Washington Evening Journal
https://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1758198

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 21, 2018

Bikes and blessings

Motorcycle Ministries to hold celebration this weekend
Jun 21, 2018
Photo by: David Hotle Dale Woodsmall shows the back patch on his vest showing he is a member of the national motorcycle ministry Soldiers for Christ.

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL

 

AINSWORTH — The thundering rumble of engines isn’t the only thing that people will be able to hear at Marr Park this weekend. A message regarding God’s love will also be heard as Soldiers for Christ Motorcycle Ministry will hold its annual rally in Washington County.

This is the second year the ministry will be sharing their message, which revolved around living a life without drug use, in Washington County. President of Chapter O of Soldiers for Christ Dale Woodsmall said the community is invited to the event to share in fellowship and a message for the whole family of Jesus Christ’s love. Wearing a biker vest adorned with patches, one reading “These are my church clothes,” Woodsmall said the members’ everyday walk in life is being there for people when they are needed.

“We’re a motorcycle ministry where we go out to bike rallies and other places like that to show people there is another way of life,” Woodsmall said. “We still enjoy bikes without the drugs and what I call stupidity.”

Woodsmall remembers he rode his First Street bike at the age of 15, quickly identifying with the feeling of freedom and wildness while riding.

“Some people pay lots of money for therapy, but I just use a tank of gas,” he said with a laugh.

After marrying in 1996, Woodsmall, a Sigourney native, said his wife said she would not have the wild life he’d been living until that point, which included drugs, alcohol and plenty of brawls. Around the same time, a friend had showed Woodsmall the way to God.

The patch on Woodsmall’s vest with his nickname “Preacher” is accurate. Woodsmall is also an ordained minister and said he does quite a few weddings for bikers and speaks in churches frequently.

Once a year in June, the ministry has a get-together of all the chapters throughout the United States. People will be coming in from as far as Texas and Kansas. The ministry has rented the Conservation Education Center and the Thomas Marr lodge.

The bikers will arrive Friday evening for worship and a meal. On Saturday, the bikers will go for a motorcycle ride beginning at 9 a.m. that will travel through Washington on Highway 92, up to Brighton and the new Freedom Rock. The group will then come back through Keota to Marr Park. The city police will block the road off for the group of bikers, Woodsmall said.

Following lunch on Saturday will be bike games and fellowship. Before the bikers leave for their respective homes on Sunday, they will have breakfast and a morning service, complete with Communion. Woodsmall said between 175 and 200 bikers will attend the event.

But the event isn’t just for bikers, Woodsmall says it’s a family event, which will include children’s activities complete with a bouncy house.

“It is a family organization,” he said. “Everyone should come. You don’t need to like motorcycles. I’m a firm believer that if you love God or want to find God, come to one of our rallies. If you want to see some men and women who have had a rough time in life and found God and want to know how they found him, come to our rally. We have a lot of fun and there is no drugs. Some of us are old and scary, but we have a lot of fun and we are just there to worship God.”

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