“We’re NOT A Motorcycle Club, We’re A Ministry!”

 

From Day One, Azusa StreetRiders’ main goal, its objective, its focus has been to reach the lost. Twenty years ago this month (October 1999), we held our first event—a Revival during Fall Bike Week in Myrtle Beach, SC (USA). With food as the attraction (our famous “Bike Week Bar-B-Que”), we set up a tent to allow our Pastor (Rev. Ben Cooke, First UPC Conway, SC) to preach to bikers who—for whatever reasons—did not attend churches (1 Corinthians 1:18). 

Growth during the ensuing years has brought about many challenges, foremost of which has been to keep the focus. Nearly every opportunity Diane and I have had to address a group about ASR, we’ve made the statement, “We’re not a motorcycle club, we’re a ministry!”

During our formative years, we had to pound this thought into countless hearts, many of whom were pastors. Bikers were generally viewed as “rebellious” and we were not different in their eyes. A well-known organizational leader in one state publicly stated that we were nothing more than “Thugs for Jesus” and advised pastors in his district to not allow their church members to join ASR. The “Easy Rider” image of bikers was a strong barrier to overcome in Oneness Apostolic circles. Despite the fact that nearly 700 Trinitarian motorcycle ministries and clubs had been identified, we struggled to gain “acceptance” among those we looked to for spiritual and biblical guidance.

With God’s help, we’ve come a long way! After heading up ASR for its first 16 years, Diane and I stepped down in 2015 with our Azusa StreetRiders National Rally services being held in the church pastored by the ALJC General Superintendent (Rev. Kenneth Carpenter) featuring the ASR guest speaker, Dr. David Bernard (UPCI General Superintendent). Although not formally “endorsed” by either of these organizations, worldwide leaders from these and other Oneness Apostolic organizations have blessed us with messages at our Azusa StreetRiders’ National Rallies and our biker-ministry efforts have become well known. And this “unofficial” support is still evident today as alluded to in last month’s RUMBLINGS Newsletter where Bro. Michael Theodore (ASR National Road Captain) reported that Rev. Bruce Howell (UPCI’s Director of Global Missions) brought several missionaries to the ASR booth at UPCI General Conference just to say, “Thank you for what you do.” To date, we’ve provided funding for about 65 motorcycles to missionaries on foreign fields (anywhere other than the US or Canada) who preach the Oneness Gospel Message.

As with organizations of any size, we’ve had individuals who’ve let their personal agendas try to overtake our original organizational focus, but God has protected us! Sure, we’ve had our ups-and-downs, but what ministry hasn’t? And we’ve certainly made mistakes that we wish we could undo! We’re a collection of imperfect servants who ultimately want the best for the Kingdom! Our tools are simple — bikes, backpatches and tracks — but our testimonies are powerful! (Revelation 12:11)

Looking back over the past five years without our full-time input into Azusa StreetRiders’ organizational and ministry efforts, Diane and I have watched in awe of God’s leading hand at work. Combining this with prayer from the ASR leadership for His input and direction, we are greatly encouraged — all is well! We believe ASR as an organization has turned the corner and has a renewed and stronger-than-ever focus on ministry and outreach with a desire to let God lead us where He may!

We encourage every member of Azusa StreetRiders, whether you are part of a chapter or are a lone voice in the motorcycle-world-wilderness, to be humble and witness. Help your pastor build a bigger, stronger and community-influential church based on Truth where souls can be saved and nurtured. Witness to all that will listen. Use your personal influence wherever possible and most of all be bold for Christ remembering His words to the Disciples in Mark 16:15-18.

With all of this being said, Pastor Doug Joseph (ASR Clarksburg, WV) and I have agreed to revise “The Book of Salvation” to hopefully make it more impactful and helpful in our outreach efforts. In doing so, we plan to include personal testimonies of ASR members and how they came to the Lord. Each testimony will be limited to about 500 words and would include a photograph (preferably on a bike and “before” and “after” photos would be considered for publication). Anyone who is interested — and we encourage all to participate — please send your testimony to me at Fred.Beall@AzusaStreetRiders.com with the subject title “Testimony of ___________” (your name in the blank). We may take some literary license to help convey the testimony’s impact, but we’ll be careful not to discount or modify the power of your words. So, even if you don’t consider yourself a “writer,” please put your testimony on paper and we’ll go to work to help make the “Revised Book of Salvation” more helpful in your outreach, soul-winning efforts.

