Former Texas Pastor Helps Struggling Single Mothers, Widows, and Military Wives With Free Auto Repair Services Through God’s Garage

Photo Credit: Tim Barosh

Six years ago, PC “Pastor Chris” Williams was driving home from church on a rainy night in Montgomery, Texas, when he spotted a mother and child from his congregation walking along the side of busy Highway 105. Pulling over, he offered the pair a ride and asked why they were out on such a dismal evening.

“They told me that their car had been in the shop for months and they couldn’t afford to get it out,” Williams, 49, now living in Conroe, Texas, tells PEOPLE. “Right then, I decided that I needed to figure out a way to get my dream of opening a free garage off the ground.”

Williams, then a children’s pastor, borrowed money and campaigned for donations, and several months later opened God’s Garage, a non-profit auto repair service that focuses on helping single mothers, widows and the wives of deployed military members.

Since 2012, with help from about a dozen rotating volunteers, the group has repaired more than 200 cars at no cost and given away more than 100 restored vehicles to women in need.

“I know what it’s like to be short on money and long on car troubles,” says Williams. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve prayed that my car would start in the morning so I could get to work.”

Working out of a shop next to his home, Williams, who is married with two grown daughters, now makes tuneups and engine repairs his life’s mission, even though he confesses that he actually hates to work on cars.

“My dad went to tech school to become a mechanic before he became a pastor, and I followed him into the pastor side of things, but didn’t know much about cars,” he tells PEOPLE. “My dad taught me the basics of car care, and I grew up watching him help people stuck on the side of the road.”

“As I grew older,” he adds, “I kept telling myself, ‘When I’m in the right position, I’m going to help people.’ So when I saw this need in my community, I decided the solution was to surround myself with guys who know more about fixing cars than I do. Together, we’re making it happen at God’s Garage.”

Williams decided to focus on helping women because over the years, he’d heard horror stories of dishonest car dealers and repair shops trying to take advantage of single moms and widows.

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