A church-based, patch-wearing, motorcycle ministry:
‘By the grace of God - set free to ride.’
Usually a person already has a bike before they join a motorcycle group. This time, it was the other way around. Lee Helton of Tipp City talks about why he wanted to buy a bike.
“I grew up in Dayton; I only went to church a handful of times with my grandmother,” said Helton. “I got into trouble with the law and was doing things I shouldn’t have done. Most of the people I grew up with are either in prison, or they’re dead.”
Then he met his future wife, Shannon. Her parents had sold everything they owned and moved to Romania to take care of handicapped orphans.
“When her dad first suggested I start going to church and be the man of the family, I told him, “You can’t pay me to go to church,’” remembers Helton.
But the nudge to check in out weighed on his mind. Soon afterward, his family, including his stepdaughter, Rachel, went to a Christmas service at Ginghamsburg Church. About six years ago, they started attending every week. A year after that, Helton bought a Harley Sportster Screaming Eagle so he could join another group.
“I noticed that they had a motorcycle club, and three of the pastors were in it. I wanted to join for selfish reasons. I wanted to get a neat patch for my jacket, be part of a group and look cool,” said Helton. “But through the church and Broken Chains, my life has turned around 180 degrees.”
The outreach ministry was formed in 2003 for three reasons: safety, organization, and outreach. Its motto is “By the Grace of God - Set Free to Ride.”
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