153: Spiritual Search and Rescue – PGTM

This week on the Oakley Podcast, host Jeremy Kellett chats with Marshall Wright, a chaplain with Power of God Trucking Ministry (PGTM). During the episode, Marshall shares his love for trucks and truck drivers and how he encountered Jesus while serving in the Coast Guard. Jeremy and Marshall talk about the PGTM ministry, his passion for ministering to truck drivers, and more.

Key topics in today’s conversation include:

  • A love for trucks and truck drivers (0:12)
  • Becoming a follower of Jesus in the Coast Guard (6:31)
  • Transitioning to trucking out of the military (8:55)
  • Joining the chaplaincy program (13:20)
  • Ministering to drivers on the road (16:49)
  • Spreading the word about PGTM (21:18)
  • Marshall’s first search and rescue mission in the Coast Guard (24:55)
  • Appreciation for Armed Forces and Truck Drivers (25:56)
  • Connecting with Power of God Trucking Ministries (27:21)

Oakley Trucking is a family-owned and operated trucking company headquartered in North Little Rock, Arkansas. For more information, check out our show website: podcast.bruceoakley.com.


Marshall Wright  00:12

People need Jesus. People need a place that they can come to where they can get their lives straight. If I can be straight, then it’s going to affect my wife, my children, my environment is going to affect everything. This is why it was so important for me to want to get the gospel to individual truckers and just try to get that message out. And I really didn’t know how I started working with Gary Rayburn and channel 21 ministries. We’ve talked to Muslims, we talked to Buddhists, we’ve talked to everybody. My thing is whosoever will listen, I’m going to open up my mouth about Jesus Christ and we’re going to talk

Jeremy Kellett  00:45

Welcome to the Oakley podcast, trucking, business and family. This show is brought to you by Oakley trucking, headquartered in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The purpose of this podcast is to communicate with Oakley owner operators and their families by giving them up to date information concerning Oakley trucking and the trucking industry. From business advice to safety updates to success stories. Also to give an insight to outside truck drivers that might be interested in joining the Oakley family where you are at the Mid America truck show Louisville, Kentucky 2023. And man, as always, you saying lots of people here. I mean all kinds of people, lots of truck drivers let and lots of things in the industry. I know there’s these episodes that we’re doing from the truck show are going to come out of course, later after it’s over. But I would recommend if nobody’s there, if you haven’t been to this and Mid America truck show in Louisville, Kentucky, you need to make plans and don’t just make a plan to drive through stopping for a couple hours because there’s not going to work you’re gonna have to stop in for a couple of days. There’s so much to see you here at the truck show. And Oakley, you know, we’re gonna be here every year. We’re here every year and we seem to have a bigger presence every year too. So I encourage you I actually talked to some of our owner operators that you guys have never been here and I was amazed you hadn’t. And I think you would really enjoy it. It’s you know, cutting edge technology products, just all kinds of stuff here. And I have actually captured one of those guys that has a awesome product. If you could say product that has an awesome you know, ministry here and I want to visit with him a little bit and his name is enhanced. Alright and he isn’t name is Marshall, right? He is with the power of God Ministries, power God trucking ministries of God trucking ministries, and we’re gonna visit with him a minute and talk about what he does here, not only in America, and it’s probably gonna be here every year here next year, but also what he does on a daily basis. So let’s get started with this. Marsha, if you would introduce yourself to our listeners out here kind of who you are, where you’re from what’s going on with you. Okay,

