NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Marketplace Ministries, one of the largest workplace chaplaincy organizations in the U.S., is celebrating 25 years of service.
The organization — which works for more than 400 companies — has four subsidiaries: Marketplace Chaplains USA, Marketplace Chaplains International, Railroad Chaplains of America and Marketplace Ministries Foundation.
Companies hire the chaplain ministry to send in people to care for their workers, often resulting in higher workplace morale and better productivity.
“Marketplace chaplains are people that go to the workplace to do pastoral care for people that don’t have that care through the local congregation or the local church — which is the great majority,” Gil Stricklin, founder of Marketplace Ministries, told Baptist Press. “The great majority of Americans do not go to church every Sunday, but they still get sick, they still need help, they still need a chaplain, they still need someone to care for them. That’s what we do.”
Stricklin said chaplains come alongside workers to help them through life crises, even investing large amounts of time in someone’s wellbeing.
“We’re in hospitals every day,” he said. “We’ve gone where a person has been in the hospital for as long as six months and then another six months in rehabilitation, and the chaplain becomes the cheerleader for that person’s wellness and for that person’s healing and for any advancement they make in getting back to a life of normalcy,” he said.
“The chaplain is there to cheer them on but also is there when they ask for prayer. The chaplain is there to represent God through the power of prayer, that the Great Physician would touch that person’s life and heal them physically, emotionally and certainly spiritually,” Stricklin said.
During the 25 years, Stricklin said, more than 50,000 people have accepted Christ.
Marketplace Chaplains International now is in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Scotland, Wales, England and Canada.
“It is constantly amazing to me and our national and international team members how many business men and women in the marketplace are more concerned about the top line — workers and their families — than their bottom line — profit and dividends,” Stricklin said.
(EDITOR’S NOTE — Roach is a staff writer for Baptist Press.)