The Way I See It, A Pastor’s Perspective


Racing into Ministry

All of us have had life changing moments. Sometimes they’re huge! Sometimes they’re subtle. But whether over a long period time or sometimes instantly, our life will and does change. There are life defining moments that will shape us and sometimes redefine us.

I had my first defining moment when I was 12 years old. We had just moved to Memphis, Tennessee from my sleepy little hometown of Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The moment came when my older and licensed brother-in-law drove me to Lakeland Raceway to see my first drag race. The highlights of that day were seeing Sneaky Pete Robinson run in his Top Fuel car, and hearing sounds and seeing sights I’d never experienced in the quiet and peaceful towns in Missouri where I grew up.

I was hooked. I would be forever changed. I don’t remember a time afterward when I was not in a constant state of full blown drag racing addiction. I had the personality of a zombie those days to the rest of the world if they didn’t speak the “language”. I would stare out the window at school and dream of those wild wheelstanding war machines of that day. I was sketching race cars in class, building models of drag cars in my room, and buying or borrowing every drag race magazine I could find. My heroes weren’t on TV, but rather were the drivers of Modified Production, F/X cars, and Gassers. Stone Woods and Cook, Big John Mazmanian, Lee Shepherd, Ohio George Montgomery, Herb McCandless, Preston Davis; these were names who took the place of Superman or Roy Rogers for me.

I made my first pass down Lakeland’s strip when I was 15 in a borrowed Plymouth Barracuda with a minuscule 273 cid engine. As I continued racing and grew older though, reality set in as I realized I would never be able to live the life of the heroes of my youth and race on the bigger stage of sanctioned racing full time. I did race locally as my budget permitted. I tried my hand at Super Stock but mostly ran bracket cars, all amidst attending college classes at night and raising three children.

Though I was consumed with racing, I also got wonderfully saved at the age of 19, and I continued to grow in my walk with the Lord in those days as well, serving faithfully in lay ministry. My racing career saw a Track Championship, a few trophies, many race cars, lots of money trickling in and out (mostly out) and the making of hundreds of friends, many of whom I stay in constant contact with today. I eventually stopped driving and moved into announcing and track management, even managing Memphis Motorsports Park during the late eighties/early nineties.

After a life of mostly serving my own desires and a blessed life of being able to see and do so many things in racing, I finally surrendered to the call of the Lord on my life for full time ministry at the age of 52. I have since served at four different Churches over the last 14 years. Though I would still attend drag strips after being ordained, now I was conducting Sunday morning Chapel Services as time permitted.

I could not nor would I ever wish for a different life. I have no explanation for my metamorphosis that day, other than to say it was a journey the Lord set me on, ultimately ending in my becoming a Team RFC® Racers for Christ® Chaplain some 50 years later.
I am very proud to be a Team RFC® Chaplain. I get to stay in the sport that has been my life, and I get to maintain constant contact with my race friends, but now there’s something even better! I get to impact those same friends with the greatest life changing moment they will ever have; coming to the understanding of who Christ is and accepting Him as Lord of their life! That moment will not only change them in this life, but will impact their eternity!!

God knew that day at Lakeland Raceway years ago that I would surrender to His call late in my life, and He further knew I would take that call back to my friends and racing family. I’m grateful to the Lord for drag racing, the drag racers I’ve met, and for Team RFC®.
If you’re a race fan, I encourage you to check out They’re bringing Christ to the world of Motorsports.

May God richly bless you all and may He change your life as well!

Pastor Mike
Team RFC®
Volunteer Chaplain