Motorcycle legend ‘Panhead’ Billy professes F.A.I.T.H. in Christ
ALEXANDRIA, La. (LBM)— “Panhead” Billy Burrows is known as a nomadic adventurer, some might call a highway and byway gypsy, credited with riding more than a million miles since 1976 while living on the road on his famous piecemealed “Hog.” But now friends and admirers can call the nearly 70-year-old motorcycle riding legend a child of God, too, according to some F.A.I.T.H. RIDERS who had providential encounters with him, including one on the day Burrows had a divine encounter with Christ.
F.A.I.T.H. RIDERS is a Southern Baptist motorcycle ministry, with a chapter affiliated with Philadelphia Baptist Church, Deville, and members also at the Horseshoe Drive campus in Alexandria. On April 6, 7 and 8 (Thursday through Saturday), an estimated 2,000 bikers from around the country descended on Renegade
Harley Davidson in Alexandria for a Hog Rally and the local F.A.I.T.H RIDERS were there, offering an
opportunity to win a daily drawing of $100 to anyone who sat down and listened to a three-minute testimony about Christ. “That’s the way we get people to visit our tent,” Jesse Littleton, Jr., told the
Baptist Message. But it was in the dealership restroom Saturday morning that Littleton met “Panhead” Billy. “He was in there washing up,” Littleton said. Outside, just minutes later he learned that Burrows had crashed his bike the night before when a driver ran him off the road on a round-about in town known as the South Circle. “I was admiring his bike which is just bungie-corded together,” Littleton recalled about the iconic bike. The famous ride is a bare-bones combination of a 1960 transmission and panhead engine, a ’93 Springer front end with a disk brake, a 15-inch rear tire (actually a car tire) and a ’48-’53 wishbone frame with dual four-gallon tanks. As Littleton was standing there, Burrows mentioned the Friday night accident. “He said what hurt the most was the driver didn’t even ask if he was O.K.” “We tried to get him to go to the doctor,” Littleton said, but Burrows insisted he was “all right.” Then Littleton felt compelled to check on Burrows’ spiritual health. “I asked him, ‘If you had been killed last night, where you would be spending eternity?’” To Littleton’s surprise, Burrows said, “In Heaven.” “I asked him how he could know that, and he said, ‘Because I accepted Jesus Christ.’”
LIKE FATHER LIKE SON
Later, Jesse Littleton, Jr., found out his father had shared about Christ with Burrows Friday morning in the F.A.I.T.H. Rider tent. “Saturday night I was going through the cards looking at the salvation decisions and ‘Panhead’ Billy’s name was on a card and Daddy was the one who had shared about Christ with him,” the younger Littleton beamed. Jesse Littleton, Sr., who also serves at Philadelphia Baptist Church, Horseshoe
Drive, said he viewed Burrows as just a man who needed Christ. “To look at him he was just an old biker,” Littleton observed. “I asked him where he was from and he said ‘No particular place.’” “He said, ‘All I do is travel. My motorcycle is my home,’” Littleton recalled. “Very nice guy — but nice people don’t go to Heaven.” “I asked him a F.A.I.T.H. question, and he couldn’t give a faith answer,” Littleton continued, “so I shared F.A.I.T.H. with him and he prayed to receive Christ.” Afterward, Burrows offered sincere appreciation for Littleton’s ministry to him, Littleton said. “He thanked me for being there that day [Friday] and for sharing Christ with him, and he told me he didn’t think it was an accident how we met.” “He told me, ‘You never know when you might leave this world,’” Littleton added. Later that night Burrows was in the accident on South Circle.