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Driver Amenities

Coffee/Tea, Snacks, etc.  | TV Lounge | Washer/Dryer | Restrooms | Showers  (available in our main building) 24 hour lighted Parking lot | Parking | Chess - Checkers - Horseshoes | Literature room (free tapes, CDs and tracks) | Bible StudyPrayer | Church Service | WI-FI – Internet access | Meals


Chaplain Jim Keys, “Father of Trucking Industry Ministry”

Jim Keys was the son of a Safety Director, later Manager, for a trucking company called Direct-Winter Trucking in Toronto, Canada. At the age of 15 years, Jim began working as a “Truck Jockey” at the same company, and was burned while fueling up a tractor when a lit cigarette hit the fuel.

As he became older, Jim’s interest in the business grew, and in the early 50’s he began earning a living driving a truck across Canada and the United States. In 1950-51 Jim made a decision to follow Christ as his personal Savior. He drove for around 8 years before going into full time ministry to the trucking industry.

Jim received his spiritual training in Toronto at Queens Lake Cathedral by the late great man of God, Dr. Alex Ness, his Senior Pastor from 1955 – 1962 who was also involved as a mentor in training this author in 1979-80. They began preparation and before long Jim and his wife, Almeda, were called into service for Jesus. As the couple had children, they grew up under the ministry of the late Rev. Leonard Evans.


Jim’s ministry began by simply visiting truck drivers in hospital settings, praying for their needs, their healing and salvation. Then he went to trucking companies giving “Safety Seminars” that included the Gospel. One day, after attending a Youth For Christ rally, Jim had a thought – there is a Youth for Christ, then why can’t there be a Transport for Christ? The question gave birth to a vision – a vision specifically as an outreach to truck drivers. That vision in turn gave birth to the ministry 'Transport for Christ' in July 1951 in Toronto.


Truckers for Christ.


Around 1986, Jim, his daughter Bonilee & staff launched the “Wheels Alive” Magazine that was printed for several years, at one point reaching as many as 4000 or more followers in the trucking industry. Bonilee, until her recent retirement, was very active as Vice President /Secretary of the ministry, as well as Editor of the magazine. “Wheels Alive” was discontinued for future development in another area that would bring it up to date in a more modern format. As the ministry developed, Chaplain Jim Keys was ordained and credentialed with Gospel Crusade Ministerial Fellowship (now called Global Christian Ministry Forum nternational) out of Stevens, Pennsylvania. Over the years he developed a friendship with Dr. Gerald Derstine, Apostle & founder of GCMF and Gospel Crusade, Inc. Gerald’s son, Dr. Phil Derstine is president of GCI and Senior Pastor of The Family Church at Christian Retreat in Bradenton, Florida. He is gifted as an Evangelist as well, a graduate of ORU and speaker on “Unconventional Soul Winning.”

Jim was drawn to Phil’s passion for ministry out on the streets and at the local race track, a ministry that required the same mix of love and boldness needed to reach truckers.


As Jim’s health began failing, he knew that he needed someone to take over the ministry, someone who would continue his vision and legacy. His prayers directed him to speak with this strong combination of leadership from Gospel Crusade in continuing this ministry to truck drivers. In 1993 the Derstines and others began to pray.

In 1994 the merger of two boards GCI and ACT took place. Jim would continue to minister until his last days when he went home with Jesus in 1996. Sister Almeda continued faithfully as an adviser to the board, retiring in Florida and going to her eternal reward in June 2011.

  • The battle rages for the souls of men and women. The dream and vision continues…all to the praise of our Lord Jesus Christ! This ministry carries on, with Dr. Phil Derstine, President of the Board, and an active and revitalized Board of Directors and Advisers. Keep the vision aflame and keep us in your prayers; let God lead you in how you can be part of this ministry.


  • Philippians 3:8-16 American Standard Version (ASV) 8 Yea verily, and I count all things to be loss for the Excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but refuse, that I may gain Christ,9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of mine own, even that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith:10 that I may know himand the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed unto his death;11 if by any means I may attain unto the resurrection from the dead.12 Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect: but I press on, if so be that I may lay hold on that for which also I was laid hold on by Christ Jesus.13 Brethren, I count not myself yet to have laid hold: but one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before,14 I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, be thus minded: and if in anything ye are otherwise minded, this also shall God reveal unto you:16 only, whereunto we have attained, by that same rule let us walk.


  • Some of this documentary was given verbally by Bonilee Maclay, one of Jim & Almeda’s daughters; also contributing was a minister of the Gospel, now 83 years of age, Denne Kornechuk aka “Popeye The Good News Man” who grew up with Jim and was on his early boards at Transport for Christ, and later, Association of Christian Truckers. Another retired board member, Art Korby, and others who stood by him have blessed us with input into this history.

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ACT Vision

To reach the Truckers of America showing them the Love of God, and sharing the Good News of the Gospel. Being there for them in their time of need.

Development of our 33 acre mission’s base and headquarters with Excellence to provide an Oasis of Love showing truckers, and all that come in the Love of our Lord. We will encourage and pray that each one that comes in will leave better than they were when they came in.

Truckers are our priority and as such we develop, train and send forth a body of Christian Truckers.that want to reach the lost world in their day to day operations.

To Associate as our name says with other ministries in and out of trucking who’s goal it is to reach the lost for God through his son Jesus.

The focus of our vision is ministry and love to the truck driver and all activity should be measured against this goal.

Vision in action: In the the fall (September) we have Trucker Jamborees with music, teaching, preaching, testimonies, drama, and more with lots of free meals. They have a great time of networking and fellowship with other Drivers and trucking companies.

