Archive for Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Cornerstone goes hog wild with cycle Sunday geared for bikers

June 18, 2008

If you are attending church services on Sunday, more than 200 motorcycle enthusiasts may be the last thing you expect to see filling the pews.

But that's exactly what parishioners saw Sunday, June 1 at the Cornerstone Family Worship in Tonganoxie.

"There are a lot of bikers who are Christians, and they are an excellent group of people," said Rev. Ron Swaim.

For the third year now the church was converted into a miniature motorcycle rally where regulars and newcomers were welcomed to show off their hogs, talk shop and maybe change their lives.

"We try to get people that have never been to church, and we do a wild goofy service where somebody gives a testimony. Usually it's funny, but at the same time it's very real," Swaim said.

This year's testimony came from Al Redding, who Swaim said had "a pretty wild life," before turning to Christianity.

Over the years Swaim said there have been some people who have attended the service and bike show who have found a new sense of hope in the church, stopped abusing drugs or alcohol and turned their lives around.

Besides giving the bikers a message, the bike show is meant to honor U.S. soldiers and veterans as well as local police officers and firefighters. The church also pays special honor to the Christian Motorcyclists Association, which Swaim said spends a lot of time raising funds for charities and helping with the transportation of missionaries.

Besides the hundreds of hot dogs and hamburgers, there was also a cash giveaway for the best motorcycles. Wes Patterson of McLouth won first place and $100. Steve Pearson, Tonganoxie, got second place and $50, and Terry Brown, Tonganoxie, won $25 for third place.

After the show, the bikers got on their motorcycles for a 100-mile bike run.

Swaim said he has even bigger plans for next year and even hopes to up the prize money to $500 or even $1000 for first place.

"We are really going to try to pull in people that we have not already reached," he said. "Hopefully we'll have the room."

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