What is Truckers’ Christian Chapel Ministries (TCCM)?
TCCM is a growing number of separate yet united truck stop chapels that are independent in scope of autonomy, by administering materials and supervision over their respective co-laborers, and part of a larger vision of presentation of the Gospel and continuity of Bible Studies that impact and affect the professional Driver and their families as they travel. We also minister to travelers who stop in.
Each Ministry is an outreach of the Local Church and is maintained, encouraged and supported by the Local Church.
TCCM is currently comprised of over 100 such Church Ministries, working in Truck Stops located in 33 states. TCCM, Inc. itself was a local church ministry operating out of the First Baptist Church of Enon, Ohio, (SBA). It was formed to facilitate the establishment, development, expansion and growth of the local church truck stop ministries. These ministries evangelize, disciple, encourage, minister and council professional drivers, travelers and truck stop personnel. First Baptist Church of Enon still supports the work, however they have no other ties to the mission.
History of Truckers’ Christian Chapel Ministries
TCCM, Inc. began as an outreach of the First Baptist Church of Enon, Ohio that is a member of the Greater Dayton Baptist Association of the Ohio Baptist (SBA).
In August 1987, Glenn Cope, himself a truck driver, along with his Pastor, Clyde Bowen, approached the owners of the now defunct Fuel Express Truck Stop requesting permission to conduct a ministry to drivers at the Dayton, Ohio facility. Jim and Lisa Hazelwood, the owners, gave their wholehearted permission and thus was formed what is now known as TCCM. This is a Baptist Work, and moreover we are a KJV ministry. Most our materials are KJV for continuity across the USA.
TCCM, from its early beginnings and continuing, provides non-denominational worship services with the intent to evangelize and minister to the professional driver in his own environment, the local truck stop. Here the Gospel of Jesus Christ is preached, praise and worship songs sung, bible studies offered as well as spiritual counseling, discipleship training, encouraging church membership and good ole’ fellowship offered. Follow up is added to ensure that the whole trucker family is provided an atmosphere of Christian Fellowship with a home church. This follow up is as important to us in nature to assure our leaders that we’ve done the very best research to place a family in a loving and caring church family to guide them in all aspects of worship and fellowship.
Glenn Cope and his team, at the urging of truckers and truck stop owners, were led by the Lord to establish independent, local church manned and supported, truck stop ministries throughout the USA.
Is this strictly an SBA Baptist Organization?
While this work has its humble beginnings from a SBA Baptist Church, it has grown to include Baptist Churches that can agree with our Statement of Faith. This is a Baptistic work and all our materials are from those ideals. We don’t preach that, as there are many religions represented in the truck stop chapels, and we don’t wish to offend, however lead in that direction as our guide. This is one reason we would specifically approach your church. As a non-denominational ministry, we don’t present the mission openly as Baptist.
Do you require the churches you work with to hold to the same beliefs as listed in your Statement of Faith on your website and on your brochure?
Yes, in a word. Scripture says in Amos 3:3 “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”
The Local Church and TCCM
TCCM, Inc. visits churches to present the truck stop ministries showing how God is using such ministries around the country to reach truck drivers and travelers with the Gospel. TCCM is dedicated to sharing Jesus Christ with all people. The Enon Team conducts several ongoing truck stop ministries and still finds time to conduct or support 3 nursing home ministries.
Our church would like to start a chapel ministry for truckers. We have a mature Christian man who would like to act as chaplain, but he can only commit to holding one chapel service each Sunday. Is this a viable option or does a trucker chapel ministry require more commitment of time?
While we at TCCM consider this Mission a 24/7/365 day ministry, we realize some areas don’t have the manpower to operate 7 days a week. We open a Chapel Ministry in the TV room of the truck stop for a Sunday Service at the beginning, and when and if the ministry grows, we will then consider an option later. The Church and the Pastor or Chaplain should be available to the Truck Stop in the event of an emergency.
Will it endanger our Sunday School by taking members from it?
This depends on service time and responsibilities in the local church. Most services can be worked out and around times. However, there is the possibility that you will lose some to the work. You have to decide if you want workers or learners. The application of the precious truths learned and applied to the saving of souls for God’s Kingdom needs to be weighed. If you’ve trained them for the Work of the Lord, you need to allow them to exercise that training. Acts 13:2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. 3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
Will it help our church to grow?
Newly saved truck drivers are not likely to come to your church. They may however come for the day if invited and transportation is provided to and from the T/S. God will grow your church as He sees fit and replace the workers with new people in His timing and for His purposes. We need to be faithful to the call. There is always the possibility that as you minister in the T/S, that employees will find you a loving ministry and attend your church. As all churches that are busy in missions will reveal, people will want to be a part of a working church and that will grow the church. As your truck stop team grows in its abilities to evangelize, it will have an effect to spill over into your own community. This will again promote healthy growth. We have a ministry in KY, Big Bone Baptist Church, who started a T/S ministry as a small church. Their faithfulness produced a church expansion many times over requiring a new building. Acts 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
What type of educational or other qualifications should the perspective chaplain have?
The perspective Chaplain should be one man who can conduct a Chapel Service with an Evangelical Gospel message similar to his own church Worship Service, operate alone if needed, think on their feet, able to keep order, be scripturally sound, and have some administration capabilities, be recommended by his Pastor, feel the call to the ministry, and most importantly, desire to see people saved.
