The trip was worth the destination. Pulling into Shocco Springs in Talladega, Alabama was like stepping in to another era. An entity of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, who generously provides Shocco Springs with funding through the Cooperative Program, but welcomes nonprofit organizations and Christian groups of many denominations. The location was magical. Hidden away between the hills and on the edge of a lake, perfect for the F.A.I.T.H. Riders National Rally. The roaring sound of motorcycles and a couple of quiet ones kept rolling in all day Friday and Saturday morning.
In the cafeteria of the Springs, everyone gathered for breakfast and lunch between the services, meetings and bike games. F.A.I.T.H. Riders, a non-profit Motorcycle Ministry, was birthed in 2002 by Buddy and Michelle Newsome.
“We Can Do This” and with those four simple words, two couples sought after the divine leading of God, said “Yes” to His will, and established a motorcycle ministry called F.A.I.T.H. Riders in February 2002 at First Baptist Church at the Mall in Lakeland, FL. What began as a four-person step of faith has grown into a team of many dedicated believers committed to the cause of Christ and to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ on and with their motorcycles to any who will listen. The ministry has expanded to over two hundred and forty five churches with more chapters getting ready to be born across the United States and the first international chapter in Cuba — chapters comprised of motorcycle riders and others passionate about sharing Christ with the World!
Today, F.A.I.T.H. Riders is managed by a board of directors with Mike Stewart as the CEO. F.A.I.T.H. Riders are made up of people from all areas of life, but they do have a common interest — enjoyment and enthusiasm for motorcycles, all makes and models. No matter what you ride – or even if you don’t – all are welcome. What does F.A.I.T.H. stand for? F is for Forgiveness. We cannot have eternal life and heaven without God’s forgiveness. A is for Available. Forgiveness is available for all, but it is not automatic. I is for Impossible. It is impossible for God to allow sin into heaven. It is also impossible to please God through our own actions. T is for Turn. Turn means to repent from sin and self to Christ only. H is for Heaven. Heaven is eternal life, here and now and in the hereafter – but only through Christ. Forsaking all, I trust Him! That and the photos on the following pages give you an idea of the people we spent the weekend with. Jesus loving, motorcycle riding, brothers and sisters that love the Lord first and are set to make a difference in others’ lives. Clearly stated on the F.A.I.T.H. Riders website: Through the ministry of F.A.I.T.H. Riders, bikers and others are learning about Jesus Christ and receiving His awesome gift of salvation and eternal life in Heaven with Him. F.A.I.T.H. Riders is reaching people with their bikes who may not normally step foot into an organized church or Bible study. It’s putting rubber, as well as shoe leather, onto the Gospel message.
We got to know many of our new brothers and sisters in Christ and spent time in the services, fellowshipping, praying, and sharing stories. The food wasn’t bad either! One of the unusual highlights of the weekend was when we opened the door to our room, or…dorm room. Overlooking the hill and tall trees, the dorm room was peaceful and quiet. Not like some of the rallies I used to go to 20 years ago. No TV in the room, no radio, surrounded by rolling hills, trees and lakes.
That changed the next afternoon when the Bike Games started. Rarely you will see riders with such skill while riding big bikes. Only one dropped and some riders finally let their wives take control while blindfolded on their trikes. As they say, the husband is the head but the wife is the neck that turns the head.
Thank you for inviting us and allowing us to be a part of a great weekend. We are looking forward to seeing you in Daytona!