In His Service,
Fred Beall, Azusa StreetRiders

Bind The Strong Man 2019, Myrtle Beach, SC, March 1 – 2

Everything is in motion for Bind The Strong Man 2019 (BTSM). Many of you have shared the flyers on social media and I encourage you to continue to do so. Please help keep this event at the top of your page. You never know who will see it and decide to attend. Our church seats about 250 and we’d love to have full capacity for a powerful all–night move of God! Remember the dates and location…Friday night, March 1, 2019, from 8:00 PM until Saturday March 2, 2019, at 7:00 AM. Christian Life Center, 124 April Gray Lane, Myrtle Beach, SC 29579. 

I’ve had several inquiries about the event name, “Bind The Strong Man.” It comes from Mark 3:27 where Jesus says, “No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.” Before studying the scripture, I had a common misconception about its meaning. As with all Scripture, it must be read in context of surrounding Scripture to gain understanding…The “strong man” is Satan and the “house” is his domain. The “goods” are what he possesses—in this case, a blind and mute man whom Jesus releases from the power of a demon (Matthew 3:22). Jesus cannot use Satan’s power to cast out the demon because He needs to bind Satan in order to free the man.

This is what we strive for and what we hope to better understand after Bro. Hurt’s teachings at the BTSM 2019! Remember, the public is invited and everyone is encouraged to attend and bring guests. There is no charge! We encourage all ASR Members to attend as this kicks off our annual riding and witnessing season! 

Chaplains, BTSM 2019 will be especially helpful to you! If we expect to see changes in our lives and the lives of those for whom we pray, we need to know more about prayer and how to become a true Prayer Warrior! Fasting sets the foundation for this event! Personally, I will be doing at least a 3–day (possibly longer) water–only fast the weekend before BTSM 2019. Please join me as there is power in numbers and let me know you’re participating so I can pray for you during this time. Towards the middle of February, I’ll be posting more on the two ASR Facebook pages (“ASR Friends” and “ASR Members Only”) to remind you, but please mentally prepare for fasting now…it helps! 

The response for financially help fund BTSM 2109 from the ASR membership has been fantastic! Although BTSM is a “nationally sanctioned” ASR event, it is still fully funded by the local chapter of ASR and/or the local church. For this reason and due to the anticipated expenses, we’re asking any ASR member and/or ASR supporter for donations (fully tax deductible). 100% of the funds will be used for direct expenses for the event to include, airfare, meals and an honorarium for Bro. Hurt, plus snacks for the all–night event and breakfast Saturday morning for all ASR attendees. If funds are received above the expenses incurred, all excess funds will go to our “Motorcycles for Missionaries” program. Please help! Any donation is appreciated! The best way to donate is to mail a check to me that’s made out to CLC of Myrtle Beach. Mark on the check for 2019 BTSM. Fred Beall, 3501 North Kings Highway, Suite 103–B, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577.

PLEASE RESPOND PROMPTLY SO WE CAN GET FUNDING OUT OF THE WAY AND CONCENTRATE ON PLANNING. 

Thank you and God bless…

Fred Beall
Azusa StreetRiders, Myrtle Beach, SC

Additional comment from our National Secretary Bro Tom Thompson

Bind the strong man event:
I would like to personally invite all members and beyond to this event. My wife Renaye and I are eyewitnesses to Bro. George Hurt’s ability to reach God through his prayer techniques. The presence of God was so thick that day it’s hard to put to words. “Amazing” is only one word that comes to mind. He talked to the four of that were in hotel room for little while, then prayed. We were all speaking in tongues and he instructed Renaye to step forward. She did, she walked few steps and he said, “Sister you’re walking!” She looked as if she saw ghost. He told her, “Don’t stop now!” She walked all over that hotel room, kept walking past wall mirror and saying, “I’m walking!” That was first time in 5.5 years that she was even able to put weight on left foot/leg, not to forget first time walking. I urge you all, if you can only attend one event this year, make it “Bind The Strong Man!”
Thank you
Bro. Tom Thompson
ASR Secretary

Who Are The Azusa StreetRiders? Answer to an Email.

This was published almost four years ago but stands the test of time… Please feel free to comment!

