The ministry’s work is focused on the “backside” of Kentucky’s race tracks where race horses are stabled and the needs are great. In fact, the faith-based work done at the track is often described as the Backside Ministry.
To maintain a strong, effective chaplain ministry pointing all race track personnel to Jesus Christ by providing leadership, accountability, finances, volunteers and supervision to our chaplains; who serve the spiritual, physical and social needs of those on Kentucky’s thoroughbred race tracks and training centers.
Chaplains began serving at Kentucky race tracks about 35 years ago with the founding in 1972 of the Race Track Chaplaincy of America, a non-profit interdenominational organization. As the ministry grew, the Kentucky division of the chaplaincy was formally established in 1989. Today, the interdenominational ministry has chaplains serving at Churchill Downs, Ellis Park, and Turfway Park race tracks as well as thoroughbred training centers in Kentucky.
The backside of tracks can be compared to little communities, and there’s a sense of family among race track workers. The ministry strives to meet the spiritual and emotional needs of those race track workers by offering:
- Weekly worship services and Bible studies
- Christ-centered activities that promote fellowship
- Baptism, marriage and funeral services
- Individual counseling
The Chaplaincy also serves as extended family for many workers. It helps to meet those in physical need by providing:
- An emergency food pantry
- Emergency clothes closet
- Help with transportation
- Free health clinics
- Other similar services
The Chaplaincy relies on volunteers and donations to support its good work. The annual “Race for Grace” is also an important source of ongoing financial support for the chaplains’ outreach and ministry. This fundraising dinner—held the Monday evening before the Kentucky Derby—is supported by retired Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day, who is actively involved in the chaplaincy’s work.
A Non-Profit Organization
Chaplains work under the guidance of the Kentucky Race Track Chaplaincy (KRTC) a non-profit 501 c (3) organization. Their work and the ministry’s programs are made possible by donations to KRTC. All gifts are tax deductible.
Click here to download our 990 IRS Report for 2011