A Maryland man who was involved as a youth in a Texas biker gang hopes to soon begin a ministry that would focus on evangelizing bikers.
Bill Kleckner, an active member of the Bridge of Life Church in Hagerstown, announced that he hopes to start up the ministry in January. In an interview with local media, Kleckner talked about his rough upbringing and how when younger the 54-year-old was heavily involved in drugs and alcohol while a biker.
"I'm a biker. I love bikers. But I want to touch as many people as possible," said Kleckner to 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."
Kleckner explained to Chris Copley of the Herald-Mail that while an ordained minister Kleckner's evangelism efforts will likely not involve preaching on a group scale.
"My true heart is to start a biker church … I don't have to preach. I could care less if I never stand in a pulpit. I like the one on one," said Kleckner.
Once in operation, Kleckner's ministry would not be the only one out there reaching to the biker community. Other efforts and ministries of a similar theme exist.
In April, Timothy Baptist Church of Athens, Ga., held a biker church service in hopes of going beyond the stereotypes of motorcyclists and providing for their spiritual needs.
"I think many times bikers have a rough image, and once you get to know them, the image you perceived may not be the person you meet. We wanted [them] to know that Timothy is a place where they can come and feel welcome and grow in the Lord like everybody else," said Tracy L. Boles, pastor at Timothy Baptist, in an interview with local media.
"Timothy has been around for a long time, and I want the legacy of the church to continue, and the only way you can do that is to reach out to the community and let them know we're here."
Wesley Freedom United Methodist Church of Eldersburg, Md., had a "Blessing of the Motorcycles" in April. In an earlier interview with The Christian Post, the Rev. Dr. Bill Brown of Wesley explained that the idea came from the strong biker presence in the community.
"We have several motorcycle enthusiasts in the church, who ride together, and a number of 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."
Due to travel plans, Bill Kleckner could not return comment to The Christian Post by press time.