The Baton Rouge Seventh-day Adventist Church members are a diverse group, in both physical makeup and members' interests. They love to fellowship together, bless one another in any way that they can, welcome community guests and to pray together. This past summer, the church members had the opportunity to do all of these things.
Motorcycle Ministry Sabbath took place on Aug. 6, 2022. Earlier last year, when Michael Cerda, pastor of the Baton Rouge Seventh-day Church, first shared with the congregation that the Southwestern Union asked them to host “bikers” from all over the country, there was a unified laugh followed by thoughtful silence. Members weren’t sure how to host bikers. But they could read the excitement and confidence from Cerda and they, too, became excited. He said, “We’ll dress like them and welcome whoever comes through the door.”
And they did!
During the annual National Bikers Roundup, more than 1,000 motorcycle clubs (three of them Seventh-day Adventists) and 30,000 bikers would make the Baton Rouge area home for five days. The Southwestern Union would have a booth under the direction of Helvis Moody, youth and young adult ministries director. Moody once served in Baton Rouge and still has friends in the city, many of them bikers, who were happy to assist with the booth and with the events of the weekend. At the Southwestern Union booth, the group was eager to share Jesus by handing out special editions of the book Steps to Christ — The Ride of Your Life.
During church service on Sabbath, Baton Rouge church member Kevin Jenkins taught the Sabbath School, having ridden to church on his Harley and comfortably attired in the fashion for the day. A Southwestern Union representative explained the concept of Steps to Christ—The Ride of Your Life books and shared a copy with all in attendance. During the 11 o’clock hour service, Moody led an arousing prayer and Henry Jones of the Baton Rouge Berean Seventh-day Adventist Church shared a beautiful special music “Falling in Love With Jesus.” The speaker of the hour was Donald Clark of Oklahoma. He shared a message entitled “His Return,” and led in an anointing, along with Cerda, anyone who felt the heart tug of the Holy Spirit.
After the service, the many motorcycles and bikers in the parking area were blessed in a special ceremony and prayer by Moody; then everyone was invited to stay for a fellowship meal. A young man whose mother was once a member, just happened to be passing by the church on his motorcycle and saw all the other motorcycles parked at the church. He decided to stop and see what was going on.
"We believe the Holy Spirit led him and we pray that he will come back as we all remember the Sabbath day, that was full of Christ-centered fun and inclusion for all of God’s children," shared one church member.
Church members, as they start the new year, take this verse to heart: “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” (Rom. 15:5-7).
— The original version of this article was published on the Southwestern Union Record website.