Bishop Eddie Chaney’s tent ministry

Taking a break from distributing food and household items on Monday, July 9 are Bishop Eddie Chaney’s tent ministry members and family, from left, Laura D., Benjamin Chaney, Chad “Squirrel” Thomason, Chris Chaney and Eddie Chaney. Gospel meetings were held nightly at a tent on the 700 block of Mill Street. 

Evangelist Bishop Eddie Chaney’s traveling tent may not be elaborate, but his heart is dedicated on serving a higher master and reaching those in need. It’s a calling that takes him to the heart of the neighborhoods that need it the most.

On Monday, July 9, he is setup on a small lot on Mill Street, an area of town that Chaney said he was led to minister to.

“(The draw) is curiosity. Who would put up a $12 tarp?

“We don’t look like we have much, but we come into a community and set out some free clothes. Last night this place was full – over 100 people. Lives were being changed.”

Chaney explains he and his son’s mission is simple: “We give away everything we can get. We travel through the states.”

The group’s outreach includes food (home cooked and packaged) clothes and toys for area youth.  One son (Benjamin) plays the bass, the other (Chris) plays the drums and is an evangelist like his father.

“(People) come; we feed them, give them something to drink and give them a free CD. We try to get them interested in something. They hang around long enough and it’ll be church time,” Benjamin said.

The elder Chaney said that he was called to spread the word of God 38 years ago, while half drunk on the side of the road.

“It was on an old country road, Route Seven. I was an alcoholic…a drug abuser. I’d just cut a man and had to walk home. I didn’t know about Jesus, because no one had told me about Him,” Chaney said. “I wanted out, but no one would help me because I was thief and a drunk.

“But that night, He showed up in my life.”

Chaney said in the years since that life-changing encounter, he’s been traveling the 49 states (he hasn’t made it to Hawaii yet) to communities consumed with drug abuse.

“We’re just here to tell them that God loves them,” he said. “Some people don’t know how to help them, and they don’t know how to help themselves.”

Chaney explained that the answer lies in giving the problem to God.  

As of Monday afternoon, Chaney said that the plan was for three days, but the tent revival could hold over.

“I asked for three days, but it could be three weeks. The longest He’s left me in one area is 30 days,” Chaney said.

“You get involved with people, they start sharing with you and you don’t want to leave them. We try to hunt local pastors that we can connect them to.”

Next stop for Chaney is Herriman, TN, Whitesburg, KY, West Virginia, and then back to eastern Kentucky.

“I live on the road. This is what we do. We love people enough to listen and tell them what God did for us,” Chaney said. 

John has been with the Manchester Times since May 2011. He covers Lifestyles in addition to handling education reporting and general news assignments.John has won Tennessee Press Association awards for Best News Photo and placed in numerous other categories. John is a 1994 graduate of Tullahoma High School, a graduate of Motlow State Community College and earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Middle Tennessee State University. He lives in Tullahoma, and enjoys the outdoors with his wife, Mitsy, and his 17-month-old, Sean.

Staff Writer

John has won Tennessee Press Association awards for Best News Photo and placed in numerous other categories. He is a graduate of THS, Motlow and MTSU. He lives in Tullahoma, and enjoys the outdoors with his wife, Mitsy, and his 17-month-old, Sean.

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