Douglas Ross, pastor of God Chasers International Church, knows the price for running on empty. When your spirits are low, temptation runs high.
He got locked up for his drug addiction and wound up getting saved in the Richmond City Jail. He was released in 1994 and never looked back, he says, letting Jesus take the wheel.
Now, in an effort to help give others a push in the right direction, his church is offering relief at the pump.
Beginning Sunday, Sept. 3, God Chasers will distribute free gasoline cards weekly to members and visitors on a first-come, first-served basis. The cards will range in value from $5 to $10.
"We can't fill everyone's tank," Ross says. "We just thought this would help."
God Chasers is a nondenominational church Ross founded seven years ago. It has about 55 regular members who meet each week for the 11 a.m. contemporary-style worship service at Southside Plaza.
"It's right in the heart of what we call Faith Corner," Ross says of the storefront the church occupies, nestled between a Christian book store and a Christian barber.
Ross says he got the idea for a gas-card ministry because the church was looking for an outreach project and the high cost of gas kept coming up. Plus, it sounded different, Ross says: "We didn't want to mimic what others in the outreach field were doing." In addition to outreach, the church's mission is to be a beacon of light for people searching for a new beginning, he says.
God Chasers will pass out the gas cards "while supplies last," Ross says. Deliverance in Jesus, he adds, "is always free." S