Several times a year we hold special holiday functions for Drivers away from family and working. Barbeques, July 4th celebrations, special Christmas meals are examples.

In the summer we look forward to Truck – Car – Tractor shows that attract the whole community including many in our trucking industry where we join with local churches and youth groups with food and live music.

Our vision goals: In the future we have a desire and plan to bring fuel for our Drivers to the Road Angel. The development of fuel has been a desire for several years, this opportunity will make it easier for drivers to be supplied and not have to make an extra stop. Change has come in the trucking industry and we need to keep up with the times. There have been major changes in the industry since 1951 when Jim Keys began his ministry and 1976 when ACT began ministry. We want to make it easier for most Drivers to stop and receive ministry on our campus.

Board of Directors

Pastor Phil Derstine

President, Director

Pastor Mel Weaver

Vice President, Director

Bill Cooke

Treasure, Director

Joanne Derstine

Secretary, Director

Ed Hart

Trucking Executive, Director

Board of Advisors

Woody Clark

Trucking Businessman, Adviser

Pastor Gerald Derstine

Retired Chairman, Adviser

Pastor David Wilford

Retired Truck Driver, Adviser

Mark Hewett

Director/ Executive Chaplain

Eric Hoxsie

Road Angel Bookkeeper, Administrator 

David L. Newman

Trucker Elder

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Pastor Phil is a founding member of the Association of Christian Truckers. He has worked in the ministry as an Evangelist, Pastor, and Teacher, for many years. Pastor Phil is the Senior pastor of Family Church at Christian Retreat in Bradenton, Florida and the president of Gospel Crusade, Inc.,international missions organization headquartered at Christian Retreat. He is best known for his “Hands-on” teaching of unconventional soul winning and christian maturity, blending Biblical principles and personal experience. Phil hosts a daily television program, “Purpose for Life” and has written several books, including 'Evangelism that Works!' and 'Releasing the Power Within You'.  A graduate of Oral Roberts University, he holds a degree in business administration and telecommunications.  Phil and his wife, Janette have two daughters, Amy and Michelle, and two sons. Michael and Stevie.

His heart for truckers goes back to his time with the founder Chaplain Jim Keyes and he is determined as we all are to reach the American trucker with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Showing them Love and compassion by meeting their Spiritual and physical needs , while delivering the truth of God’s Love.

“So in Christ we who are many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:5

Verbal inspiration of the Holy Scriptures

Rom15:4 I Cor.10:11 II Tim 3:16 I Peter 1:25 II Peter 1:20-21


The Eternal Godhead revealed in One God

 Exo 3:14 Dt4:35,39 Ps 90:2 Matthew 28:19


Existing in 3 persons  

The Father, The Mark 12:29 John 15:26 Rom 1:20 Eph4:6 Son (Jesus Christ), & The Holy Spirit. Hebrews 7:16

The Virgin Birth & Deity of Jesus Christ by whose blood we have atonement for our sins

Isa 7:14 Isa 53 Matt 1:18-21 John 14:6 Eph 1:17, I John 1:7 Acts 4:12 I Peter 1:19 


The resurrection & second coming of Jesus Christ

Matthew 24:29-31 Acts 1:11 Romans 8:11, I Thes 4:14-18 Rev. 1:8


In regeneration a person is born into the family of God

Matt 19:28 John 1:13 John 3:16-19 


He is born anew from above

John 3:36 Rom 14:17 I Cor. 5:17


In regeneration man receives a new nature & life

Rom 10:13-17 John 3:1-3 Acts 3:19.


Pardoned & Justified

I Peter 1:23 Titus 3:5 John 14:6


Born again by the Spirit of God is the only entrance into the Kingdom of God

Eternal punishment by all who reject Jesus Christ & His vicarious sacrifice.

Mal.3:16-4:1 Matt 25:46 John 5:29, II Thess. 1:8,9

The Holy Spirit & the gift of tongues manifested; as our source of power for Holy living & service; with the full operation

& manifestation of the gifts & fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Matt 3:11-12 Mark 16:15-18 Rom 12:6-8, II Cor.5:17 II Cor. 12:4-12 Gal.5:2-25, Gal. 5:22-26 Acts 1:8 Acts 2:1-4 Jude 20 


Divine healing…..prosperity…..

Deut.8:18 Ps 103:1-5 Ps 107:20 Isa.53:5 Mal.4:2 Matt.4:23 Rev.22:2 I Peter 2:24-25


In all things the Spirit of love & Kindness

Prov. 10:12 Song 2:4 Matt. 5:44 John 13:35 


Walking in the fruit of The Holy Spirit…

John 17 Romans 13:10 Gal. 5:22-26, Eph. 3:19 II Peter 1:7 I John 4:7

We are set apart through the Nation of Israel

Gen. 12:1-3 Gen.22:15-18 John 1:29 


In Christ we are the seed of Abraham; receiving the blessings of Abraham. We are to pray for the peace of Jerusalem

Rom.4:17-18 Gal.3:16-20 Hebrews 2:16, Psalm 51:18 Psalm 122:6 



The Association of Christian Truckers Ministry (ACT) is a 501 (c 3) non-profit organization dedicated to ministering to the needs of the truck drivers, and their families, that drive the highways of the United States of America.

We are located in Illinois at I-70 and US 40, exit 68 (Brownstown Illinois exit). 32 miles west of Effingham Illinois and six miles east of Vandalia Illinois, 2/10 of a mile on the north side of the interstate. The 34 acre site features a lighted, paved parking lot that has enough spaces for 50 trucks, FREE laundry facility, shower room, and a trucker’s lounge that is open 24 hours a day.

1366 US HWY 40

Brownstown, IL 62418 

Phone: (618) 427-3737


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