THUNDER BAY, Ont., Canada – It’s 3,600 miles from Columbia, Mo. to Thunder Bay, Ont., and back, and it’s a trip the members of the Missouri Baptist Bikers Fellowship (MBBF) are going to make on the back of their bikes July 29 through Aug. 7.
The trip will take the riders through Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Michigan, around the Great Lakes, and over parts of the TransCanada Highway.
“We’ll be riding an average of about 350 miles a day,” said Rick Hall, director of missions for Crossroads Baptist Association and one of the leaders of the MBBF, “starting and ending in Columbia.”
Bikers will be doing a lot of prayer walking – and of course, prayer riding – as well as meeting with North American Mission Board (NAMB) Missionary Gary Smith, a point man in the Missouri Baptist Convention’s (MBC) partnership with Northern Ontario.
“Gary asked us at the MBC annual meeting last fall if we could meet with some of his folks who are interested in planting a biker church,” said David Mifflin, director of missions of Fellowship Baptist Association and MBBF leader.
The MBBF is a new MBC ministry that allows anyone, even those already a member of one of several Christian biker ministries – Christian Motorcyclists Association, Bond Slaves, F.A.I.T.H. Riders, Tribe of Judah and others – an opportunity to participate. Mifflin is a member of F.A.I.T.H. Riders and Hall is a member of the Christian Motorcyclists Association.
“We realize that Missouri Baptist bikers belong to various ministries that are already doing a tremendous work for the Lord,” Hall said. “Our desire is not to change that but to become an avenue through which Missouri Baptist bikers can come together for fellowship and support.”
Besides bikers, the MBBF trip will need one or two support vehicles and trailers to haul luggage and extra gas or bikes in case of a breakdown (or tired bikers). They’re also looking for someone to volunteer as a road captain, anyone familiar with the roads of Canada and someone trained in first aid.
The weather that time of year in Northern Ontario should be in the 70s and 80s, with a small potential for rain, fog and the occasional moose.
There is an informational, safety and training meeting about the trip and the MBBF in general April 18 at the Baptist Building in Jefferson City. Organizers need a commitment by May 23.
Bikers will have to cover the gas, hotels and meals on their own, and will need a passport, but other than that there is no “registration” fee. For more information, contact Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org or at the Crossroads Association office at (660) 263-7171.
BRIAN KOONCE / staff writer