But he is named after beers, so…
By Nikki Patrick | THE MORNING SUN
Charles Ales loves Mustangs and doing good to others, so he’s putting it all together and starting the Mustang Church of America and Museum. “There’s not another one like it in the world,” said Ales, lifelong car collector. “I’ve been around car nuts all my adult life. You can mess with their wives, you can mess with their dogs, but you can’t mess with their cars. It borders on a religion with them, so I built them a church.”
It’s located in Frogtown, an area west of Franklin, and next door to the house were Ales and his 12 brothers and sisters were born. “We were all born in the front room, because it had heat,” he said.
Retired after 34 years of teaching math, Ales returned home after living many years in the Wichita area. He said that he and his adopted son, Robert Brunch, got the idea for the church/museum last June.
“We built a 100-by-70-foot building here for the cars and church,” Ales said. “The last 18 feet of it will be living quarters for Bob. When I get my landscaping done, later in the summer, I’ll be open or business. I’d like to have the dedication in August or September. “
He dreams of inviting Carroll Shelby, Mustang designer, to the dedication. “I bought four new Shelbys in one year,” Ales said.
Among the Mustangs in the museum are all three Boss Mustangs, the 429, 351 and 301.
“I bought the 302 new,” he said. “I paid $3,500 for the 429 when I was teaching in Wichita. Those all hand-built, and they had to do a lot of modifications to get the Nascar Semi Hemi engine to fit in a Mustang body.”
He’s also got numerous model Mustangs, many purchased with his Toys R Us credit card. “I tell everybody I’ll be a big kid until the day I die,” he said. “I want to win a drag race on my 100th birthday.”
Ales is planning a unique mural for the wall behind his pulpit.
“It shows Jesus at the wheel of a 1966 Mustang,” he said. “It’s being done on a metal plate at Patterson’s Artworks.”
He’s also had T-shirts printed up with the same theme. His church logo, developed by Matt Wilbert, is a fish, a traditional Christian symbol, with a Mustang horse inside.
“Somebody asked me if I wasn’t worried about people thinking this was sacrilegious,” Ales said. “Well, I hope Jesus has a sense of humor.”
He and Brunch are both ordained through the Universal Ministry School of Theology.
“The Mustang museum will be open daily, and we’ll have car shows, swaps and two Mustang blessings a year,” Ales said. “Services will be on Sunday, and the church will be non-denominational. I’ll preach goodness and helping my fellow humankind. I’ll preach what we’re supposed to do — make this a better world than we found it.”