Part 3 of Running the 55 Fairlane during the Fast Fords Drag Race at Dragway 42!
The Hot Rod Reverend preaching the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ from a car trailer...
For some who read this blog and for others who hear about the "Hot Rod Reverend" I am an anomaly. Many times people consider the classic car scene or the automotive world and wonder just how an ordained minister fits into the culture. I must admit that I get questions all the time. Maybe the stories from the Fast Fords weekend will help you understand and make sense of the message I strive to bring to anyone who will give the gospel an audience.
You may recall that in advance of the race weekend Tony Fritz and I had discussed a printed program for Fast Fords. If you look back through some of the posts I had made in the months leading up to Father's Day you can see where I relayed the progress of the graphic design, layout, and the overall look of the booklet. With Tony's help and the assistance of a graphics design employee at our church in Milford, Ohio, the pages really began to look like a finished product.
The Fast Fords program went through several proofs and edits along the way.
Since I am a preacher, I made sure that we inserted two books of the Bible - the gospel of John and the book of Romans. Our church's Bible printing ministry, Bearing Precious Seed, has printed millions of copies of the Bible since the presses started rolling in 1973. We have printed for the Olympics, Kentucky Speedway, grass roots racing weekends like Fast Fords, and even much larger projects. Foreign governments in countries such as Sierra Leone and Mongolia have requested Bibles from our ministry in recent days and we are always glad to be able to deliver multiplied millions of copies of the printed Word of God. With the exception of custom print jobs like my Fast Fords cover and schedule pages, the paper, ink, and publication expenses are all covered by the donations of churches who partner with us to get the Word out. We believe that mankind is fallible but the Word of God is not. We believe that the Bible points everyone to a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and that is why I preach the gospel and distribute copies of the Bible anywhere and everywhere that I can.
Everyone that entered the track facility that weekend received a printed program. Of the 1,000 we brought with us, roughly 650 were distributed to drivers, their crews, and the spectators. You can imagine that there was much talk about the inclusion of two books of the Bible in a race program and it certainly prompted many good conversations. On Sunday morning it was a help to my effort to be the "Reverend" side of the full moniker "Hot Rod Reverend"! If you would like your own copy, I would be more than happy to mail you one - look for the details at the end of this post. (It is all free!)
I purchased donuts and coffee from Tim Horton's early that morning.
A small crowd gathered to hear the sermon "Hot Rods, Heaven, and Hell!"
One of the opportunities afforded me during the weekend was to hold a church service on Sunday morning. The track owners and Tony Fritz had made this suggestion to me and were very helpful in securing a location and allowing me to invite everyone to attend. While the crowd was not large, there was a good number that joined me at 8:15 am Sunday morning at the trailer to hear me preach the Word of God and grab some donuts and coffee. What the picture above does not show are the men just outside of the frame that watched and listened from their car haulers. I am sure there were many who questioned what all of this was about and just who this nut called the "Hot Rod Reverend" was doing. For the sermon I brought a special pulpit with me: a C2AE 292 Y Block!
The C2AE bare block was masked and painted before the Fast Fords weekend...
In addition to my desire to preach from atop a car trailer situated near the finish line, I also decided to use an engine block as my pulpit. A number of years ago I began prepping a C2AE 292 Y Block for a 312 build. Felt's Machine in Suffolk, Virginia, had begun the machine work on this block that now has camshaft bearings with a groove on the outside diameter of the center bearing which feeds the oil up top, a bore of .030 over 312 standard piston size, and of course extremely clean surfaces and passageways for a rebuild. As you can see from the photos above I spruced it up a bit by masking it off and painting the block Ford red.
The whole scene on Sunday morning was something not often witnessed. Sunday is usually a day when people go to church, not when the church comes to them so to speak. In addition to the people that conversed with me after the sermon concerning what I had preached and the interest they had, a plethora of drivers and crew members came by later to speak with us.
Craig Beardsley sought me out on Sunday after the church service...
A number of people continually sought me out on Sunday morning for counsel, prayer, or to ask about the church service. One man apologized for sleeping in and asked if there was a video recording of the sermon. My dad and I told him no apology needed and that next time we would do our best to bring equipment - we never dreamed that people would be so responsive to our ministry. My buddy Chad Robinson helped me deliver some of the extra donuts we had left over and of course many of the drivers and their families at the track that morning appreciated that. I guess around that part of the country people really like the taste of Tim Horton's!
Maybe you could make plans to join us in 2022. Tony has already posted the dates and preliminary information, and I am hoping that when my ministry travel schedule calms down a bit I can help him with some of the planning. For now, here is a screen shot of flyer...
If you would like a copy of the Fast Fords race program please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and include your full name and address. You may also send a message through the website but at times the email may take a day or two to reach me. Foreign addresses are certainly welcome! The printed race program is free for anyone and the shipping is on me!
August is historically the month that the Bonneville salt flats time trials take place. My friend, Tim McMaster, will be taking his record-holding, Y Block powered race car and I hope to bring news on the speeds and progress out there sometime next month. Stay tuned!
Tim McMaster looks to travel over 200 mph... in a Y Block powered car!
The Hot Rod Reverend
aka Daniel Jessup