Chaplaincy in the heart of horse country

From WKYT in Lexington, KY:

Those people travel from track to track during the racing season. It can be a rough life and dangerous at times, so to have a calm, reassuring voice, not a boss, but a person who is there for them, is where the race chaplain comes in.

“The presence of the chaplain is a ministry in itself…because everybody knows there’s somebody here for ’em at all times,” Carpenter said, “They’re definitely not a forgotten people.”

Carpenter is a full-time chaplain at Keeneland and the Thoroughbred Training Center, plus he’s pastor at a Methodist church in Washington County. He’s spent three years building a trust with the track workers.

“People see me, and if they went through a situation, then they can say, ‘Hey, here’s the chaplain. He’s helped me. He can help you.'”

Assisting Chaplain Dean is Diana Varon who also works for Keeneland and bridges any language barriers. Together they hold regular, track interdenominational church services, bible study, visit sick and injured workers, refer workers to local doctors, help workers who need clothing, transportation, and even perform marriages.