GREENFIELD — Sunlight broke through the clouds, reflecting off the chrome of motorcycles arrayed outside Main Street Baptist Church that October day. Harley-Davidsons, Hondas, Kawasaki sport bikes and Yamaha cruisers were primed, their owners ready to show their love and deep loss for a woman who impacted their lives like no other.
On Oct. 14, Belinda Esper, 40, died when the Honda motorcycle she was driving was hit head-on on U.S. Hwy 160, about half a mile west of Everton.
Family and friends say that was the day Belinda Esper was gathered in her Savior’s arms and taken to heaven.
“Belinda was a lot of things to a lot of people,” said Stacey Boyd, longtime friend and fellow member of the C.H.R.O.M.E. Riders #1141, the Greenfield chapter of the Christian Motorcyclists Association (CMA). “But honestly, no matter what she was doing, she just loved God and was a great example of a person trying to please God with everything she did. The people who knew her knew what she was about and accepted and loved her for it.”
Esper was a woman of many talents including being an organized homeschool mom for her three sons; owning and operating Tiny Blessings, a daycare out of her home; and decorating specialty cakes for people throughout Dade County.
But it was her love of Jesus and riding motorcycles that led Esper and a handful of others, including her husband, Mike, to start the C.H.R.O.M.E. Riders three years ago.
“She was instrumental in starting it,” Boyd said. “It had always been talked about as a possibility by my dad and husband but once Belinda got ahold of it, her passion made it happen.”
Like the CMA, the C.H.R.O.M.E. Riders formed to become the salt and light to a community of like-minded people who may never step foot inside a traditional church.
“We are missionaries that use our motorcycles to reach the lost and no one believed that more than Belinda,” Boyd said. “She was a woman on fire for God and she met everybody with open arms. No judgment, you know? She told everybody she came across about CMA. She was on fire for Jesus and not afraid to share it. She was definitely an example to women.”
Hand in hand with her work in motorcycle ministry, Main Street Baptist Church Pastor Harold McMasters said Esper was also a terrific example of what commitment and love for church looks like.
“From day one Belinda was extremely passionate about anything and everything she did,” he said. “She had a daycare in her home and I remember her coming in for Vacation Bible School with six or seven little ones like little ducks behind her. She led children’s music for many years. You could always tell whatever she was doing, she put in 100 percent.”
That includes the time and effort she spent making cakes. Whether it was for a wedding shower or a birthday, Boyd said Esper’s cake decorating talents are well known throughout Greenfield and the surrounding communities.
“She traveled all over with her cakes, always carrying God with her and giving Him the glory for everything she did,” Boyd said. “That’s probably why she was so successful. Without a doubt, Belinda left her fingerprint on our community. We will never forget her.”