“If Satan rode into town he’d be on a Harley. But so would Jesus.” – billboard ad for Harley-Davidson
Pastor Marty Edwards’ Heritage Softail had a flat tire, so he called his local Harley-Davidson dealership to come and pick it up for repair.
The dealership sent young Michael Butters with a truck to pick up the bike. As the two men rode back to the dealership, Marty felt led to speak to Michael about Jesus. However, he shied away and didn’t bring it up.
One week later, Michael was killed on his way in to work when his motorcycle was hit by a truck.
News of Michael’s untimely death shook Marty, and caused him to consider the importance of that missed conversation. He went to the dealership and asked if there was anything he could do.
Owner Rich Quaid opened up the dealership to Marty, who spoke and prayed with the employees. Those conversations marked the birth of a ministry.
Pastor Marty (aka ‘Slow Dog’) and some of his friends from church (The Lamb’s Fellowship) started riding together. Since they were often teased about being the “black sheep” of The Lamb’s Fellowship, the name stuck.
While there are many Christian motorcyle ministries out there, Black Sheep is unique in that it is focused on H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group) members. After all, Harley riders are a unique breed who tend to keep to themselves. Who better to speak into their lives than fellow riders?
In the words of Slow Dog himself, “After 30 years of ministry in the local church, Christ has called me to rally the tens of thousands of Harley riders whose lives have been committed to Christ, to organize and strategically reach out to other riders with the Good News and compassion of Jesus Christ.”
From its humble beginnings in Southern California in 1999, Black Sheep: Harley-Davidsons for Christ has grown to include chapters in 27 states and five countries.
Black Sheep HDFC’s mission – “To introduce Jesus Christ to the world of motorcycle riders, for the purpose of making more and better disciples through the ministry of the local church.” – is (you guessed it!) excellent.
And to think that it all started with a flat tire…
I don’t own a Harley. Yet. But when I do, I want to be a Black Sheep.
If you could choose any Harley, which would you ride? (my pick is the Night Rod Special!)
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