Bond Slaves are at Christ's Family Church Sunday
Christ's Family Church, 518 E. Second St., has a strong reputation of reaching out beyond its walls to the community, of building relationships.
One strong one will be very visible again Sunday, July 12, when the church hosts the Christian motorcycle club, the Bond Slaves, at its two morning services - 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. The public is welcome to attend the services.
This is the fourth year the church has held a bikers' Sunday.
"This is the most powerful opportunity for our members to bring a guest; it is a tremendous opportunity," said the Rev. Paris Pasch, church pastor. "It has strengthened our members to use their faith in their lives."
"When I first heard (several years ago) they were coming, I wanted to see if they were for real," said the Rev. Joe Hannah, church associate pastor. "That's what intrigued me. And they are for real."
The Bond Slaves' chapters were formed in Minnesota about 10 years ago, but have been in the country for a longer period. (The name is from the Apostle Paul in the Bible - a commitment to God).
Christ's Family Church's relationship with the Bond Slaves is several-pronged. Pasch is a motorcycle enthusiast. One active church member, Ryan Westphal, is president of the Minneapolis chapter of the Bond Slaves. When he joined Christ's Family Church (he was seeking a smaller community church), he was received well and quickly.
Several years ago, