Why we exist

The Backstretch Chapel at Emerald Downs is about people loving people who serve the horse racing industry. Those living and working at Emerald Downs have unique life and community based needs. By the direction of God’s word, the Chapel ministers holistically to peoples spiritual, physical, emotional, and social needs. The work creates a better working environment and enhances the quality of life for those on the racetrack. The face of the ministry is a chaplain that serves non-denominationally in the barns, locker rooms, and meeting areas of Emerald Downs. The Backstretch Chapel is a faith based 501(c)3 whose budget is based solely on the donations of those who share their vision. Thank you for your encouragement and support.

Who we are:

In the late 1990’s, a group of Christians saw a unique gathering of people with special needs and vulnerabilities due to their life circumstances. A Spirit led effort of love formed the Backstretch Chapel who was given permission and encouraged to holistically serve those working on the grounds of Emerald Downs. The Backstretch Chapel is registered as a faith based non-profit 501(c)3 and affiliated with the National Racetrack Chaplaincy of America that oversees similar outreaches at racetracks across America. Those overseeing the ministry meet once a month to pray, organize, direct, and seek support of the mission. Each board member serves voluntarily, has a role, term and certain responsibilities.

What we are:

Our mission is to bring the Word of God and teachings of Jesus Christ to the men, women and children in the horse racing industry. The chaplaincy is holistic in its approach, ministering to the spiritual, physical, emotional, and social needs of individuals. Our presence creates a better working environment and enhances the quality of life for those on the racetrack.

Where we are:

The Chaplain serves approximately 20 hours per week on a seasonal (February – September) basis. The board is scheduled to meet regularly one hour one time per month.

How we are:

The face of the ministry is seen in an individual fulfilling the role of Chaplain. This person carries out the mission of the Backstretch Chapel serving non-denominationally on site in the barns, locker rooms, and meeting areas at Emerald Downs. This person is affiliated with a local church where they are recognized by ordination or state license to serve as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The financial support for the chaplain and activities come from those who know of and share the vision of the board. When possible, we partner with the local church, para-church organization, and the community to enhance and give opportunity to share in the mission to love God and people as Jesus taught.

Chaplains:

Chaplain Gilbert Aguilar
Father Richard Gallagher

Board Members:

President: John Partridge
Vice President:
Sally Steiner
Secretary: Jody
Parmenter
Treasurer:
Joe Henry
Director:
Bob Fraser
Director:
MaryAnn O’Connell
Director:
Drew Sanders
Director:
Jill Hallin