Riders feel at
home in Orlando sanctuary
By Eric Tiansay
Visit Faith Assembly
of God in Orlando, Fla., any given Sunday and you could mistake
the church for a biker’s rally. Upon entering the parking
lot, you’ll probably see about a dozen Harleys and Hondas
parked in motorcycle-only spaces.
Inside the church,
don’t be surprised to see several dozen bikers dressed
in blue jeans, boots, T-shirts and leather vests worshiping
together in a balcony section of the sanctuary.
These are just
some of the ways Faith A/G makes welcome about 40 bikers and
motorcycle enthusiasts. The 3,500-strong congregation integrated
“a bikers’ church” a year ago.
For seven years
prior to that, Scott Bush and his wife, Sally, pastored the
bikers’ church from their home. The small, informal
congregation is the result of Bush’s evangelistic efforts
at regional bikers’ bars and biker events.
Bush, 43, says
he had been praying about integrating the church within a
more traditional congregation. “At the same time, I
had friends who heard Pastor Carl Stephens share in one of
the services that he would like to have a motorcycle ministry
at Faith,” Bush says. “It was a perfect situation.”
senior pastor for 17 years, agrees.
tremendous excitement on their part regarding the blending
of their ministry,” Stephens, 49, says. “Our church
absolutely embraced them.”
Bush is now a part-time
associate pastor at Faith and in charge of the motorcycle
ministry, dubbed Wheels of Faith. “God is blessing the
union because they were so open to welcoming the bikers no
matter what they looked like,” Bush says. “The
bikers are not looked down upon.”
Herrera, a 41-year-old biker who had a 10-year cocaine addiction
that cost him a $400,000 construction business, $250,000 home,
$25,000 Harley and his marriage, has known Bush for years.
addiction became so overwhelming last year that he contemplated
suicide. But at the urging of his daughter, who attends Faith
Assembly, he decided to hear Teen Challenge founder David
Wilkerson in February at the church. Herrera went forward
during the altar call.
“I came out
of there with such peace and tranquility,” explains
Herrera, who says God has delivered him from drugs. “I’ve
been going every time there’s a service. I can’t
get enough of it.”
Herrera says he’s
grateful for Bush’s bikers’ ministry. “The
people they’re reaching out to are the farthest from
the Lord,” he explains. “I was one of them. I
wouldn’t be where I’m at today if it wasn’t
for Scott and the bikers’ ministry.”