The Upper Room daily devotional guide made its way to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
More than 350 race fans joined the fourth annual IndyCar Ministry Breakfast. Because of The Upper Room Chaplains’ Ministry, the daily devotional guide was there for the third straight year. The evangelistic outreach breakfast was held Saturday, May 24, the day before the famed Indianapolis 500 automobile race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s pavilion inside the two-and-a-half mile oval.
Each breakfast guest was given a package of materials including ink pens, promotional brochures, a water bottle and the May-June issue of The Upper Room.
Jack Arute, longtime television auto race commentator, hosted the 90-minute program which featured IndyCar racing greats, including driver Sebastián Saavedra, former driver and race car owner Bryan Herta, Susie Wheldon, widow of the late Dan Wheldon, winner of the 2011 500 race and last year’s 500 race winner Tony Kanaan. Each presenter shared the importance of the racing community being like family. They also said words of appreciation for Chaplain Bob Hills, executive director of IndyCar Ministry, and the service the ministry gives to the IndyCar Series as it travels across the country each summer.
Herta put it well by saying, “Racing is not about recognition or the trophy. It’s about the story, not just the end of the story but the continuation of the story.”
Three-time Indy 500 winner Johnny Rutherford, a friend of IndyCar Ministry for many years, also was on hand for the second Lone Star J.R. Award. This year’s recipient was crewmember Wayne Selman.
In the closing minutes of the breakfast, former race driver and car owner Jon Beekhuis, shared his testimony of how God changed his life through his acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. He said, “There’s no magic in the words (which lead us to our salvation) but the power is in the intent.” He then asked breakfast guests to respond by completing questions on cards.
According to IndyCar Ministry Breakfast leaders, more than 170 guests responded to Beekhuis’ invitation. Of these, 29 people indicated they recommitted their lives to Christ during the breakfast, four people indicated they want to talk to someone further about their faith, and 11 people indicated they would like to look into the possibility of being part of a faith-based discussion group in their area.
The Rev. Dan Gangler, director of communication for the Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church and member of the breakfast executive committee, is pleased with Upper Room’s partnership with IndyCar Ministry and thanks The Upper Room for providing the devotionals.
According to the ministry’s website: “The IndyCar Ministry is dedicated to providing spiritual support and counseling to the IndyCar Series drivers, teams, and staff both on and off the track. The IndyCar Ministry began when the Indy Racing League was founded in 1996. With the exciting growth of IndyCar, the need for our ministry is even greater. With increased pressures and demands on drivers, teams, officials, and their families, the ministry is available to assist in many different ways. www.indycarministry.org