The pastor of Zoe Christian Fellowship welcomed bikers to worship Sunday with members of the Christian Motorcyclist Assn.
Rod Dunavin was unpacking his gear from his Harley Davidson motorcycle at a bikers' rally when a Christian biker group pulled into the campgrounds.
"I said, 'I came down here to party. I sure hope they don't park right beside us,'" Dunavin said during testimony Sunday at Zoe Christian Fellowship, 1846 Vt.
Despite his wishes, the group of Christian Motorcyclist Assn. members parked right next to Dunavin and his friends' camp area.
"I had planned to go out that night and get drunk and wild," Dunavin, dressed in his black leather jacket with a Christian logo sewn on the back, said from the pulpit.
"But instead I stayed and talked most of the night with them. I really don't know where I'd be right now if I hadn't meet those people."
That was almost two years ago.
Today, Dunavin and his wife, Sherry Dunavin, Perry, have left behind the wild life of hard-core Harley Davidson bikers to become evangelists for the Christian Motorcyclist Assn., or CMA.
The Rev. Daniel Nicholson, pastor of Zoe Christian Fellowship, invited bikers to church Sunday. During the service, several motorcyclists talked about how they became Christians and abandoned their sinful lives -- but not their motorcycles.
The congregation filed out of the church and into the parking lot after the service so Nicholson could ask God to bless each motorcycle and its rider.
Ralph and Suzie Bullock, Topeka, have been in the CMA for seven years. The couple also spoke during the service on how the CMA changed their lives and provided support after their son was killed in a motorcycle accident.
"The CMA is not a church," Ralph Bullock said. "But we go into the secular rallies that many of the churches don't want to get near."
"If this guy has got dirty old leathers on, with long scraggly hair, how many of you want to go up and witness to him?" he asked the church members.
CMA, a 20-year-old nonprofit organization with about 50,000 members nationally, tries to send Christians to almost all of the motorcycle rallies to spread the word of God. The group offers cold water to bikers, served in paper cups with Bible verses printed on the side. It also offers counseling and prayer.
"Sometime after they've finished their water and when they think nobody is looking, they will turn their cups and read the words," Ralph Bullock said. "That's what we're there for."
Nicholson recently began to ride with local Christian bikers on his new Harley Davidson.
"It was my answer to prayer," said the pastor, who was wearing a black leather vest with a large CMA logo on the back, jeans and riding boots. "I know in my heart what God wants me to do."
This was the first Biker Sunday at Zoe, but Nicholson wants to continue to be involved in the motorcycle ministry and offer Biker Sunday often at his church.
"We have to reach out to every segment of the community -- gay and lesbians in the area, the poor people and others. Our church is open to anybody."