Riding for the Son - A Christian Motorcycle Club
Photographer: Kim Ludbrook
Sitting astride their metal steeds they smash down the highway looking de-humanized as they ram their motorcycles between traffic on the way to a church service in the nearby township. Heads turn, people look up from their phones as the CMA (Christian Motorcycle Club) ride to a small non-biker township church for the multi-racial, inter-denominational Sunday church service to help spread the word of God.
Motorcycle gangs and clubs are easily associated by the general public with the hardcore, often outlawed motorcycle clubs like the Hells Angles MC, Bandidos MC and Warlocks MC and the image they portrait and live by is one of an uncompromising MC (Motorcycle Club) that is all too often associated with illegal activities and the trappings of the biker lifestyle including strippers, hard-drinking etc.
In contrast to the hardcore biker lifestyle is the Christian Motorcycle Association (CMA) which has its roots in the United States, having started in 1975 by Herb Shreve, an Arkansas pastor. Now in 30 countries worldwide, the CMA aims to bring the word of God to the biker communities they ride with.
CMA South Africa started in 1980 and has over 1000 members in chapters in most cities and towns in the country. It is a multi-denominational, multi-racial ministry and uses 'friendship evangelism' within the biker community to try to reach out to bikers who may need help and who may ultimately give their lives over to God and ultimately possibly become a CMA member.
Part of their ministry also includes praying for safe riding, for new motorcycles in the club, helping motorcycle delivery riders and riders in hospital, as well as travelling to motorcycle rallies to offer support at their coffee tents etc. By taking the Bible to the road and to other motorcyclists the CMA aims to bring the word of God to an often to an often misunderstood and feared culture that has in its ranks many riders who do need the support of the club and its offerings.