 hours of instruction covering 30 chapters that pertain to knowing and understanding God. The course covers material from the entire Bible, including the angels, the Ten Commandments, and Jesus’ ministry and redemption.
With a choice of recordings, drivers can listen to the particular lesson for as long as they want and then mail in the course work to a personal counselor who reviews each piece of work individually. The total cost of the course including the diploma is $300, but Carden recommends enrolling in the first semester’s worth of 15 chapters before investing the full amount.
The Georgia Bible Institute accepts the course as a full first year’s course credit, which is the equivalent of 16 college credit hours. The program currently has 46 members.
“The Lord began pointing out to me that the reason drivers were having a hard time with their life was they didn’t have a foundation in Christ and didn’t have a way to get a foundation,” Carden says. “Not a week goes by that we don’t get a positive testimony on our course. Life works when you have the Lord in your heart.”