Northwest Chapter of Sabbath Keepers Motorcyle Ministry
In 2016, the Northwest Arkansas Chapter of Sabbath Keepers Motorcycle Ministry became the newest chapter of Sabbath Keepers Motorcycle Ministry (SKMM) within the Southwestern Union. One of the first things they learned was the importance of “reaching out” to members of the motorcycle community and of “reaching in” to members of Adventist churches. Reaching out was begun by attending Motorcycle Rallies throughout Arkansas. At these rallies the members set up booths identifying their Chapter with banners and signs. They offered free shop rags and spiritually-themed coloring books with their logo and contact information stamped on them. They also offered a variety of GLOW tracts and small books. They also took time to listen, speak words of encouragement, and spent time in prayer with those who were seeking spiritual assistance in their time of need (Winn, 2016).
Reaching in was started by presenting the Sabbath services for local Adventist churches. They had presentations at several churches including Lincoln, Rogers, Siloam Springs, Ozark, and Springtown. Members of those churches who enjoy riding and ministering to others became members of SKMM and the churches were encouraged to be more accepting of the motorcycle enthusiasts who choose to attend their church (Winn, 2016) .
SKMM held their First Annual rally at Lake Wedington. This was attended not only by members of their own Chapter, but members from Oklahoma and Kansas Chapters as well (Winn, 2016).
The Second Annual Rally of this group was at the Siloam Springs and Springtown Seventh-day Adventist Churches. The group was joined by both the Oklahoma and Tulsa chapters of SKMM. On the Sabbath afternoon of the Rally, the group rode to Springdale, Arkansas, where they presented a donation of supplies to the Economic Opportunity Agency’s Children’s House, a facility that helps children from the age of six months to five years who have been removed from an abusive environment.
At the end of May, SKMM hosted a literature booth at the Steel Horse Motorcycle Rally in Fort Smith, Arkansas. They followed this later in the month with an outreach to the biker community with an evangelistic rally at the Springtown Church. The keynote speaker was Pastor/Evangelist Myckal Morehouse. Several workshops were presented to allow the attendees to hone their skills in witnessing.
The group started the month of September by hosting a literature booth at the Hot Springs Motorcycle Rally in Hot Springs, Arkansas. During this three-day event, the group distributed many pieces of literature: Steps to Jesus, The Great Hope, GLOW tracts and coloring books for the attending children. On Sabbath morning, members of SKMM attended Sabbath School and church at the Sharon Seventh-day Adventist Church in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Later in the month, they hosted a literature booth at the Bikes, Blues and BBQ Motorcycle Rally held in Fayetteville, Arkansas. This is an annual, four-day event that is attended by more than 400,000 motorcycle enthusiasts.
At the end of 2018, the chapter took part in many charity events, toy runs, etc. It is through these contacts that we can witness to others, share the gospel of Jesus and take the time to have prayer with those requesting prayer and to listen to those that just need to talk. These events are great opportunities to plant seeds about Jesus in the community (Thames, 2018).
The Northwest Arkansas Chapter of the SKMM was invited to share their ministry at the CHOSEN 2019 International Pathfinder Camporee in Oshkosh. More than 4,200 Pathfinders from 48 countries and 28 states stopped by the SKMM booth to pick up their free SKMM pin. Representatives for the Northwest Arkansas Chapter of SKMM, Chuck Bostwick and Rick Long, were assisted by Paul and Mindy of the LaPorte, Indiana chapter of SKMM along with Willy J of the Tulsa, Okla. chapter. Many Pathfinders took part in the motorcycle safety pledge led by Paul, the LaPorte chapter leader. The Pathfinders were excited to sit on the various motorcycles and have their pictures taken as a camporee souvenir. Many also chose to have their photo taken with some of the Sabbath Keepers. They especially liked the bikers with the patch-covered vests. We were able to share with the Pathfinders that we are trying to fulfill the scripture of Mark 16:15, to spread the gospel to everyone, including those in the biker community. By planting seeds of love and kindness and offering literature, prayers and visitation we can help others in a time of need. The Pathfinders learned that anyone can be a part of this ministry, even if you don’t ride or own a motorcycle (Thames, 2019).
Thames, Rick. (2018, May 31). Rallying Together. Retrieved from swurecord.org.
Ibid. (2019, Oct. 13). Motorcycle Ministry Members Inspire Pathfinders at Oshkosh. Retrieved from swurecord.org.
Winn, L. A. “Slap”. (2016, Dec. 1). Southwestern Union Record, p. 18.