Sermons For Truckers
Wilma Foreman was raised in a conservative small town and grew up understanding that women weren't expected to speak out much. But three years ago, Wilma began to speak out about her religious faith. Now her voice reaches every corner of the country, one truck driver at a time. Reed Galin reports.
(Locator: Woodlawn, Virginia)
Sound of CD: "This is Wilma Foreman coming to you from Woodlawn, Virginia. If you're on that road today, and you're lonely, and you feel like nobody cares, please know that Jesus Christ is out there looking for you today."
She has no idea who might hear her, or where they may be - on the open road, or in life.
Sound of CD: "The Lord understood somebody having to make a living, and he understood somebody that had to be away from his family, he understood loneliness."
Since 2007, Wilma Foreman has been recording and preparing inspirational CDs for truck drivers.
Wilma Foreman: "Maybe somebody lost and searching for something outside themselves will pick it up."
Wilma's husband was a trucker. He talked about the many lonely hours. Wilma decided to reach out to those longing for a connection.
Wilma Foreman: "It'd be a way to reach people that maybe nobody else wanted to reach. And maybe by me being ordinary and common, it wouldn't be sointimidating for them to hear the Good News."
Wilma wasn't sure she would be accepted in a male-dominated industry like trucking. She also was unsure she was qualified to be a preacher. So she sought guidance from her United Methodist pastor, Terry Gregory.
The Rev. Terri Johnson Gregory, First United Methodist Church, Independence, Va.: "The way pulpit ministry works is that you have a congregation to begin with. Wilma is kind of like John Wesley, the world is her parish. She just does it and puts it out there."
At first, Wilma practiced by preaching to the washing machine at her home in rural Virginia. Then she started distributing CDs at truck stops. Driver David Coe is a listener.
David Coe, Long Haul Trucker: "Driving a truck is a different way of life. You have a lot of time to reflect on life."
Coe is also a disciple, so to speak. He takes Wilma's CDs with him and randomly leaves them for others in truck stops from Ohio to Florida.
David Coe: "You have to deal with the problems back at home while you are out on the road, and it's just nice to have one of Wilma's CDs to put into the player and that way I can escapefrom the problems a little bit."
It takes Wilma about three days to prepare 100 CDs &ellipsis; one at a time, after work and on weekends. It's about faith, she says, faith that travelers are listening.
Sound of CD: "In the silence of this moment, say, 'Jesus I have tried everything else. I'm a mess. And Lord, I need something. I want the truth, I want the truth!'God bless."
A group prays over Wilma's CDs before they go out. Her address is printed on the labels, and once in a while she hears from someone who says she made a difference in their lives.
For more information, contact Wilma's church at 276-773-3099.
Posted: January 5, 2011