FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) -- Southwestern students are a vital part of the continuing ministry of Texas Alliance Raceway Ministries (TXARM), said Cameron Moore, a Southwestern student and member of the raceway ministry’s executive council.
The team of students that served Nov. 4-8 during the NASCAR Dickies 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway was the “evangelistic arm” of the ministry that weekend, said Moore.
The team was smaller than previous years, and most of their time was spent passing out fliers for the concert on Saturday night by a local country and gospel band, as well as for campground church services for that Sunday of the race. Students would then take the opportunity to share their faith.
“With the economy as it is, we’re pretty shorthanded because most of the volunteers are so busy providing services to the racetrack,” he said. “We decided, through Dr. (John) Babler and Dr. (Cky) Carrigan, that we would provide the evangelistic arm of the raceway ministry. And that’s the purpose for Southwestern’s participation out there.”
TXARM helps the speedway with needed customer services designed to help raceway patrons with their visit. These end up as service opportunities for those hoping to share their faith. Golf cart shuttle services taxi patrons from parking or campsites to the track, with TXARM volunteers riding along and striking up conversation.
TXARM also provides a chaplaincy presence for the raceway, which Texas Motor Speedway officials especially appreciate, Moore said, because of the effects the chaplains have on the people.
“There’s a lot of drinking, there’s drugs – it’s just like a town,” says Moore, referring to the roughly 161,000 people that attended the race.
“We kind of offset that because people, being from the South and most of them proclaiming to be Christians out there—even though they might not be displaying it—are influenced when they see there’s a chaplain walking around,” says Moore. “And they will stop what they’re doing. We’ve also been called in by either paramedics or other staff [because] they know that we have a calming influence on people.”
Local churches such as Birchman Baptist Church, Burton Hill Baptist Church, First Baptist Church Keller and FBC Roanoke also participate in the raceway ministries, which is the design of this para-church organization, said Moore.
TXARM takes volunteers who are endorsed by their local church, providing those already involved in serving their church community with opportunities for evangelism and meeting the needs of Speedway patrons.
Volunteer opportunities are available through TXARM for the Texas Motor Speedway’s 36 races each year. Visit www.txarm.org
for contact information. For more information about evangelism opportunities with Southwestern at April’s NASCAR race, visit www.swbts.edu/tms