Bless this rumbling machine and its rider The bikers surrounded Tom Dickerson.
The khaki wearing churchgoer sat atop his purple American Ironhorse chopper with baby Jacob on his lap and wife, Cindy, leaning on his shoulder. In their black leather vests, the bikers tattooed and do rag clad bowed their heads with Dickerson and prayed. The blessings and bent heads, hands placed on shoulders weighed by thick turquoise rings, were repeated over and over Sunday outside Vinton's Thrasher Memorial United Methodist Church. Led by local members of the worldwide Christian Motorcyclists Association, the church conducted its first blessing of bikes at its early service. In their sleeveless vests some frayed at the edges and biceps painted elbow to shoulder with tattoos, the group contrasted with the church's white wooden pews, arched windows, and delicate gold and glass chandeliers. Yet motorcycle association member Ben Jefcoat, who performs prison ministry, said Christian riders are not that different from oakley sunglasses factory outlet the rough and tough. "Even Hell's Angels," he began with a sly smile, "they fear the Lord." Before the blessing, the bikers led Communion at the church, breaking bread with women cradling babies, men in plaid button downs, elderly women in their Sunday best. Many wore patches on cracked, black leather vests: the Bible and the cross, pewter pins reading "God is my pilot," oakley clearance store bright badges touting "Jesus 1." Following the service, they huddled bike to bike, blessing each rider, praying for the safety of both man and machine. Tim Hughes, a church member, had his Suzuki motorcycle blessed with wife, Barbara, and 7 month old son, Dylan, who watched from his baby carrier. If nothing else, Barbara Hughes said, the blessing will make her feel more secure. "He's very careful, but it's the other people," she said of her worries. "People don't see discount oakley sunglasses for men him." When every bike had been blessed, the group of about two dozen pulled on helmets and gloves, revved engines and were ready to ride. Their 60 mile journey would take them along Virginia 24 and the Blue Ridge Parkway to Buchanan. They rode to Eagle Rock before stopping in Daleville for a cookout. The ride was in memory of an honorary club member, Dave Dunbar, who buy cheap oakleys died Aug. 10 of cancer. The ride's entry fee will be used to help Dunbar's family with funeral expenses. The church's associate pastor, Don Baldwin, sat on a friend's Harley in a line of riders on iron horses that growled, ready to gallop. He left his preacher's robe at home, opting instead for heavy black boots and dark Oakley sunglasses.
His wife, Jackie, sat at his back. As the bikers pulled onto the street single file, they passed an elderly man wearing a cap. He drove his Ford Taurus wagon into the parking lot for Sunday morning church.
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