All it took was a question about the patch on the jacket of a motorcyclist for an Emmet County resident to become the member No. 28,965 of the Christian Motorcyclists Association 21 years ago.
“I was at a motorcycle rally and saw the CMA patch. It was a fairly new organization in 1988 and the membership has grown tremendously since then,” said Terry Reekers of Wallingford. CMA is visible in every state and numerous foreign countries.
Reekers said CMA is not a club. “It is a ministry that has no age limit. As long as the person is a believer; the organization takes your word on that. Members don’t even need to own a motorcycle or a particular brand; it is not required.”
The initial idea surfaced in 1972 when a father, Herb Shreve, and his son bought their first motorcycles. According to information on the CMA website, “It was not until 1974 when the need for a new organization was realized. Herb attended his first motorcycle rally and saw a massive crowd of motorcyclists who did not know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. In fact, many had never heard the Gospel message. Herb became convinced that God wanted a Christian organization dedicated to reaching motorcyclists with the Gospel of Jesus.” It was in 1975, CMA was born.
At the present time, a CMA chapter is being formed in Northwest Iowa. “While we have met as the Iowa Great Lakes Spirit Riders, the chapter has not yet received the formal approval,” Reekers said, noting there are about 15-20 chapters in Iowa. All are welcome. Wives and friends of motorcyclists are always welcomed into the fold.
When attending rallies and get-togethers, Reekers sees all types of makes and models of motorcycles. “There is no membership fee or dues. The group’s moneymakers are the Heart Beat magazine subscription sales, sale of patches and other goodies, and training materials.”
Every chapter meets monthly. “Motorcycle activities occur every weekend and attendance to these events is optional,” he explained. Area CMA members have been present at the ABATE Motorcycle Rally in Algona and the Davis Rally in New Hampton.
A prime example of CMA presence at rallies is the annual Sturgis event. “We offer cups of water to riders passing.” The cups include messages from Scripture. Also handed out is a motorcycle cleaning cloth that goes beyond the mode of transportation. While keeping the bike clean is important, CMA is more concerned with the biker’s soul.
The cleaning cloth is folded around the clean-up instructions that begin with “Life has its messes now and then. Often those messes are small and can be cleaned up easily, but other times, even a good cleaning still leaves a mark or a stain on us. This rag is presented by CMA so you might already know what our message is. Know this, Jesus is still interested in our life.”
CMA offers ministry teams to assist members including first aid, children, women, prison, music and mechanical, among others. In order to receive a CMA logo patch, members must complete at least one ministry team program.
To date in 2009, local members have held summer rallies in Spirit Lake, Jackson and Windom where biker blessings are bestowed on each biker individually. “We do this ourselves,” Reekers explained. “The biker stands next to his/her bike and we pray for safety while he/she rides the bike. We can also pray for anything else the biker may be need at that time like health issues, financial problems, home life, etc. It can be very emotional.”
As the ministry moves from biker to biker, Reekers said, “We want this person upright not only when riding but upright in the community too. We want them to be good examples.”
Youth are never excluded. “Kids on bikes have wanted the Biker Blessing and we will do that too,” he said.
CMA is dedicated to serving God “changing lives one heart at a time.”
Reekers said the annual state rally in Des Moines is a place to gather for a time of refreshing and renewal.
“Every time we meet I come away with a renewed feeling of refreshed hope. It is a great feeling to know others that feel the same way and want to spread the Word of God in an unconventional way on motorcycles.”
For more information on CMA, contact Reekers, 712-867-4487.