By Kelly Wise Valdes

First Pastor-Led Indianapolis 500 Racing Team Inching Their Way To The Big Race

On Sunday, May 29, the 100th Indianapolis 500 Race will take place in Indiana with a high probability that for the first time ever in the history of the race, a Pastor-led racing team will be in the starting lineup.

Marotti Racing, based in Wallingford, CT, is raising sponsors and prayer support in their effort to be the first Pastor-led Christian racing team to participate in the famous Indianapolis 500. Will Marotti is senior pastor of New Life Church in Wallingford, CT.

“There has never been an Indy racing team led by a minister,” said Marotti. “It may seem unusual that a pastor would lead a racing team, but I have been a racing fan since I was a young boy…the moment I walked into the speedway I totally fell in love with Indy Car racing and have been ever since. Now, as a pastor, I see the race as a place to reach out with the Gospel as well – and that is what my team is praying we can do.”

Not only is Marotti racing seeking sponsors, social media followers and prayer warriors, but they are also actively raising funds through their Indy 500 project for Fisher House Foundation, a non-profit organization which provides free lodging for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers.

The Indianapolis 500 is the largest single day sporting event in the world with more than 300,000 people in attendance; a television viewership of 7 million; and a radio listenership of 3 million. For those interested in supporting or praying for this race team, visit

Churches Have Decided To BELIEVE

In less than a year, more than 1,000 churches across the United States have decided to BELIEVE. This book-turned-church-wide experience has engaged congregations in every state and in every denomination to better understand the Bible. BELIEVE takes all 66 books of the Bible and breaks them down into 30 big ideas, for all ages to easily understand and apply their faith.

BELIEVE is published by Zondervan, whose previous book, The Story, has sold more than 6 million copies. The Story uses Scripture to chronicle the Bible in 31 short chapters. More than 5,000 churches around the world have experienced The Story together, bringing people to a deeper understanding of the Bible’s broader themes.

Like The Story, the BELIEVE experience includes books of carefully selected Scripture for every age group. All editions of BELIEVE are designed to be read together as a family, study group, or entire church.

For more information, visit or call 800-727-3480.

Self-Published Christian Books Needed For Prison Ministry

Since it’s founding in 1996, Christian Library International (CLI) has helped thousands of incarcerated men and women find new hope in the healing powers of Jesus Christ. CLI provides more than 1,400 prisons in all 50 states with Christian reading materials. All materials are donated and sent to prison chaplains free of charge.

CLI is now requesting author-published Christian books that will be distributed to 1,400 CLI prisons and jails. This is an opportunity for new Christian authors to distribute their book far and wide. Christian books change lives in the prisons.

CLI has two requirements: The book must be Christian and the theology must agree with the Bible, and there should be a clear gospel message. Authors should send a single copy to CLI first for approval.

To see the scope of this ministry and the prisons we serve, see the CLI website at 

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Kelly Wise Valdes
Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.