Bikers from all over face negative stereotypes. These stereotypes are reinforced by movies and mainstream media, which portray biker clubs as a detriment to society with immoral, if not criminal, elements. Yet most biker clubs are nothing like this, and some are even based on moral and religious ideas, such as the Bikers for Christ club.
Bikers for Christ, which was organized in 1990, is a club focusing on Christian values. It began in Oceanside, California. Pastor Fred Zariczny founded it under his church, Rushing Wind Ministries, though it is an interdenominational ministry, welcoming members from any church.
Bikers for Christ is open to all, and it draws members from all over. It has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception with chapters in practically every state. Its purpose is to spread the ministry of Jesus Christ and minister to people from all walks of life. Its members often hold events to fundraise for causes important to its members, such as underprivileged children.
Bikers for Christ flips many of the negative stereotypes the media associates with bikers. They provide help to the needy. They often get involved helping people when no one else will, such as the prison ministry some members are involved in. If you’re curious how to find these bikers, many of them show their affiliation with this group through large biker back patches highlighting the group’s emblem, a sword over an open bible surrounded by wings of fire. This emblem symbolizes the sword of the spirit, the word of God, the Holy Spirit, and God’s fire.
As you know, bikers are not the louts that mainstream media makes them out to be. However, groups like Bikers for Christ are helping to change that perception by assisting those in need in communities across the US and around the world.
There are two different version of how the famous motorcycle group the Hell’s Angels came to be formed. It is believed by many the group was formed in 1948, and it was a collection of malcontents and misfits from a number of different motorcycle clubs in the Fontana, California area. The name had previously been used by flying squadrons in World War I & World War II. During this time, the squads were usually given fierce names and insignia to intimidate those who they were fighting against.
However, there is a lot of confusion over when the name began being used by biker groups. One reason for this is that there were a number of different groups who went under the name of the Hell’s Angels that appeared to have been founded shortly after the end of the war. In 1955 in San Francisco, the group was apparently consolidated into the massively large organization it has become today. There were thirteen charter clubs who merged into the Hell’s Angels. It was also during this time that the flying skull logo became associated with the group. However, in the sixty years that the group has been around, this logo has changed into different forms of expression. There are a number of various stickers and motorcycle patches with the Hell’s Angels logo on them, but do not use them for anything other than collecting unless you’re a member.
Over the years, the Hell’s Angels have become known in the public eye as a group of malcontents and rebels. This is reflected in their motto: “When we do right, nobody remembers. When we do wrong, nobody forgets.” However, despite what some people may believe about them, most simply want to enjoy riding.
When men join motorcycle clubs there are many factors considered. Different clubs have different philosophies and prerogatives and offer a specific purpose. Each chapter and or club members have their own personalities making each club unique.
The purpose of brotherhood is the reason many motorcycle clubs form. Active military is the foundation for some clubs creating unity for sailors and soldiers. There are many clubs that exist for charitable support of veteran causes.
Reputation is the reason most guys join motorcycle clubs. Whether it be good or bad if a club has a well established reputation it will wear off on them when wearing the club’s colors. These guys want to be the “real deal” in the eyes of others seeking the legitimacy of the club.
Motorcycle clubs often offer a sense of family for guys that are just “lost”. Giving them a place in the structure, telling them they are family and they will have your back , “no matter what”.
There are also “riding clubs”. Everything they do is centered around riding motorcycles. They usually have a goal or prerogative that is greater than just riding their bikes.
Some motorcycle clubs are actually riding clubs and this can be confusing. The Confederation of clubs in many states make it difficult for new clubs to exist. That is why when looking closely at many riding clubs they are actually trying to be a motorcycle club.
Did you know that there are actually different types of motorcycle clubs? While you can have a general club that just gets together to ride, these casual groups aren’t the only type of club out there. Here are a few different types of motorcycle clubs. If you see one that really interests you, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find one in your area since motorcycle riding is becoming more and more popular.
General clubs, or mainstream motorcycle clubs, are those groups that just get together to ride. They might host an event every now and then, but for the most part, all they are interested in is going on rides together. Sometimes club members will decide to take a vacation together, while other times the club as a whole might ride somewhere. Generally, these clubs have elected officers and pay small annual dues to keep the club running and pay for things like snacks at meetings.
Larger clubs might decide to host events. Some of them put on rallies, host poker runs, or do other events. Most of these clubs donate a good portion of the money raised to a local charity. These larger general clubs, just like the smaller ones, are usually very open to new members and have no restrictions on memberships. The dues may be a bit higher, but usually larger clubs have monthly newsletters and host more events.
Then there are brand clubs. These groups all own the same type of motorcycle. They might be loyal to Honda, for example, or to Harley-Davidson, and most members wear a biker patch with the brand’s logo on it. There are also clubs for those who own vintage motorcycles. Membership is limited to those who ride this particular brand.
You’ll also find women riders clubs that are open to women only and lesbian/gay biker groups, such as the Dykes on Bikes. Others are focused around a particular church or religion or reserve membership for retired military members.
A week ago residents of Marquette, Michigan heard the thunderous roar of nearly 40 motorcycles as they passed through their town along the western shore of Lake Superior. The sound they heard was that of the Patriot Guard Riders on their annual Michigan tour. And even though Marquette was one of many towns the group would be riding through they took the time to stop at the Jacobetti Home for Veterans with a special gift: a $5,000 donation to help defray the home’s expenses.
This is not the first time the Patriot Guard Riders have donated to Jacobetti. The two have a long-standing relationship which has resulted in thousands of dollars in donations in the past. Previously the money has gone mainly to veterans to help them pay for the cost of every day necessities not included as part of their care. This year’s donation was different in that it went directly to the home to pay for its activities.
These are the types of things we’ve come to expect from the Patriot Guard Riders, a close knit group of motorcycle enthusiasts whose passion is to support the U.S. military in any way they can. The custom club patch they wear on their vests is a testament to their mission; in its gold, blue, and white color scheme that evokes images of military honor. It is a simple patch not meant to pay homage to the bikers, but instead to show respect to the mission of serving those who have served our nation.
Wherever the Patriot Guard Riders go, good things happen. Last weekend it just happened to be Marquette, Michigan.
When we think of the Bikers for Christ motorcycle club we typically think of bikers conducting evangelical gatherings or ministering to bikers at rallies. While that’s certainly true, the Bikers for Christ do so much more. Earlier this month they joined with The Wellhouse and other Christian ministries in Birmingham, Alabama to raise awareness of child trafficking and prostitution in the area. Bikers for Christ members joined about 40 other people in the first annual Freedom Walk in Birmingham’s Railroad Park.
According to news reports from the event, Bikers for Christ works with The Wellhouse on frequent occasions to help bring an end to the sexual exploitation of women and children. The Wellhouse claims to have helped more than 50 women escape lives of prostitution so far this year. They do so through a combination of support, counseling, and life skills training.
The official club patch of the Bikers for Christ shows an open Bible with a sword, giving testament to their primary purpose of spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ among motorcycle riders. But their efforts in helping groups like The Wellhouse is also part of their mission. For these bikers, the gospel is more about showing it through action rather than only speaking it with the mouth. Their embroidered patch shows that in the wings, which designate the Holy Spirit actively changing a life.
In addition to joining the Freedom Walk in Birmingham, Bikers for Christ have also joined other important causes centered on encouraging education, promoting family values, and even providing financial assistance to the families of injured or deceased bikers regardless of religious belief or club affiliation. Their care and concern for their fellow human beings is unmatched by any other similar group.