A Man After God’s Heart…
By Mark Short
Howard Pennington was the senior pastor of Praise Chapel from 1987 till 2012. “This church exists for those that are not yet apart of it”, he said. Howard was not only our senior pastor; he was also a friend – of sinners and God. Howard first pioneered a church in San Jacinto, California in 1981. The following year he pioneered again in Las Vegas, Nevada. In 1983, he moved to Anchorage, Alaska where he pioneered a third church. He then relocated to Chandler, Arizona where he became associate pastor of a large church.
July 10, 1987 – his birthday – Howard preached his first sermon to about 40 people in the former state theater, downtown Kingman, AZ at Beale & Third Streets. Over the next 25 years he conveyed a vision that became the congregation’s dream. Howard wanted a place where anyone would feel welcome. Today our demographics are as diverse as those of our city. Whites, Hispanics, Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, Children, Young Adults, Middle aged, Seniors, Married, Single, Divorced, Widowed. People wonder how we built such a large, diverse congregation. “We just love them long enough for God to change them,” Howard said.
Howard learned more from life on the streets than in a classroom. One night in 1976 Howard received God’s pardon. He never forgot where he came from or who he’d been. Over the next three decades Howard’s influence stretched from Africa to Australia to Asia. Just before his death Howard ministered in Hong Kong. Since first preaching to one small church there more than a decade earlier, that congregation grew to 34 churches and thousands of souls. Still, Howard wasn’t concerned with how many people attended. “Numbers don’t matter, people count. I don’t want to build big people,” he said.
A Resurrected Bike and a Man of God
In 1999 my friend Paul wanted to build a chopper, so he began collecting the parts he wanted for the build and took it to Mondo at Denver choppers who built the rolling chassis. Paul picked up the roller from Mondo and started the build. He purchased a stock H-D Evo 80 cubic inch engine, a Softail transmission which he did an aluminum bead blast on, combined with a Baker 5 speed gear box, a 1 inch drive Primo Rivera belt drive, Screaming Eagle Mukini 44 carb, performance machine controls and a Woods Cam. (The bike you see our granddaughter sitting on is the finished bike).
I got to ride the bike for about six months and then it was sold to the son of Pastor Howard in Kingman Arizona. In 2012 Pastor Howard was riding the bike when an oncoming car turned in front of him and he was killed. Paul told me the news and I was a mess. Pastor Howard was a powerful influence in my life, he would have communion with all us guys before a road trip and we would race against each other on our Road Kings He would always win. I had go en the salvage bike from his son and it sat in my garage for a year, all the while I had a 1930 model A up at Southern Desert Correctional Facility being restored. The prison industry there is called Silver State Industries, which has an automotive restoration shop. I learned that they also have another shop in Silver State Industries called “Big House Choppers”. I was ecstatic to be able to resurrect the bike and honor Pastor Howard.
The new resurrected build is running the same components from the forks back. I bought a new 200 wide So tail frame, new 41mm 2 over fork, mini apes, 21 inch front wheel and I shortened up the oil bag to fit it all in the new frame. The guys brought it back to life with fresh paint, electrical, right down to the final detail, a Holy Ghost cross on the tank. My 2014 custom HD has been “resurrected”.
Special thank you to Biker Bob the man behind Big House Choppers, who became our friend and brother in Christ, thanks to him our bike has been resurrected and we’re back in the wind.