Marshall Wright  02:52

well, my name is Marshall. Right. And believe it or not, I was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. Yeah, two syllables Louisville, Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, and I want to get into sort of how I started the ministry, and that will kind of give some of the background on on myself as well. So, again, I was born and raised here in Kentucky. And how about 1974? I believe no, 1970s 1975 My brother and I was 11 years old. And I think he was 16 years old. Visited probably the poor Mid America truck show here in Louisville. Really? Yes. And to show you how things have changed. The truck show itself was only in the pavilion. That was the truck show was just a pavilion if you can imagine that, you know to where we are now today with all the wings and everything else. So it was a very small truck show. You were supposed to be an owner operator or a driver. In order to get into truck show some guy in a suit came up and said you guys really want to get in don’t cause any trouble and we’ll let you in. My brother and I love trucks. Okay, my brother joined the army became a truck driver in the Army Center center center. I wanted to follow his footsteps, join the army, be a truck driver in the army, get out and drive big rigs. Our heroes were willing Sonny Pruitt, if you remember the show moving on. That was that was the big deal back then in the 70s and I just remember just having such a love for trucks and such a love for the truck driver in my neighborhood. There were a total of five truck drivers. I grew up into western global there were a total of five truck drivers that were actually that actually law were all of them were or are. They lived in my neighborhood they would take off and you wouldn’t see him for three, four weeks. Okay, so and so. And all these guys really enjoyed. I remember Mr. Judy’s drove for A company called Liquid transport. I don’t even know what they exist anymore, but he’s all in chemicals and acid. That was the big thing always hold acid. And I remember him he was just such a nice guy. His wife was nice and used to go cut grass warm for free and all that kind of stuff. So, so it was great. It was really that my impression of truck drivers back then, was really great. My best friend guy by the name of Bobby Gerber, his dad was a long haul truck driver. And he had a conventional Kenworth, conventional. It was a two tone blue. I believe it was a 13 speed or an 18 speed, I can’t remember. But it was one of the most beautiful trucks I’ve ever seen. And he would park it right in front of his house, which was a block away from me. So this was instilled in you early. Yeah, yeah, trucking, trucking has been a part of me. And it will probably always be a part of me now how God used that is, is a story in itself. Because Long story short, now tell you a little bit of my history, I ended up enlisting in the Coast Guard. And that’s where I encountered the Lord Jesus Christ, I was on a 370 foot cutter out in the middle of the Bering Sea. And I had somebody shared the gospel with me, and it totally changed my life. You know, it wasn’t in a church setting. It wasn’t in the typical, receiving Jesus setting, it was out in the middle of the ocean, 30 foot waves. Were out there with the crabbers. And all if you ever see danger, Deadliest Catch,

Jeremy Kellett  06:28

you’re out in the middle of the Bering Sea. Yeah, and this is where it took place. And somebody

Marshall Wright  06:32

shared the gospel with me, they talked to me about Jesus Christ, and what, you know, what he had to offer me, and I accepted the challenge accepted Jesus, right there out in the middle of the ocean, and went to bed center and woke up, you know, saved, you know, saved and blessed by God, you know, so it was traumatic, it really was. I mean, I mean, you know, the I was assembler at the time. And so you know, you know, the old sellers model, you know, a woman in every port, you know, you go, typically, you would hit a port, everybody would go to the bar, you know, get something to drink, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, route and corrals, and get in a bar fights and all that kind of stuff. And I’ll never forget it, we hit court. And I’m looking for a Bible study. Change change, man. And so I’ll fast forward a little bit because the Coast Guard, I mean, God told me something, you know, by His Spirit that I’ll never forget, as long as I live, he said, Marshall, if you just hang with me, I will turn your life upside down in a way that you never thought possible. I will open up doors that you never thought possible. And I didn’t know what that meant at the time. But I just figured I’d go and hang with God. I just do what God said. And I just get into his word, I would start fellowshipping with him. And all that, and more doors opened up to me that were impossible to open up. Long story short, I ended up a pilot and the Coast Guard, which was just it’s a story within itself. It’s like three podcasts. Okay, wow. Yeah, yeah. It’s a really amazing story about how God made this happen. And God put people in my life to help it happen. Just really interesting. So I ended up a pilot in the Coast Guard client, C 130s. And I did that for about seven and a half years, and retired from the Coast Guard. And this is kind of where the trucking gets in a little bit. Cuz I retired from the Coast Guard. And I retired right after 911. And if you remember, all of the major carriers were starting not to hire, because 911 had happened. And major airline carriers like American Delta south, yes, you know, said we’re not going to hurt anymore because people got afraid to fly and so they could sell start slowing down, etc, etc. So, I talked to my wife, you know, I just retired from the Coast Guard. I was on actually on terminal leave. And I talked to her and she said, Well, why don’t you go to truck drivers who I said, that’s a good idea. I said, I like trucks. You know, I like trucks. Yeah, I’ll do that. So I went and got my CDL and after that, I started driving dump trucks. What is that? Tri axial squat axles 22 Wheeler, tractor trailer trucks and we hauled everything. I mean, I was at construction sites I was calling for you know, housing complexes I was hauling gravel, never hauled out asphalt, although they wanted me to and never hauled poop either. And they wanted me to do that too at the waist facility and so so that was kind of my introduction into actually being a driver. And one of the things that I saw you know, even how

Jeremy Kellett  09:43

old are you at this time?

Marshall Wright  09:44

Right now? I’m 60

Jeremy Kellett  09:46

I mean, at the time you’re driving this truck would have been 38 years Okay, so you’ve done army, Coast Guard or Coast Guard just go just coast guard. Okay. Just Coast Guard coast guard our years 20 years yeah, there

Marshall Wright  09:58

started out enlisted ended up But retirement is an office.

