They cruise the streets of Walker County in perfect formation, all for one and one for all. Some of these men and women ride classic Harley-Davison, while others ride trikes.
But something is (to say the least) unusual about them. They are not your everyday, run of the mill, garden-variety bikers—though their road machines are shiny and their leather sharp.
“Please don’t call us a motorcycle club or gang,” said Bob Hambrick, president of the Huntsville chapter of the Christian Motorcycle Association, known as the Pavement Apostles. “What we have is a multi-layered ministry that shows and shares the love of Jesus Christ through our love of riding and service.” Part of their ministry springs from the fact that so many reject faith in Christ because they feel it takes the joy out of life. “We believe what the Bible says in John 10:10,” continues Hambrick. “Jesus said he came that we might have life, and have it to the fullest.”
Since 2011, the Pavement Apostles have conducted their outreach ministry as part of the National Christian Motorcycle Association. Through the resourcefulness of its members, the Pavement Apostles have been involved in evangelistic efforts in prisons, prayer, fellowship, support, hospitality, and fundraising—all in the name of their risen Savior.
“What moves me with this organization is the way the love and passion for Christ and outreach is combined with the joy of the motorcycle community,” said Tammy Bybee, Pavement Apostles news editor. “We are able to reach a number of people that the church in a conventional way may not reach and lead them to the path of salvation.”
In fact, many of the members have a similar reason for their devotion to the noble cause of Christian outreach through the love of motorcycles. “The reason I became involved is because a few of my friends were already riding motorcycles in one of our other chapters down in Conroe,” began Bill Sprinkle, chaplain of the Huntsville Pavement Apostles. “I bought a used 1982 Goldwing motorcycle and just started riding with them, and soon after I started attending meetings down there. “I’ve learned to really appreciate this organization, because we are all very serious about Jesus Christ and simply are not ashamed of His Gospel and spreading the good news of that gospel.”
Although they consider themselves non-denominational, members seldom if ever miss the opportunity to share the plan of salvation with all they come into contact with.
“On everything we give out, any literature or literary tracts, we always include God’s plan of salvation for all people,” said Pavement Apostle secretary and chapter president’s spouse Brenda Hambrick.
According to the Pavement Apostles, that plan of salvation includes the confession to God of being one who has missed the mark due to sin. Although one may be deserving of God’s judgment, the mercy and love of mankind through Christ’s death on the cross and the firm belief of his resurrection can lead to greater purpose in this life, as well as the blessing of his eternal fellowship in the next.
Perhaps one of the most unique things about the group is a token, their coin given to those who come into contact with these street-riding missionaries. One side bears their logo and motto “Changing the world one heart at a time.” Within the logo are the words “Riding for the Son.” The reverse reads, “Jesus as your Savior is more valuable than any coin.” “We also include our phone number and website,” said Sprinkle. “If someone needs help or our support or even prayer, we will be there for them as an example of the support Christ offers for all our lives.”
Just recently, these same “apostles” found themselves in Houston in support of police and other law enforcement officials with the endorsement of Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. “I think people are surprised to see how many positive things we are involved in, given the negative images portrayed on television and other media,” said Ray Brown, Pavement Apostle vice president. “People watch the lawlessness of the television series Sons of Anarchy or the recent events involving motorcycle gangs in Waco.” However, facts reveal that less than 2 percent of groups that include motorcycle enthusiasts are represented by these negative images.
“We have always been attending church and just got involved for all the right reasons,” said prayer coordinator Kellie Bybee. “We are blessed through this organization to go out and preach to the people. For whatever reasons, people are not involved in the church; this provides a way to reach them, and the bikes serve as something attractive…as a means to break the ice, so to speak, while professing God’s word.”
Although each member loves to ride, their fellowship with each other, forged through faith, produces a bond. Few outside of military circles or team sports can truly recognize its full worth and value. “I knew I’ve always loved to ride,” said road captain Jon Cook. “But I needed to ride with others who held the same views on faith and the values expressed through Christianity. Just to be blessed to participate in this type of ministry is extremely fulfilling and rewarding. We get the chance to minister not only to bikers, but to the general public as well. We do it to serve, and I know this is what we have been called to do.”
Although the Pavement Apostles are a local chapter, their outreach can be felt in over 96 countries around the globe. “We help to provide Bibles to spread the word of God and provide modes of transportation to pastors in needed situations worldwide,” Bob Hambrick said. More than 170,000 souls have been saved through the efforts of these “apostles” around the globe; yet, they never lose sight of issues and answers at the home front.
“You can find us involved at the local high school, as well as providing assistance to the Good Shepherd Mission right here in Huntsville, Texas. In fact, more than 40 percent of all funds raised benefit the local community, with the rest going around the world to those in need. We want everyone to know we are here when you need us. And through Christ, we can change this world—one heart at a time.”