Weekly ‘Bike Night’ proves effective outreach in Hendersonville, N.C.

By: Major Frank Duracher

A mutually beneficial partnership in Hendersonville, N.C. is reaping rewards for both The Salvation Army and the Sons Of The Savior Motorcycle Ministry (SS/MM). Bikers and would-be riders can be found each Tuesday evening, from 6-8 p.m., in the corps parking lot — enjoying Christian fellowship, great food, toe-tapping music, and most important, a gospel message.

“Bike Night” is a weekly event held from May to September, and is the brainchild of Roy Snelson, SS/MM National President and a faithful soldier of the Hendersonville Corps.

“We want everyone to know that they are welcome (to the weekly Bike Night), just as they are welcome into the Kingdom of God, with no preconditions or qualifications,” Snelson says.

Some thirty motorcycles lined up on this night — some with one rider, still others with two — as hamburger dinners (small donation) came off the grill and SS/MM merchandise offered for sale. Money raised goes toward SS/MM’s ongoing ministries.

Nearby, local vendors open for treats such as snow cones, funnel cakes, and cold drinks.

“What we are trying to do here is to create relationships with all people who may or may not know Christ as their Savior, and probably know little about what The Salvation Army does and what we stand for,” explains Captain Phillip Stokes, Hendersonville Corps Officer, and himself a motorcyclist and member of SS/MM.

The group was founded in 2014 and already has chapters in a couple of divisions in the Southern Territory. The Hendersonville chapter is the flagship, and because of the close partnership with this corps, has produced several families now involved in regular Army activities. Many SS/MM families also volunteer throughout the year at Salvation Army events.