Many people have heard the name “Azusa StreetRiders” and know that it’s a motorcycle ministry, some even know we’re an Apostolic motorcycle ministry. But who are the Azusa StreetRiders? Pastor, what do you know about us? Apostolic motorcycle rider, what do you know about us?

In response to an email received on July 22, 2015, I attempted to answer the question received with the subject title “Just Want To Know.” I have modified the email below to only correct punctuation, spelling and grammar and to hide the identity of the individual who sent it. My response is nearly verbatim as to what I sent to him. As of this writing [and as of January 2019], I have not heard back.

Hopefully this email and its response will address some concerns others may have about “Who Are The Azusa StreetRiders?”

Sincerely,

Fred B. Beall, Azusa StreetRiders
The Oneness Apostolic Motorcycle Ministry of Jesus Christ

_________________________________________________________________

Sent from my iPad. I would like to know if your colors are copyrighted?

You see I’m a believer. There’s only one God, one Faith and one Baptism. And I do believe in Acts 2:38. And I have been baptized received the Holy Ghost and I do speak in other tongues.

But our church is having some problems and my pastor, well, I should just say pray for him. I told him I would like to ride with your colors but never heard anything and that was two years ago.

The reason I ask about your colors is that our church started in Southern California in the early 1930s following the Azusa Street Revival. And, well you know the rest. God just moved in a mighty way and now we preach all over the world and God is moving in a mighty way.

We’re in End Times my Brother. Maybe I’ll just design my own patch and put “Apostolic Rider for Jesus” on it if you don’t let me patch over [join Azusa StreetRiders]. See, I go where you guys don’t go; to bars, to 1% parties, etc. I just hang out where I used to. Isn’t that what Jesus said? “Go and preach my word.”

See most of you that are saved, you got in your comfort zone and don’t have that drive anymore. You forgot where God brought some of you from. Sorry but that’s the way it is. If you boys need someone in California, fast, pray and leave it to God. He’s always been there. Regardless, I’m going to my Master.

David
_________________________________________________________________

Hello Bro. David:

Greetings in Jesus’ Name! With interest, I read your message and inquiry above. Thank you for taking time to ask questions and share your thoughts.

Our colors are not copyrighted although several people have suggested that we do so. With the cost of design, set up, and embroidery, it is unlikely that someone would go to the trouble and expense of duplicating our backpatch. Should that happen, we would address it at that time and legal precedent is on our side to protect our colors. But seriously, this is of no concern.

From what you say, and assuming you are a faithful member of your church, you are definitely a candidate for membership in Azusa StreetRiders. All that would be required is the application completion and approval of your pastor. But, as you say, your pastor never responded to your inquiry about joining us. Please don’t be offended, but could it be, that you are not a “faithful” member of the church? Being a “faithful” member of your church is one of our requirements.

Over the years, we have had many, what I call, “rogue” Apostolic bikers try to join us. Some were successful, but most were not because of the insistence on a pastor’s approval to join ASR. By “rogue,” I’m simply referring to someone who has issues with authority and submission, both of which are solid Biblical principles. If someone cannot be “faithful” to a pastor and his church, can they truly be “faithful” to the kingdom of God?

As for your pastor, I pray every day for pastors around the world who preach God’s saving Acts 2:38 message. Hopefully he is in “right standing” with the Lord! I believe that many believing Christians, even many Apostolic pastors, will be surprised on Judgment Day just as they were in Matthew 7:21-23. Not knowing your pastor, I/we will pray for him and other pastors, that God would give them clear direction in these end times!

2 Corinthians 6:17 says, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” This Scripture, along with many other supportive Scriptures, is the basis for our outreach efforts. Also, Romans 14:16, “Let not then your good be evil spoken of.” These scriptures should not, and do not for Azusa StreetRiders, negate Luke 14:23 where Jesus said, “And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

As believing and faithful Apostolics, we must wisely balance our efforts to reach the lost. We believe this is done with the approval of and under the watchful eye of our pastors. If we have truly submitted to him, he should know us well enough to know whether or not we are capable of stepping into the world to “bring them out” or if we would be drawn back into the world. Highways and hedges ministry, true outreach into the anti-Christian cultures of the world, is not for everyone! I would like to think that every member of Azusa StreetRiders is capable of doing so, but, realistically, I know this is not true.

