This ministry was conceived at a Promise Keepers weekly small group meeting in Warsaw, Kentucky in 1999. The group wanted to do something to share the love of Jesus Christ with the community and were praying that God would show them how He wanted them to do this. The news was released that a NASCAR “super speedway” was coming to Gallatin County. J.T. Marsh and John Roberts were NASCAR fans and were introduced to Raceway Ministries at some of the speedways they had visited. The others in the group didn’t know what they were talking about, but were receptive to the idea and thought that this might be a ministry that God had sent to them.
J.T. Marsh started searching the internet and came upon the name of Frank Stark. Mr. Stark sent some material to get them started in the right direction. John Roberts went to the Ten-Mile Baptist Association to see if the association would sponsor such a ministry. The Executive Board was receptive to the idea and voted to sponsor a ministry at the speedway and appointed John to approach the speedway management to see if they would allow the ministry in their campgrounds. Pastor Ron Lasley, the director of Raceway Ministry at Louisville Motor Speedway was appointed to be the Speedway Chaplain by Kentucky Speedway and the green flag was dropped. Pastor Ron introduced the group to the National Fellowship of Raceway Ministries.
The National Fellowship of Raceway Ministries is a voluntary association of independent, autonomous, and self governing Raceway Ministries who join together for the purpose of providing an avenue of information, inspiration and encouragement to persons who are engaged in Christian ministry in motor racing. The N.F.R.M. was contacted and the “Kentucky Raceway Ministries” chapter was born. The ministry opened the 2000 season at the speedway with their first worship service. The fans were receptive with 35 fans in attendance. The next worship service was attended by 75 fans. This was enough inspiration for the ministry to expand in the 2001 season with children’s ministries, gospel music shows and free meals for the race fans. That year the Owen County Baptist Association voted to join as sponsors with the Ten-Mile Baptist Association, and in 2002, the Whites Run Baptist Association joined the alliance.
John Roberts served as Director of the ministry from its inception until 2008 and then again during the 2010 season. Larry Gilliam served as Director for the 2009 season. John also served as Speedway Chaplain at Kentucky Speedway from 2007 until 2013. Upon John’s retirement in 2013 KRM Assistant Director Larry Campbell became Speedway Chaplain.
J.T. Marsh is the current Executive Director. In December 2012 Kentucky Raceway Ministries was incorporated as a nonprofit organization, and a board of directors was appointed.