What would Jesus do? If Jesus were here today, would he ensconce himself within the walls of a church? Would He preach and pray and heal only on Sunday mornings, Sunday nights and Wednesdays? Would he limit transportation to the church van or meals to church suppers? Would he shy away from the roughest looking and toughest acting of the population?
Local members of the worldwide Christian Motorcyclist Association would certainly say no. Their mission field is where few Christians ever go — to biker rallies, to bars and to races.
Rick Faulkner and his wife, Joy, are members of the Spring Creek Baptist Church. They also are members of the Soul Seekers in Rome — this town’s local chapter of the CMA. He is the chapter president and she is the secretary.
It is not a motorcycle club. It is a ministry.
“We’re an evangelical group that tries to carry the gospel of Jesus Christ out to the secular motorcycle community,” Rick said. “It’s why we do what we do — because for a lot of people, we are the closest thing to a church they will ever see. It’s hard to go to some of these places and see some of these things. And a lot of people have that impression: ‘I’ve done too much wrong. I could never be a person that Jesus could love or accept into his family.’”
CMA’s vision, per the organization’s literature, is “changing the world, one heart at a time.”
Members do not push themselves or the Christian message on anyone. Rather, they let others know that CMA members are there if they need them.
There are over 1,200 chapters chartered in the United States. CMA is represented in other countries throughout the world. Georgia alone has 33 chapters.
David and Misty Maloney, who attend church with the Faulkner’s, are members of CMA and serve as area reps, representing four chapters from North Georgia.
David and Misty have loved motorcycles since early childhood.
Through his work in CMA and his long history riding motorcycles, David has had the opportunity to share God’s love to people who would not be so willing to hear that message from someone outside the motorcycle community.
“Because we are bikers, we have a way to be accepted into their world,” he said.
David remembers a phone call about a hardcore biker he knew — and that biker needed David to come to the VA hospital in Atlanta where he was admitted as a patient. The man wanted David to pray with him, and he did. David said he shared the message of God’s love and ministered to him. The man passed away shortly thereafter.
“When something happens in their life and it’s a train wreck and they have no hope, our hope is that they will come back to one of us,” Rick said.
Rick was introduced to motorcycles as a teenager.
“They were introduced to me through my dad,” he said. “He raced motorcycles … once I started riding, I fell in love with it.” And Joy was introduced to bikes when she met her future husband.
“My mom almost had a fit,” she said, laughing. “I think the first time I went out on a ride she almost had a stroke.”
She loves attending events that benefit children and raise money for children’s charities, such as St. Jude’s. Bikers will often have sidecars that children can enjoy during these rides.
“Those are the things that get me,” Joy said. “That’s one of the things we do that I really enjoy.”
CMA chapters have one large fundraiser each year, called Run for the Son. None of the money raised is used to fund the daily operating expenses of the ministry. Instead, the money goes to purchase transportation for pastors in other countries, provide resources to assist at biker rallies as well as providing Bibles and other materials for people in countries across the globe.
And they are welcomed in places like Rome’s Brewhouse to pray with individuals and pray over their motorcycles. They are welcome among hardcore biker gangs as they lend a helping hand at biker rallies all over the country.
“We seek to serve, not to be served, in an effort to earn the right to speak,” CMA says. “Our goal … is to be like Christ. You can find us serving at motorcycle rallies, at race tracks and motorcycle events around the country. We hand out tracts, Bibles, free cold water and hot cups of coffee. We pick up trash, work the gates, pray with racers in the pits, for the hurting in the streets, and for families in parking lots at rallies. We serve, we love, so that some might come to Christ.”