Hanging out in the bars and at the 1%ers’ parties, to us, runs contrary to the two scriptures cited above. Saying that, we try very hard to interact with 1%ers and others who are lost at any opportunity made available to us. We are a ministry, not a club! We try to avoid the club mentality. Yet, we do things that would surprise many Apostolics. For example, in my hometown of Myrtle Beach, SC, we have cosponsored a couple of events with the Hells Angels. This opened the door for me to teach a Bible study to the local chapter president and for several years, we were able to take his two boys to our church for Sunday school. Although not in church, he is a good friend today.

My suggestion—again, it’s up to the individual’s pastor—is to attend every function sponsored by any of the bike clubs or ministries. In doing so, however, I also suggest that we do not “enter” the bars, but rather stand outside and witness! This is especially effective for us during poker runs.

By using this approach, I have been told by 1%ers on several occasions and have had other club members tell me that there is a different, higher level of respect given to Azusa StreetRiders because we are not perceived as a “sitting-on-the-fence-ministry.” Other ASR members have had similar statements made to them for approaching outreach in this manner.

Having said all of this, please do not take my statements as condemnation for what you are doing. For us, this approach has proven not only to be successful, but to be acceptable to our Apostolic non-biking brethren…our “good” is not mistaken for “evil.”

The term “comfort zone” to you seems to mean “going places where church-going Christians do not typically go.” Food for thought… Could it be that your “comfort zone” is in the bars and with the 1%ers and hanging out at church is OUTSIDE of your “comfort zone?” Don’t be misled into thinking that you can only reach those you are trying to reach by being just like them! Read Romans 12:2.

Hopefully this email will give you clarity as to the Azusa StreetRiders approach to outreach. Remember, the last part of Luke 14:23 says, “…and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” Jesus didn’t say “compel them to sit on barstools and have church.” Our goal is to “fill His house.”

If after reading this you have more questions about Azusa StreetRiders, please let me know and I will try to respond or have a conversation with you at any available time. If you desire to join us based on our outreach model cited above, I suggest you fast and pray about it and if God directs you, download our application, fill it out completely, take it to your pastor and have a serious conversation with him about your walk with God. Then have him sign it, and mail it to us. We will welcome you with open arms and put you to work with Azusa StreetRiders for His Kingdom!

May God bless you, my friend! We are all on the same team. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

In His Service,

Fred Beall
Sent from my iPhone

 

 

July 30 through August 2, 2014; 4th Annual ASR International Rally 2014, Maryville, TN

photo (3)Azusa StreetRiders from 12 US states and Canada converged on First Apostolic Church (Pastor Kenneth Carpenter) in Maryville, TN for our only true annual “fellowship” event…All other events worldwide focus on outreach for Christ. We had rides (Google “Tail of the Dragon”) and events scheduled for each day and had 42 bikes on one “Dragon” ride!

We were blessed to have Pastor Cortt & Sis. Amanda Chavis (Truth Chapel, Loganville, GA) as our featured speakers for our three open-to-public night services. Attendance estimates were around 300-400 for each night and we were ministered to! Thank you Bro. & Sis. Chavis! These messages will soon be available for viewing on our ASR website…Listen to them…You will be blessed!

At our Azusa StreetRiders International business meeting Saturday, Bro. Robert Thompson (Maryville, TN Chapter) was re-elected Secretary and Rev. Todd Storey (Northern KY Chapter) was elected Vice-President. Two international appointments were also made…Rev. Julie McGhghy (Cincinnati, OH Chapter) was installed as ASR Ladies Chaplain and Bro. Michael Theodore (Ashtabula, OH Chapter) was installed as ASR Road Captain. Sis. McGhghy is available to assist with any issues specific to women and can be contacted via the ASR website, while Bro. Theodore will be assisting each chapter with their rides. Both have considerable experience for their respective positions and should be contacted as needed.

For their efforts and help with Azusa StreetRiders, Bro. & Sis. Carpenter and Bro. & Sis. Chavis were inducted as “Honorary Members” of Azusa StreetRiders and were each presented with a vest with our ASR backpatch stating such.

This past year our Azusa StreetRiders US and Canadian efforts resulted in funding for the purchase of two motorcycles for Brother Naimy (ALJC missionary to the Philippines) and a gift of $1,000 to ALJC’s World Missions Department.