Do you provide training for chaplains either at a location or online?
Yes, we are responsible to teach the perspective Chaplain or any additional potential team members our safety and training program, and to lead in a first Chapel Service so they may understand how we do this ministry properly. We are working towards an online Webinar, however it is not available at this time. We also feel the face to face teaching and leading is the most effective.
Does this training include such things as how to counsel truckers and basic problems truckers face?
This is one place where we would trust that upon a Pastors recommendation, the potential Chaplain would be mature in the Word to be able to understand the situation and give good counsel. On the job training sometimes happens, and as each situation is different, The Scriptures are always our guide and thus the need for a mature Christian to be able to answer and turn to the proper scripture for results. Exodus 18:19-20 Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God:
20 And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.
Our church would like to start a ministry to truckers passing through our area, but we have no one who could act as Chaplain. Can your organization provide a Chaplain if our church supplied the facilities?
Sadly, no we are not able to supply your church with our people except for training, which usually takes a 3 hour time on a Saturday, and the first service on a Sunday. A proper TCCM presentation to a church service where all in attendance can see what our ministry is about usually yields interest from your congregants to want to attend a training. This leads to a pool of people that become excited that the Lord can use them to reach others with the Gospel.
Who supports such a Chaplain? Do they raise their own support through deputation like other missionaries?
TCCM is a 100% Volunteer ministry. There is no support to raise from your church as each Chaplain is from your Congregation. The Church may aid the work by supplying materials, study books, bibles, tracts, etc., and additional manpower if able. Eventually, the donation a trucker/traveler gives to the Chapel allows it to be self supported.
I know that some trucker chapels are held in truck stop TV rooms and driver lounges. I have seen others located in mobile trailers on the truck stop property. Which is the best way to have a trucker's chapel? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each setup?
As stated before, we will wait to gauge a ministry’s effectiveness and growth before recommending the placement of a Chapel Trailer. When a ministry grows to 12+ each week, it’s time to consider a larger room, usually a trailer. The advantage of a Chapel Trailer is that more time can be given to teaching, leading in the Word. A Mom and Pop team can be there in an evening to offer good advice or a friendly smile along with a compassionate heart. Also, drivers or travelers don’t feel that they are viewed down by their peers and can be more open.
Can Truckers Christian Chapel Ministries (TCCM) help us contact the truck stops in our areas to discuss with them the possibility of setting up a Truckers Chapel ministry?
As TCCM is the recognized ministry name with the Truck Stop Corporations, and should be the first contact to the truck stop as each location takes their orders from those corporations. In addition, most truck stops don’t want a separate Denomination in the truck stop as it tends to say, we’re Methodists, or Presbyterians, or Catholics, or Baptist, etc., and so we are recognized as a non-denominational evangelical ministry. We are the ones who usually find the need of a ministry, then contact a church. It’s rare but not impossible that a church contacts us first, and has happened to be very effective.
Does TCCM have mobile trailers our church could lease or buy to set up a mobile chapel?
We do have a few trailers at times throughout the USA, and depending on locations we partner with adaptable churches on a maintenance agreement of the trailer while they use it. We need to keep trailers in good condition on the truck stop lots as part of our agreement with them, and thus the church who uses it sees it as an extension of their mission, and the keeping of the Lords House is as important to you as it is to us and those who fellowship there.
Can TCCM help us locate a trailer in our local area for refurbishing? If so, can you also provide guidance in constructing a chapel in a trailer? Do you have any skilled people who travel around and help churches refurbish trailers for use as chapels?
Yes, we have standards mostly laid out by the truck stop corporations, and because certain states have zoning laws for trailers, we have to comply. Some construction trailers go up for auction which fit the need and the laws, and are a good option for us. Sometimes a trailer can be donated to the work of the church and we can assist in the transformation.
What is the average /estimated cost of buying, refurbishing, and setting up a mobile chapel?
This is hard to estimate as it depends on condition, how it’s furnished and how far it needs to travel. A small ball park estimate is $4000.00-$6000.00.
Can TCCM send a representative to meet with us to explain your organization and guide us through the process of setting up a ministry to truckers in our area?
This is the most effective way to consider a ministry by allowing our trained representatives to come, set up a table of materials and give a presentation at a regular Sunday Service whereby we include a Gospel message. We are Commissioned and sent out for this purpose and can be effective in your pulpit as a minister of the Word.
What other types of services does TCCM provide to help local churches start a ministry to truckers?
While we do the training and lead the first service after a Church Presentation, we offer support and guidance after the start up of a new ministry, however we also give the church its own autonomy in choosing the people they want to represent the church, and to have them name the hours they work. We at times visit when in the area and share in materials other organizations donate to us that are approved by TCCM.
Our Church can’t provide a man at this time to work the ministry, however we may be able to provide support for the Work of TCCM. How do we go about that?
A good question! TCCM is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization recognized as a Mission. Our representatives are missionaries and churches add them to their list of missionaries they support and pray for. As a volunteer ministry, no one receives a paycheck, but in setting up a new work, it requires funding and we get that from the Churches and private supporters as God directs them.
Contact us online or call 908-407-0912. We’ll do the rest.
Please pray with us and for us that God will continue to use and provide for us. After all, this is His Ministry and we are the stewards of it. 1 Corinthians 4:1-2: Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
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