Jeremy Kellett  10:01

Awesome. Yeah. Okay. All right. And now your drought got your sleep Hill CDM. And I’m driving live and drive and truck. And what, what happens next?

Marshall Wright  10:10

Southwest Airlines gives me a call and says, Hey, we got a class date for you. Do you want a cup? And actually happened two days before Christmas. So I call them my Christmas present of 2001. So that was 21 years ago that I started flying for Southwest. I’ve been a commercial airline pilot for 21 years. Absolutely loving it. I’m an evaluator at Southwest as well. I currently, yeah. Currently, I’m a Czech pilot, I do type ratings in the 737. I also do evaluation rights for our pilots in the 737 as well. So that’s a that’s a part of my life that’s kind of constant, at least for the next four and a half years or unless God says something different. But in the meantime, I started coming back to the Mid America truck show probably 2000 I would say about 2005 I started coming and visiting the truck showing sometimes that man, I really got to see this truck show. I got to see this truck show is good stuff. And I started coming by and that’s when I met a guy by the name of Gary Ray board. I’m gonna shorten up the story a little

Jeremy Kellett  11:20

bit, Gary. Yeah, he actually sit with us last year. Okay, here. We interviewed he’ll,

Marshall Wright  11:26

yeah, well, he runs Llosa road ministry. And what a wonderful guy I met him, I talked to him. And I told him my desire to really want to minister to truckers, and I really saw a need for that when I was driving dump trucks. And I wouldn’t even know TR, but you could still see that, you know, people need Jesus will need a place that they can come to where they can get their lives straight. Okay, and it starts with me, if I can be straight. And if my life can be straight, then it’s going to affect my wife, it’s going to affect my children. It’s going to affect my environment. It’s going to affect everything. And, and so in this is why it was so important for me to want to get the gospel to the individual truckers and just try to get that message out. And I really didn’t know how. And I started working with Gary reborn. And also channel 21 Ministries, which was founded by Darrell Schweitzer chaplains Darrell Spicer, and those two ministries, lonesome road and channel 21. Now are together when I joined up or when I start partnering up with them, if they were two separate ministries, so I was really sort of under or partnering up with Darryl Spicer at the time and channel 21 ministries. They had row chaplains. And so we became row chaplains. We also started our ministry power God tracking Ministries as well. But we were really dealing with the Road Track chaplains for channel 21. We ended up being on Channel 20 ones board and also managing the row chaplains probably almost 60 Row chaplains and all and most of them probably 90% were OTDR drivers. And we were managing them make making sure that they were discipled making sure they had proper training and making sure that they weren’t equipped to do what the tool is Yes. Had the tools for the job. Exactly. Exactly. So we started doing that. And long story short, we developed our own champion training program, which we’ve implemented this year. We have about 20 students. And so it’s a 16 week course, at least as it is right now. 16 weeks. And so yeah, it’s really that’s good. Yeah. So we believe my wife and I believe that, that the best way to, to have somebody out here is to have them trained up to be equipped to know, you know, how to handle the different issues that you’re going to come across. I mean, we talk to drivers all the time. So we run a trucker church, at the TA and forestall Missouri offer by 70. So every Sunday, we’re in there, we preach the gospel in the TV room, now just preach a service. And we have one, two, maybe five drivers, you know, they just want to sit and listen, whatever. So we deal with. You know, my thing is we deal with all kinds of drivers we deal with everybody and we don’t care who you are. Give you an example. We just talked to a guy yesterday at our booth who was a Sikh, you know, from Sikhism, religion, you know, he’s a saint, and we’re sitting there talking about the gospel of Jesus Christ. And it was just so unique. We’ve talked to Muslims, we talk to Buddhists, we popped it everybody. I’m just my thing is whosoever, whosoever will listen, I’m going to open up my mouth about Jesus Christ, and we’re going to talk that’s awesome.

Jeremy Kellett  14:59

But what is it? I’m interested in that 16 week course. So that’s somebody that wants to help you out on the road, they take a 16 week course, to where, you know, they’re they have all the tools are certified to be able to do the job on the road. Is that what that is?