At the business meeting, it was stressed that the funding goal for each ASR chapter is $1,000 annually for “Motorcycles for Missionaries.” Additionally, to help promote our efforts for Christ, we asked each member of ASR that is active on social media to promote us. On Facebook, our official name is “Azusa Street-Riders” and on Twitter, we are “@Azusa StreetRide”…We were asked to please “Like”, “Share” and “Retweet” info about our upcoming events that are promoted there and ask other to also “like” and “follow” us.

It was announced that the next “Bind the Strongman” all-night prayer event will be held at United Pentecostal Church (Pastor Robert Eades and ASR Member) in Eminence, KY on March 6, 2015. Prayer will start at 9:00 PM. This is Azusa StreetRiders’ annual prayer event that does not involve biking…everybody (public welcome) comes together and prays through the night following World Network of Prayer’s guidelines. Focused prayer is led throughout the night and following the prayer, everyone simply returns home. We’ve had attendees from as many as nine states attend a past event…Needs are met and prayers are answered at these events. Please plan to attend!

22-24 August 2014: 6th Annual Cruzin’ for Christ, Sussex, New Brunswick, Canada

photoEvents for Cruzin’ for Christ were centered at Abundant Life United Pentecostal Church in Sussex, New Brunswick.

Our 2014 goal was to raise enough funds to purchase three more motorcycles for use in Ghana, West Africa (Bro. and Sis.Nick Sisco and Sis. Colleen Carter). Our “Cruzin’ for Christ” organizing committee is comprised mostly of members of the Atlantic Canada Chapter of Azusa StreetRiders. The committee meets regularly on an almost year-round basis.

FRIDAY AFTERNOON:
Biker Registration area is set up in the foyer of ALUPC. Appropriate signage is present and maps and directions are available for out-of-town bikers who have made reservations at one of the area’s motels or Bed & Breakfasts. Accommodation information is available on the “Cruzin’ for Christ” website. (www.cruzinforchrist.ca). As bikers register, the funds that they have gathered are recorded on their Ride Application /Pledge Sheet and Waivers are signed.

FRIDAY EVENING:
This year’s concert had a “House Band” plus nine different “performers” (if that’s the appropriate word to use in this context) in concert. We had a canteen and the first $200.00 of canteen profit is designated as a gift to the “MK” program of the UPCI. This money is used to purchase bicycles for “Missionary Kids” somewhere on the foreign field. For 2014, although a final audit has not occurred as of this date, we anticipate being able to send approx. $240.00 to the MK program. The free-will offering received during the concert totaled about $450.00. About 100 people were in attendance. Visitors get a first-hand view of old fashioned Pentecostal worship, prayer and praise! The result was one young man filled and another re-filled with the Holy Ghost and one was baptized in Jesus’ name! (Both young men were again in church for the Sunday Evening service and both were again at the alter and praising, praying and worshiping.) For the event, we raised enough to buy four motorcycles and two bicycles for MKs. To God be the Glory!

SATURDAY:
Registration for the bikers started at 7:45 am. Breakfast was at 8:30 am and “Kickstands Up” was at 9:30 am. It’s the policy of the “Cruzin’ for Christ” Ride to plan the Biker’s Route in such a way that the ride stops for a “Noon Meal” visit with a smaller congregation that would ordinarily not have a chance to host any events within the Atlantic District. This year we stopped at the Blackville United Pentecostal Church in the village of Blackville, New Brunswick. Bro. and Sis. John Beach have seen attendance double in the 24 months they have pastored there and they are now seeing about 70 saints per service. This is in an area that has been devastated by a lack of employment. They organized a “Biker BBQ” for this noon meal. We learned that the church made new contacts within their community and had new people in their Sunday Service as a result of the BBQ. We were able to supply Bro. Beach with the “Outreach” type tracts that are available for download from the Azusa StreetRiders website. He also used these for the bikers that stopped in to see why so many motorcycles were parked in the church yard!

The Bikers then made their way back to Sussex where we arrived in time for a 5:00 pm Roast Beef Dinner.

SUNDAY MORNING BIKER CHURCH SERVICE:
The service is advertised as a “Biker Service” on the church’s sign on the Main Street of the community. This year’s message was delivered by the Atlantic Canada Chapter’s President. Thanks to inspiration received during Bro Chavis’s messages at ASR’s National Rally in Maryville, TN, Bro. McLeod spoke on the theme of “Loud Pipes Save Lives.”