Our Story

Race Track Chaplaincy of America is an evangelical, interdenominational, 501(c)(3) non-profit Christian organization whose purpose is to minister to the spiritual, emotional, physical, social, & educational needs of the workers within the horse racing industry.

Our Roots

Armed with a vision and desire to spread God's grace throughout this thirsty and hungry industry, our founder Salty Roberts, an exercise rider and backside worker from South Carolina, recognized the unique opportunity and need for a ministry within the horse racing industry. In 1970, he managed to persuade Al Dawson, missions director for the Florida Southern Baptist Convention to walk Gulfstream Park shed rows with him. Al agreed that the need was great, and although church had never been held on the backside before, Track Manager Jack Blair gave his approval and a rickety old paint shop near the quarter pole was promoted to makeshift chapel. Twelve backside workers came to that first service. Church quickly became a regular part of the track routine and the ministry grew. 

In 2017, Salty was called home to his heavenly reward, leaving behind a network of Chaplains and volunteers all across the nation dedicated to fulfilling the mission God placed on the heart of a humble backstretch worker all those years ago: to place a Chaplain at every race track.

Why we do this

Jesus was once asked, "What is the most important commandment?"

He answered, " 'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.' The second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' No other commandment is greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31)

In the simplest of terms, the primary mission of any Christian is to "Love God, love others." The Chaplains, Councils, volunteers, and supporters of RTCA carry out this basic mission to the entire horse racing industry every day.