Marshall Wright  15:18

Yes, in part. So we were doing our chaplaincy program in three phases. Number one, training. Number two is certification. So we’re actually about two years ago, we actually set on a chaplain certification board for the church that we go to. And we had to there are state requirements for chaplains were at least in Virginia, when we live in Virginia. And so we had to take those requirements and set up an actual certification board. We’re taking that knowledge that we got from that experience, which was it was a handful, it was a lot of work. We’re taking that knowledge and everything we did to put that together. And we’re putting together our own server certification board right under our ministry. So first we train then will certify chaplains. And then eventually, we’re going to actually develop our own road chaplains under power got trucking ministries. And I was just talking to I don’t know if you know, Mark uit, from association of Christian Charters of, he’s got a booth here as well. And he just came up to me yesterday, and talked to me about actually forming alliances so that he could get his people trained, because he has some quote unquote, chaplains, as well. And he wants some training as well. So it’s

Jeremy Kellett  16:35

a great plan. I mean, that’s the way you’re working to do that, and to develop these chaplains in and then disperse and conquer. Like the disciples were the drivers needed. And I think that’s something that goes, we all need it, but you definitely drivers need it too. Because there’s a lot of a long time there. That’s, you know, that’s a lot of windshield time, that, that your mind can work on you, you know, in a lot of different ways. And I think it’s a great way to have that opportunity to be able to communicate with somebody like yourself, or your growth, javelins. So this is gonna help a lot of people.

Marshall Wright  17:16

And we, you know, a we’re not pushing. We’re really not, we engage a driver, we usually give them a packet of information, use it, I have a CD with our podcasts on it. And on that CD, we always we have a QR code as well, because we realize that most of the drugs today don’t have CD players. So we’re still in that transition as well, trying to get away from CDs, but you know, they’re just easy to give out. And we got a bunch of them. So yeah, so you’re gonna expand this supply of CDs I haven’t and threw us all out, and then we’ll make a card or something. Yeah.

Jeremy Kellett  17:51

That’s great. Aero truck sales has been in business for over 60 years and a longtime partner of Oakley trucking and the Oakley podcast, Dre visor and Keith Wilson do a great job at putting you in the right truck to fit your needs and our needs here at Oakley. They carry all makes and models to choose from, with on site financing through transport funding. So whether you’re a seasoned owner operator or a first time buyer, be sure to contact Keith Wilson at Arrow Truck Sales at 573-216-6047. And tell him you heard it on the Oakley podcast? What do you hope to get out of the Mid America Truck Show? Well,

Marshall Wright  18:35

the Mid America truck show for us, it’s one of the biggest truck shows number one, we get to talk to a lot of different vendors. So not only do we get to talk to drivers, which is our primary concern, but we also get to talk to some owner operators. Some either owner operators or owners of trucking companies, which we’ve talked to quite a few with and say, Hey, we’ve got supplies that we can give your organization that, you know, we can give your organization to supply your drivers with, we can be that source of supply, we get tons of supplies from all kinds of groups, distribution for distribution, I’m sorry, good news distribution, truckers for a network, we get tons of supplies that we can give out. And so we’re always trying to give out those supplies to a driver. So if we can talk to a truck owner or a company owner, or a company exec, that’s great, too. So you, you get that part of it. And also there, believe it or not, and this happened yesterday, there are companies out here that that have a great product, you know, of something that they’re doing for drivers. That’s pretty good. And we can form alliances with that. Give me an example when I’m talking about there’s one company here that’s pretty familiar of greatness, kind of akin to Oh, Ida, you know, yeah, kind of that that are in a kind of organization. But what they have is they have a free site where drivers can go, any driver can go to and don’t have to pay. And you can try YouTube page to their page, so that you know, they have all these topics where you can, where a driver can click on pin go to different videos and different topics and different religions and all that and your YouTube page can pop up on there so they can see, you know what you have to offer. I think that’s a good ally. Yeah, you know, I think that’s a good deal. So I’m starting to meet a lot of people like that too. I’m like this. I don’t really care what the technology is. I don’t care what the method is, as long as we’re getting out the gospel and we’re getting it out in a way where people can understand it and accept the

Jeremy Kellett  20:44

lease on with Oakley trucking Americans drabble call our owner operators are the top paid in the country and we will prove it to you. We offer steady year round freight as well as a yearly annual bonus and increases each year your lease to us. Oakley has multiple divisions in dumps Hopper, bottoms, and pneumatic. So we are sure to have something that works for your schedule, and hometown. Check us out on YouTube as well as our weekly podcast or give us a call today and see why Oakley trucking was everything you have been looking for.


We were talking before we started here. You’re getting it out through your own podcast. Yes,

Marshall Wright  21:17

yes. Yeah.

Jeremy Kellett  21:18

Tell us about that.

Marshall Wright  21:19

So we started podcasting. Finally. And it’s been a challenge for quite a number of reasons. We’re on PodOmatic right now, but what we’re trying to do, and the main thrust of what we’re doing right now, and we hope to have it done by June, is to have our own internet radio station. And that’s what we’ve been working on for probably the last six months. And it seems easy. I mean, it’s easy to set up. It’s just, you know, radio is a content driven deal, just like podcasts, and everything else. So what we hope to do is have our podcasts on our radio station along with other podcasts as well and other ministries as well. So that’s the main crux of why we’re doing a podcast but we also do video casting. We have a YouTube channel as well. Okay, yeah. So we were doing that as well. So you can reach all of that we’ve got links everything on our website, www.pg TMIN dot.org.

