Great news, you no longer have to go to church to confess your sins. Thanks to pastor Joseph Djan, who also happens to work as a cab driver, the confessional has been moved from the church into a New York taxi.
The 52-year-old taxi driver and Evangelical pastor sees cab-driving as running a “church on wheels”. Why? “It allows me to meet a lot of people and sometimes interact with them and it gives me the flexibility to attend to (the) ministry when it’s needed,” Djan says. He has Christian hip-hop playing in his cab and he sometimes lets his passengers know that he is a minister. Usually, after finding out about him being a man of Faith, people open up to him. This is what happened to one of his clients, a gay man who was afraid of coming out of the closet. “He heard my Christian hip-hop and while talking about it, it slipped out that I was a pastor. His mood changed instantly. He told me he wanted to tell me something that had never told anyone before”, the New York cabby says . The client confessed that he was feeling guilty about not telling the truth about his homosexuality, but Djan comforted him. “I told him that we all keep secrets. We all have to come out of the closet in some way or another. He was so relieved.” After stepping out of the cab, the passenger also stepped out of the closet and lived his life without hiding who he was.
If the pastor has passengers who don’t share his religion nor his taste in music, he doesn’t have a problem with talking about something else and putting on whatever music makes their ride enjoyable. Djan seems to be quite open-minded and he actually believes that you don’t have to go to church to be religious. “I would prefer they go to church on Sunday,”he says. “But we can have church right in here!” He takes both his jobs very seriously by trying to help the people around him with whatever they need to live decent lives, whether that means offering them advice, food and shelter at the Holy Track Outreach Ministry in Crown Heights, or just giving them a ride in his cab.
Joseph Djan, originally from Ghana, arrived in the US in the ’90s. While studying at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, his life took a turn toward spirituality and he became a pastor.