BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - His messages are almost as famous as the chicken...
They are messages meant for a moment…
“Hey, welcome to Chicken Shack...”
They’re meant to help us with bad weather, floods, violence in our streets, or just loving one another, messages tucked behind a world-famous menu.
“Collard greens, mustard greens, dirty rice...”
And they all start at Chicken Shack.
Every morning during the week, and usually one long one for the weekend, for the last 17 years, Chicken Shack manager, Troy Carter records the menu for the day on the restaurant’s answering machine, but then, Carter adds an extra special helping on the end.
“Whatever is taking place, maybe the weather is bad that day and I just want somebody to drive safe. The life they save just may be their own," he said.
“I was in church 17 years ago on a Sunday evening. My pastor has a saying, a slogan: no souls left behind and he challenged the congregation, ‘We have to take the ministry to the marketplace,’ and I thought about I can’t slow down the flow of the business, but I put the recording on every day so something that I can say can make a difference, but I didn’t know 17 years later it has been all over the world and made an impact," Carter said.
People from all over the country have found Carter’s messages.
A truck driver from Minnesota made a delivery at closing time, heard the message, and stayed over just to meet the man behind the messages. A vendor from Maryland called for three weeks in a row wanting to hear the message during a rough spot in her life.
Even though its Carter’s voice on the recording, the message, he says, is always straight from God. His recordings speak directly to the listener, reminding young people instead of looking for a manly way to settle the score, to look for a godly way.
“I try to be an inspiration to somebody I want to see change, so I’m thinking about whatever is taking place in the world on that particular day. Maybe someone lost their life overnight, and I’m asking for prayer for their family. I may not even know the family, but i’m asking for prayer and let them know that through this hard time you are going to make it. God is going to give you the strength," Carter said.
The chicken has been a Baton Rouge staple for decades, its menu as familiar as family, and while obviously known for its chicken and then of course all of the sides, it’s that off the menu message that keeps some patrons coming back.
“People constantly calling and say, ‘I’m in Livingston Parish, in Denham Springs, I just called to hear the message.’ Or folks will call and I’m thinking they’re calling for lunch and I say, ‘Lunch is over.’ ‘No, I want to hear what the messages for the day.’ Franklin Press brought their whole staff down to meet me after hearing the recording and we were inspired and like I say, I don’t take no credit for it. It’s all about God. If this message can change lives because people stop doing the negatives and do the positives, it’s all worth me doing it every day," said Carter.
So after hearing enough to make you hungry, it’s the perfect dessert. The man and his message are simple... in the sweetest way.
“If you don’t know Christ, why the blood is yet running warm in your veins, that’s the message at heart, get to know Christ," Carter said.
To hear one of Carter’s special messages, and to hear the menu at Chicken Shack as well, call 225-383-0940.