Image & Interests by Roger & Heather Hogeland
I wanted to take this opportunity to acquaint many of you with Truckstop Ministries, as they have just celebrated their 30th anniversary serving our industry. I figured I could give you a sort of outline of what they have been able to accomplish during that time and let you know how far they have come.
Joe Hunter, President and founder of Truckstop Ministries was a driver for 10 years before he heard, and heeded the call of God on his life. He began a bible study for drivers at the TA, Atlanta, Ga. (Conley) in 1981. At that time neither Joe, nor his lovely wife Jan had any idea that God would turn that small bible study into a major ministry!
They began Truckstop Ministries in that one location and it stayed small for the first 5 years. In November 1984 they opened their first office, and then moved it in the fall of 1989 next to their very first chapel, again at the TA, Atlanta. That first chapel was dedicated on October 29, 1989.
1991 saw the beginning of the 24-hour prayer line, which is still in full operation to this day that number is 1-800-248-8662 and the ministry fluctuated between 4 and 8 locations. 1991 is also the year the 1st annual truckers’ reunion was held at the TA, Atlanta.
By 1993 there were 21 locations in 11 states and the coffee club began in 1994. ‘Heavens Road’ started airing on AM radio in 1995 and the office was moved to the Jackson, Ga. TA in December that same year, located behind the chapel location on the property. By now we had 36 chapels in 14 states!
1997 brought about the donation of ‘Miracle Bus 1’ allowing Joe and Jan the ability to move around the country ministering to drivers all over the place. In 1998 the website www.truckstopministries.org was born and for the first time, full time chaplains were available.
By 2001, 20 years, there were 53 chapels in 24 states, and then in 2002 ‘Heavens Road’ radio program moves to satellite on XM. The logo was copyrighted that same year and there were 58 chapels in 25 states.’ Miracle Bus II’ was donated in 2003 and by the 25th anniversary of the ministry in 2006 there were 68 chapels in 27 states. At that point regional directors were appointed.
In July of 2008 the property on which the offices are now located was purchased and in March 2009 they bought a modular building from the FDIC and moved it onto the new property in June of that year. In September of 2009 the personnel moved into their new facility and on January 25, 2010 the ministry became debt-free!
The ribbon cutting ceremony and open house was held in March of 2010. In January 2011 a beautiful fifth wheel trailer was donated and they celebrated their 30th year in ministry! On March 18,2011 they were able to fulfill a vision given to Joe in 2007 by commissioning the very 1st ‘missionary drivers, with more being trained as we speak. This ministry has touched and helped untold numbers of drivers, and continues to do so each and every day.
We have personally known the Hunters for many years and are very blessed to be counted amongst their friends. Joe and Jan recently celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary and have 2 grown children. They also are blessed with 10 grandchildren, 9 on earth and one in Heaven. They are truly amazing, loving people. If you ever get the chance to meet and talk to them don’t pass it up! You will be blessed.
If you need help or prayers please call the prayer line, it is manned 24 hours a day, every day and the website is also always available. Stop in any chapel for a service or one on one counsel whenever you get the opportunity, they are there for you, for us!
‘Til next month, y’all stay safe out there, God Bless!