Church offers services especially for bikers

Church offers services especially for bikers

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By GENE PATTERSON
6 News Anchor

MORRISTOWN (WATE) - Like any enterprise, churches are constantly expanding their outreach.

Whether it's an early service, or programs geared for children, worshipers have an increasing number of options.

In Morristown, a local church has taken it to a new level.

It's called Biker Church, and it caters to exactly what the name implies.

Those in leather were welcomed Thursday night to the first service of what church officials hope will be a new roadway to heaven.

Pastor Ray Slater, better known as Preacher Ray, delivers the message.

"We help people who can't help themselves," Slater said. "We are a ministry to people who other people tend to look beyond or don't notice at all."

Every Thursday night, First Baptist Church of Morristown will open their doors to Preacher Ray and offer an alternative to service. The thinking is that those who choose this night are here because they find Sundays less welcoming.

"Regular church, these folks don't feel worthy," Chaplain Dick Chappell said. "They don't want to dress up. They don't' feel welcomed. They have a lot of reasons and a lot of excuses. But the Biker Church is wide open."

Preacher Ray has done this before.  A similar program started five years ago in Newport has proven successful. But it took time. Preacher Ray has a criminal past and some weren't sure about him.

"When I came back to Newport, a lot of people didn't believe that I had changed," Slater said, "That I was saved and I was working for the Lord. It's taken five years to get everyone's confidence and trust." 

He certainly has the trust of Senior Pastor Dean Haun of First Baptist Church. Morristown already has a number of ministries, so Haun sees value in the Biker Church.

"We feel the Biker Church will be the connection point of all these other ministries that are have already begun," Pastor Haun said.

Preacher Ray said he sees good things ahead for Morristown's Biker Church.  And if you're interested in attending, owning a motorcycle is not a requirement. Everyone, he said, is welcome.

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