Christian Heritage Church hosted its 10th annual Biker Sunday on September 27. With an expected crowd of 5,000, this was set to be the biggest event yet!
The church also hosted the M25 National Summit during the same weekend. This gave summit attendees the opportunity to participate in more than a “classroom experience.” First, the group headed to the airport at 7:30 Saturday morning to greet a soldier returning from Iraq. The sight of more than 50 flags and banners welcoming the unsuspecting soldier was heartwarming. If the group had not shown up, this young man would have been greeted by just three family members. Instead, he received a true hero’s welcom, complete with a motorcycle escort.
Later that day, Summit attendees drove 75 miles to attend the military funeral of a fallen soldier. No one in the group knew the soldier, but they wanted to honor this young man’s sacrifice. Upon arriving at the funeral, M25 joined with the Patriot Guard Riders to line the street with nearly 100 flags as the soldier’s family and casket drove by. As the family drove by, they waved and mouthed “Thank you” to the riders who came to honor a young man they had never known. At the end of the procession small elderly “cowboy” walked up to one of the M25 riders and said, “Do you mind if I just stand here beside you?” The rider smiled and said, “Not at all.”
On Sunday, the church was filled with patches from several motorcycle ministries and clubs. Pastor Ox, an former outlaw biker from Tennessee, shared that the most important thing we can do for the lost and hurting is to love them. “Too often we overlook opportunities,” Ox said.
After the morning service, the church headed to Scooterz Bar, where hundreds of bikers were already lining up for the annual bike parade. This year’s parade included a military escort and flyover.
The bike parade is part of a Toys for Tots drive. There is nothing more heartwarming than watching a leather-clad biker drive down the street with a giant stuffed animal strapped to the back of the bike. These seemingly “tough” men and women proudly drive the eight mile parade route laden with toys and stuffed animals for needy children. As families lined the street to watch the parade, the riders waved and threw candy. Back at the church, the group collected enough toys to fill two seven-ton military trucks.
After several hours of bike games (which are hosted by local motorcycle clubs), attendees gathered round for the final event, the bike drawing. Each year, the church gives away a custom-built bike. And each year, they pray that God will give that bike to the right person. This year’s winner was a couple whose bike broke down during the parade. After winning the motorcycle, they told the church they want to come to Bible Study.
On the surface, Biker Sunday seems like a time of fun and games. But it’s actually a time to minister to those who might never set foot inside a church. It’s a time to show the community that the church loves them and accepts them no matter what.
Hosting a Biker Sunday may not be for every church, but everyone can do something to reach out to their community. What can your church do?
For photos of Biker Sunday, go here.