Can you tell us a little about yourself? I was born and raised in Raton, NM, growing up around La Mesa Park racetrack. After high school graduation, I went to New Mexico State University and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. In 1970, I married my childhood sweet heart, Beth. I worked on a Masters of Engineering in Nuclear Engineering at Texas A&M. My first job was in the engineering office at Tennessee Valley Authority working on their fleet of nuclear plants. While in Tennessee, our three children (two boys and one girl) were born. In 1989, job opportunities facilitated a move to Phoenix, AZ. In May of 2013, the love of my life, my wife, went to be with the Lord. With God and Jesus, my family and Christian Brothers and Sisters, I am working through this sudden change in my life.
What is your testimony as to how you became involved with RTCA? One of my Christian sisters worked in the kitchen on the front side of Turf Paradise Race Track in Phoenix. She met Chaplain Carl Criswell as he was walking through the front side. As a result of this encounter, I agreed to meet with Chaplain Carl. We hit it off, and I agreed to talk to my Pastor about partnering with the Arizona RTCA. Our small Methodist church and the chaplaincy became partners in ministering to those in need at the track. Since that time, we have served meals at Thanksgiving and Christmas, crock pot creation lunches, adopted families for Christmas, collected blankets and clothes, and prepared food boxes. In the greater than ten years Sunrise and the Chaplaincy have been working together, my personal involvement has also grown. I have served on the Chapel Council as member, secretary, vice president and president. I have worked with raising money for benevolence at the yearly golf tournament, worked to secure a larger facility for Sunday services, and supported the Chaplain as called on by him and God.
RTCA’s mission is: through its councils and chaplains, to make disciples for Jesus Christ through teaching, preaching, and ministering to the spiritual, emotional, physical, social, and educational needs of those persons involved in all aspects of the horse racing industry. Can you provide a testimony as to how you have seen this mission being carried out. I have watched Chaplain John Shumaker, and before him Chaplain Carl Criswell, minister to all the people on the track, both front and back side. I have watched those committing their lives to Christ be baptized in a horse trough, I have witnessed the growth of those attending Sunday service from a handful to the extent that a new worship center was needed (and still growing), and the number of people in attendance at Bible studies grow to more than fill the empty seats around the tables.
How do you see your role as Representative for Council Presidents? What I have seen in the last couple of years is a National RTCA, more geared to the support of the individual Chaplains in the field. As part of this, I hope to actively engage the various Council Presidents to bring forth ideas on how to best support our Chaplains and reach out to those in need of God’s grace. I would also like to be the channel to help educate the Council Presidents on what we can do to support the cause of RTCA.
What are some of your greatest challenges? At this time, my greatest challenge is working through the loss of my tether to God, my loving wife. With her entry into glory, all the plans we had made for my retirement have been impacted. Listening for God’s calling and direction on where I am to go now is a challenge.
How have you worked to overcome these challenges? Prayer, studying God’s word, and counseling from Christian Brothers and Sisters are a big part of overcoming this challenge.
Do you have a favorite scripture you’d like to share? The following is one of my favorite bible verses as it was the bible verse from a Promise Keepers conference that got me back into church and the Bible verse I chose for my Walk to Emmaus verse. Also it seems to reflect the calling each Council President has for serving the Chaplains at their tracks: Joshua 24:15 – But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.
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