Jeremy Kellett  22:18

And we’ll put it of course, as this comes out, we’ll put it down here below and everybody can have access to get to your chick yet and check out your podcast and your website and chirp and everything is fantastic story,

Marshall Wright  22:32

man. has been good. All I can say honestly, my whole testimony has got us good. Yeah. And he has been directing my life has been directing my wife’s life. And we’re just having a blast out here we really are. And the more drivers we meet, the more I know Hey, this is what we need to do this is we need to be out really.

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Jeremy Kellett  23:40

So before we before I quit here, it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t ask one of these questions. Because any interesting quick stories in the Coast Guard that you could share with us. I think Coast Guard’s fascinating. Is there. Is it did you rescue somebody out there some crazy fisherman got out there and ran out of gas or boat was sinking? Or? Or was that all just training you did kind of say Oh,

Marshall Wright  24:06

no Coast Guard, unlike the other services, and I’m not putting down the other services, okay, I like my service members, my service brothers, I call them ancestors, but the Coast Guard that probably the difference between the Coast Guard and all the other services. And this is really true, is most of the time if you’re in the Coast Guard, if you go on a mission, it’s going to be alive mission. It’s going to be it’s not going to be training it’s going to be Hey, there’s a real rescue out there give you an example. So I get to Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina. And you know they have a training syllabus for the C 130s I just come from Little Rock Arkansas from Air Force training. You know so I’m a qualified see 130 pilot now I’ve got to become a search and rescue pilot get qualified search and rescue. The day I got qualified the next day. I had I had alert duty, you know, for search and rescue starts at three o’clock in the afternoon, at 11 o’clock at night, boom, search and rescue alarm goes off, we gotta launch. And there’s a cell in vessel 1000 miles from basically 1000 miles east of Norfolk, Virginia, and we got to go out to him, and we got to rescue it. Oh, man, he had become be calm, and there was a hurricane coming up. And he was trying to figure out what he needed to do and how what you know, because he couldn’t move and his kicker motor wouldn’t start. That was my first search and rescue mission in the Coast Guard. And I’ll never forget it. Because what ended up happening, we found a freighter that was nearby, he rode over to him to where he ended up picking up the whole boat on debit picking up the whole boat and the crew and taking them to Greece.

Jeremy Kellett  25:50

So yeah, risky. Wow, fantastic. So always good. You know, I just enjoy those kinds of stories like that. It’s, you know, by serving in the armed forces, I’m so appreciative of you guys thankful for you in your life to do that. For 20 years, you did that. And I just, it humbles me, because, you know, I didn’t do it. And I respect you guys kind of like truck drivers, you know, respect to truck drivers, even though I can’t drive one of those things. But that’s how they make my living. And I really appreciate the job that they do. And I appreciate the job that you do. Thanks for reaching out to the driver and all the truck drivers out there because, you know, one thing we need, even if we are born again, Christians, we need Jesus every day. Absolutely. Absolutely. It goes the enemy is. The devil is everywhere. Yes. And yes. He can get up in it. You got to be careful. So yeah, well, thank you for sharing your information and your story with us here at the Oakley podcast. I really do appreciate it. Hope you enjoy the show. hope hope anyway, we can help get the word out the you know the message to our guys. Let us know when if they Hey, if you guys have questions about the power of God struggling ministries I’m sorry, power of God trucking ministry. You guys have questions for Marshall. Let me know I’ll be glad to if you go to his website and get all that or you can send it to me and I’ll be glad to pass it on to you and you can get back with us.

Marshall Wright  27:21

Okay. All right, that sounds good. Thanks a lot. They can also sign up on the website, they can email us from the website. So we’re available. We’ve got our number, our website number on there and our phone number on there and everything else so we’re available and we reach out. Thank you appreciate you joining me on Oakley. You so much for inviting me. You’re welcome.

Jeremy Kellett  27:40

Thanks for listening to this episode with Oakley podcast, trucking, business and family. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to rate and review the show in the podcast platform of your choice and share it with a friend. We love hearing from our audience. So if you’ve got a question, comment or just want to say hello, head over to our website, the Oakley podcast.com and click the leave a comment but we’ll get you a response soon and may even share some of the best ones here on the show. We’ll be back with a fresh episode very soon. Thanks for listening.