(Crystal A. Proxmire, May 13, 2017)
Holly, MI – “I didn’t know how to cry. If I wanted to cry it was because I was hurting or I was hurting someone else, not because of love.” Pastor Tony Brown of The River Church in Waterford shared his experience of developing faith with over 500 motorcycle enthusiasts at the 13th annual Blessing of the Bikes event in Downtown Holly on May 7. “Finding Jesus helped me learn how to love… I learned that it is okay to have feelings and to love others, and to be here today connected with all of you today. When I cry now it is tears of love.”
The River Chruches in Waterford and Holly, as well as The Rock Chruch in Fenton have large HIM (Hogs in Ministry) groups that took part in the Sunday morning rally. Hundreds of bikes lined the Downtown street while the riders – many in leather jackets with patches – gathered in front of the Township Hall to say prayers and testify about being “saved” by Jesus.
Clete Combs of River Church helped organize the event. “It’s a very religious experience, but we are non-denominational when it comes to bikes,” Combs said referring to the variety of motorcycles on display. “It’s not just Harleys.”
He said the event is about “bringing the gospel to the public. We go where churches don’t want to go, places where there are men who have been in jail or maybe have other struggles in their lives. We know what that life’s about. Many of these guys are hurting inside.
“We try to help people hear the gospel, and if their hearts are inspired we get them connected to the ministry. But we don’t push anything on anybody. With a biker, if you push anything on them, they’re done.”
John Carrette of Holly brought a special guest to the blessing, a miniature boxer named Hazelnut. The fully grown dog, who still looks like a puppy, rides with its little head peeking out of a leather bag on the back of Carrette’s seat. Carrette said he’s just getting back into church life after going through a divorce. He’s confident that faith will help him get back on track. “They do wonderful work and I’m looking forward to getting involved again.”
River Church https://theriverchurch.cc/locations/
Rock Church http://www.hisrock.net/
Downtown Holly http://www.mainstreetholly.com/
Oakland County Times Event Page https://oaklandcounty115.com/events/