Bikers gathered from across the Carolinas Saturday afternoon during the annual Carolina Faith Riders Blessing of the Bikes & Bike Show at the Rutherford County Moose Lodge in Forest City.
Carolina Faith Riders is an evangelical motorcyclist ministry designed to give local churches a way to engage members to share their faith with those in their motorcycle community who are lost, unchurched and searching for a place of significance.
"There are about 15 bikes with the program, and we have other bikers who come to this annual event and support the program while being around fellow bikers," said Mike Gettys, president of the Carolina Faith Riders Campfield Memorial Baptist Church chapter in Ellenboro. "Bikers travel from as far away as Asheville and Spartanburg to offer their support."
The blessing of the bikes is not only a prayer offer for bikers to have a safe riding season, but also a view into the condition of a person's soul, according to Gettys.
The ministry's main goal is to provide a unique opportunity to allow more of their congregation to become involved in the motorcycle community and provide outreach.
The event also offered music by 3:16 Band and a bike show that had seven categories of motorcycles including baggers, bobbers, custom bikes, metric cruisers, original/stock bikes, sport bikes and trikes.
According to Jeune Coffey, an event organizer involved in registering bikes for the bike show, motorcycles in the show are owned by both faith riders and supporters of the program.
Members of the Carolina Faith Riders and the general public voted on best in show in the categories.
First place winners in each category received a plaque and a grand prize trophy was presented for best in show across all categories.
"The best part of this event is having the opportunity to reach unchurched people," said Coffey. "That's our whole message — to have a chance to talk to these people about God."