WILLIAMSTOWN, W.Va. (WTAP) - A group of evangelical motorcyclists is staying in Ripley this week while its members take part in a Days of Praise Rally.
Known as the Road Riders for Jesus, the group is an international non-denominational Christian motorcycle ministry with chapters in all 50 states. Its members have ridden internationally with chapters in Belgium, Australia, and elsewhere.
National evangelist Alan Brock said a goal of the ministry is to show people that not all bikers are bad people.
“Bikers have a bad reputation a lot of times," he said. "And we’re out there as Road Riders for Jesus to create an, I guess, an idea for people that motorcyclists aren’t bad people."
Brock said the Road Riders for Jesus patch is considered a “safe patch,” meaning they are a nonviolent group.
“Our biggest thing is to go out and to minister," he said. "Matthew 28:19 says to go out into all nations making disciples and that’s what we do. And we try to reach people that wouldn’t enter a church door.”
Road Riders for Jesus has been around for 20 years, and the group has grown significantly during that time.
Terry Thompson, the group's state coordinator in West Virginia, said there are now well over 100 hundred chapters worldwide, including a new one opening this week in Morgantown.
“We are growing and we feel like we’re prospering on account of what we do," Thompson said. "Not because we are anything different, but because we’re just trying to share the word of Jesus Christ.”
The Road Riders are having a bike show and concert on the courthouse lawn in Ripley Wednesday night. The event will be open to the community. Children will be able to win bicycles by competing in games put on by the Riders.
“The Bible says that we should have life and life abundantly and serving Jesus is the only way you’ll have life abundantly and I just want to go out and stir a fire inside of Christians where they might have started to let the world weigh on them and get their joy back. That’s all I do,” Brock said.