Churchill Downs, located in Louisville, is the home of the famous Kentucky Derby. The historic track is also home to a year-round, interdenominational ministry for race track workers. Much of the ministry’s work is focused on the “backside” of Churchill Downs where the racehorses are stabled. On the backside, you’ll find a dormitory for workers, a dining hall, a learning center, a recreation center, and other services designed to support track workers. Significant progress was made toward meeting workers’ needs with the opening in June 2006 of Christ Chapel, tucked among the barns on the backside. Churchill Downs donated the land for the Chapel. Its construction was completely funded by donations from the community. In 2006 we were pleased to start a Women and Children’s Ministry which has grown from just one person to two staff members, one serving each, the women and the children.
The Chaplaincy relies on volunteers and donations to support its good work. The annual "Race for Grace" event is also an important source of ongoing financial support for the chaplains' outreach and ministry. This fundraising dinner—held every year 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.