Ellis Park

Ellis Park is a thoroughbred racetrack in Henderson, Kentucky, just south of Evansville, Indiana. It was built by the Green River Jockey Club in 1922. Three years later, James C. Ellis, a Rockport businessman, purchased the track, which at the time was known as Dade Park. The facility was renamed Ellis Park in 1954. The track passed through a series of ownerships before being purchased in 2006 by Ron Geary, a Kentucky businessman, from Churchill Downs Incorporated.

Jesus Amaya Headshot

Chaplain Jesús Amaya


Jesús serves as chaplain at Ellis Park, where his ministry of presence actively extends to all persons on the backside and frontside. “Jesse” is a naturalized citizen, a preacher’s son from Guadalupe, México. He has pastored Hispanic congregations in Texas and Kentucky, and currently serves at Bellevue Baptist in Owensboro. He graduated from Baptist University of the Americas in San Antonio, and is studying for a M.A.T.S. at Southwestern Seminary. He and wife, Elizabeth, have two sons.

Ron Crawford Headshot

Chaplain Ron Crawford

Ron has participated in the ministry at Ellis Park from its inception fifteen years ago. He has been a bi-vocational pastor for decades, most recently at Grace Baptist in Evansville. With the humility of a servant and the zeal of an evangelist, he has touched many lives with kindness and comfort for the cause of Christ. In this year of transition, he is co-laboring alongside Jesse Amaya.

Our Volunteers

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. Get Involved