MOBERLY – What happens when “Born to Be Wild” meets the Bible?
David Mifflin, director of missions for Fellowship Baptist Association, and Rick Hall, director of missions for Crossroads Baptist Association, are spearheading the new effort at reaching out to Missouri Baptist bikers and beyond.
Hall is careful to point out that Missouri Baptist Bikers Fellowship (MBBF) is a fellowship, not a club. In this way, bikers already affiliated with one of several Christian biker clubs – Christian Motorcyclists Association, Bond Slaves, F.A.I.T.H. Riders, Tribe of Judah and others – can participate. Mifflin is a member of F.A.I.T.H. Riders and Hall is a member of the Christian Motorcyclists Association.
“The ‘colors’ bikers wear on their vests are a big deal,” Hall said. “We realize that Missouri Baptist Bikers belong to various clubs that are already doing a tremendous work for the Lord. Our desire is not to change that but to become an avenue through which Missouri Baptist bikers can come together for fellowship and support.”
Hall said a rally is in the planning stages and dates have already been set for a mission trip to Canada as part of the Missouri Baptist Convention’s (MBC) partnership with Northern Ontario. Riders will meet with church planters in the area, reach out to the local bikers and do “prayer rides,” the two-wheeled equivalent to prayer walking.
The dates for that trip are July 29-Aug. 7.
The fellowship is under the auspices of the MBC’s men’s ministry specialist, Rick Seaton. The MBC is now affiliated with F.A.I.T.H. Riders, a nationwide Southern Baptist club. The new fellowship is linked with but not under F.A.I.T.H. Riders.
Seaton said he is excited at this new opportunity to reach out to men with the Gospel and encourage and equip bikers who are already believers.
“It seems like the Lord is calling men to be sensitive to new ways they can reach out to other men,” Seaton said. “That’s what this is all about. I’m very excited to see where this motorcycle ministry leads.”
Hall, who rides a 2007 Yamaha Royal Star Venture, said the bike has opened many doors to sharing the Gospel for him.
“When I ride, anywhere I pull in people walk to look at the bike and ask questions,” he said. “It’s just like a magnet that draws people, whether they ride or not. Then there’s a cultural stereotype that goes along with riding along wearing your leather chaps. I’ve had people come up to me because they feel like I’m one of them, not a preacher coming in.”
Hall tells a story about when he gave a tract to a waitress at a restaurant while riding his bike.
“She came out later and said that she would not have read it, except that I gave it to her because of the way I was dressed,” he said. “I asked her if she had made a decision and she said no. I went back a week later and asked her again and she said yes, she had accepted Jesus. I was approachable and on her level. Anyone who rides and doesn’t carry tracts is missing out.”
There are more than 300,000 motorcycles and trikes registered in Missouri.
“It’s quite a large people group,” Hall said. “Most are in their 50s and up and rode when they were younger. There are a lot of husbands and wives that ride together, and there’s the ‘two percent gang,’ the guys with the long hair, leather vests and tattoos. But they’ll still welcome you just because you ride a motorcycle.”
For more information, contact Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org or at the Crossroads Association office at (660) 263-7171.
BRIAN KOONCE / staff writer