Love's buys Derrick's but chapel will have to go
By Emily Ford
SALISBURY - The coordinator for the chapel ministry at Derrick Travel Plaza said Love's Travel Stops has bought the property and will not have room for the existing chapel.
Derrick's has stood for years at Peeler Road and Interstate 85. Volunteers in 2000 built a small white chapel in the parking lot for truckers, travelers and Derrick's employees.
The Rev. Larry Beaver said nothing will happen to the chapel until he meets with Love's officials on Dec. 7. Beaver, senior pastor at Main Street Baptist Church in China Grove who coordinates volunteer ministers for the chapel, said his interactions with Love's have been friendly.
Beaver said he remains hopeful the corporation will allow the ministry to continue in some form, perhaps counseling or referrals.
"But there will not be space for the chapel," he said. "They have plans for the total property."
A dozen chaplains from several Rowan County churches have conducted daily services in the chapel for 12 years.
The truck stop is closed and the pumps have been removed in preparation for demolition of the existing facility. Volunteers are considering moving the chapel and may take down the steeple soon for safe-keeping, Beaver said.
Beaver said he's been impressed with Love's and thinks the community will be proud of the company's plans for the site.
Love's did not return phone calls and emails from the Post.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.