Kurt Hodges and his wife, Beth, have been members at TRBC since 2001. In addition to leading our bus ministry, Kurt serves as a deacon and a small group Bible study teacher.
The TRBC church bus ministry is designed to provide people who can’t drive, or don’t have a car, with a way to come to worship and small groups on Sunday mornings. I like to tell people that being a driver is an easy, rewarding service that will remind you of how blessed you are.
Like most volunteers at church, a friend who was driving (Greg Olexa) asked if I would be willing to help out in a worthwhile ministry. I agreed, and I have been driving the church bus since 2002 and coordinating and driving from 2007-2012 and again from 2016 till present. It doesn’t seem possible, but fifteen years have passed since I became involved in this ministry.
Through the years, I have seen God work in so many ways in the bus ministry. I have seen people, who would have no way to attend church, have the opportunity to not only attend church, but also to serve in other ministries. That being said, the highlight of my time in the church bus ministry was during this past year; when we had three bus riders accept Christ. Satan does a great job of putting doubts in people’s heads, but whenever I begin to wonder if we are doing any good in this ministry, I can point to the fact that there will be three more people in heaven because of the bus ministry.
Many people have told me that they would love to participate in the bus ministry, but they couldn’t drive the bus. Well, the church was prudent enough to get a bus that was just under the size limit that would require a commercial driver’s license (CDL). As a result, no CDL is required. The bus is very easy to drive, has plenty of power, stops well and has large mirrors for backing up. Even my wife agrees that if you can drive a mini-van or SUV, you can drive the church bus. Additionally, the TRBC vehicle maintenance person keeps the bus in great shape and ensures it always has plenty of gas for Sunday morning.
The bus ministry is very blessed to have 6 long-tenured drivers. This is great, because it means that a driver only serves every six weeks. Also, with that many drivers, it is very easy to swap dates with someone else if you have plans, or something comes up. A prospective driver will not just be handed keys and asked to drive. Any new driver is asked to ride with another driver for the complete route and then another driver will ride with the new driver the first time they drive the route to ensure they are comfortable. In the fifteen years I have been a part of this ministry, no one has ever said they couldn’t do it after trying it.
The current route has the first pick up at 8:05 and returns to the church at 9:05. So, the total amount of time the driver has to devote is about three hours, every six weeks (one and a half hours in the morning and the same on the return trip after the 10:45 service ends at noon). Currently, we have twelve individual riders that are located at seven different stops. Also, because Tallahassee is so spread out, we were forced to limit the service area to within a 4 mile radius of the church. If you think you may be interested in helping with this ministry please call the church office at 386-4288.