(Photo: Brenda Bowman)
A church in Maryland has decided to hold a "Blessing of the Motorcycles" event for the benefit of some of its members as well as for outreach.
Wesley Freedom United Methodist Church of Eldersburg will be performing the blessing event for the first time on Sunday, April 22.
The Rev. Dr. Bill Brown, senior pastor at Wesley Freedom, told The Christian Post that the idea came from the strong biker presence in his community.
"We have several motorcycle enthusiasts in the church, who ride together, and a number people who ride in our community," said Brown. "I was talking with one of our members, who rides, and we thought this would be a great way to kick off the riding season and reach out to our community."
According to Brown, Wesley Freedom does not have an estimate for how many may show up, as they have not reached out to biker organizations and news of the event has mostly been spread "by word of mouth."
Pastor Rick Hill of Springfield Presbyterian Church in nearby Sykesville told CP that he commended Wesley Freedom UMC for its effort to reach out to a group not usually associated with church.
"Wesley Freedom has found a way to reach out to these folks and give an ear to the Gospel. There is good news there for motorcyclists," said Hill.
"Anything that will bring folks into contact with the Gospel and get them to think about, discuss, and put into action to teachings of Jesus is a good thing."
Hill felt that this was another example of how "churches need to think 'outside the box' and find new ways to present the Gospel."
The "Blessing of the Motorcycles" event comes only a couple weeks after a Georgian church opted to hold a worship service for motorcyclists.
Timothy Baptist Church of Athens held a church service for bikers at noon on Sunday, April 1. Talking to the Athens Banner Herald, Senior Pastor Tracy L. Boles of Timothy Baptist explained that it was for the purpose of outreach.
"Many times you'll hear within the church community that the church wants to be the church without walls, and we thought this would be an opportunity to put some legs to that statement," said Boles.
"I want [bikers] to know that [Timothy Baptist] is the church that cares, and what that means is that we not only care about those that come every Sunday, but that we care about the community at large."
Regarding the biker worship service, Brown told CP that although Wesley Freedom had "not considered holding a special service," he felt it was "wonderful" that Timothy Baptist was "reaching out to their community."