On Sundays at 10 a.m. behind the Chisum Travel Center in Lubbock, trucks wait ready to be refueled and a small congregation funnels into one refurbished trailer. The Truckers Chapel is welcomes in truckers and non-truckers alike to worship each week.
EverythingLubbock.com went by to visit the Truckers Chapel Sunday along with eight other members of the congregation.
Sam Olaniran who has been the pastor for the Truckers Chapel for it’s eight year existence said going to church in a trailer grows on you over time.
He explained that the chapel was started member Tim Garrison.
“[Garrison] wanted to provide a place for people who are kind of criss-crossing around town that don’t have their own church. Because they’re away on weekends they don’t have a place to call home, so he decided he wanted to start a trucker’s chapel and the rest is history,” Olaniran explained.
Garrison, when asked about starting the Truckers Chapel, he said it was an idea God gave to him.
The church is an affiliate of Redbud Baptist Church in Lubbock. The chapel sees a mix of local regulars and visiting truckers. Maps on the walls of the trailer are covered in pins, showing that drivers from around the country have attended services there.
Lubbock resident Shana Zarate attends the Truckers chapel, but isn’t a trucker. She said she enjoys Pastor Olaniran and meeting the visiting truckers.
“I tell people we go to church inside a converted trailer, and they give us kind of kind of weird looks,” Zarate explained.”I encourage people to come out and try it. It’s not just for truckers.”
Attendees said that the small congregation feels like an extended family. They also enjoy meeting people from around the country.
“I think this [chapel] has an aura of it’s own, in the sense that you don’t really know who you’re gonna have, but you know that people will get the benefit from it,” Olaniran said. “Since church is not necessarily a building, it’s the people, that’ what I really enjoy more about it.”
At times it can be tough holding church services in a trailer.
Olaniran explained that the Lubbock blizzard made it impossible to enter the church for a week, then damaged the flooring.
“Look at our floor!” Olaniran exclaimed pointing to a patch of floor damaged by the blizzard. “We need to replace the carpets in here and the door with the wind, all the west Texas weather.”
“If we ever have lots of wind, you can feel the trailer move sometimes and it gets a little noisy,” Zarate added. “But we know God has us in his hands and we’re ok.”
The chapel invites anyone who’s interested to attend services.
“Don’t knock Truckers Chapel until you’ve tried it,” said Olaniran.
The chapel leaders also said they’re looking for someone to play the keyboard during their services.