(Photo: Andy Madsen, Williamsport, MD)
As many Christian ministers look to reach out to groups not usually found in church, one Episcopal priest in Maryland has focused on seeking the lost among the biker community.
The Rev. Steve McCarty, vicar at St. Andrew's Church in Clear Springs, has been holding monthly mass for motorcyclists since June 2012.
McCarty, a Harley Davidson rider himself, told The Christian Post that his interest in outreach to this community stems in part from his own connections.
"I am a biker, I ride a Harley. I see my interaction among other bikers as meeting people where they are. Jesus calls us to go out into the world," said McCarty. "As an Episcopal Priest, and one called to Administer the Sacraments, and spread the Gospel, I feel that this Great Commission involves being on the move; we must take the Church on the Road. Actually, Church is what we outside our places of worship, not inside 4 walls. We go inside the 4 walls to worship, we go outside to do Church."
He is the only priest in the Clear Springs area that oversees the Monthly Motorcycle Mass, McCarty told CP.
"We have a variety of people who come to worship. There is a mixture of Bikers & non-bikers. The age range is 5 years old to 80 years old," said McCarty. "For the past year we met at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Boonsboro, MD. We are now meeting at my Church, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Clear Spring, MD. I founded this ministry & have presided over these Monthly Motorcycle Masses from the beginning."
While unique to his locale, there are other churches across the country that have sought to reach out to those who drive Harleys and choppers. Elsewhere in Maryland, Bill Kleckner, an active member of the Bridge of Life Church in Hagerstown started an effort last year to begin a ministry that reached out to bikers.
Kleckner talked about his rough upbringing and how when younger he was heavily involved in drugs and alcohol as a biker in an interview with local media.
"I'm a biker. I love bikers. But I want to touch as many people as possible," said Kleckner to Chris Copley of the Herald-Mail.
"God takes the broken and makes them into something good. And that's what I want him to do through me. I can't fix people, but God can fix them."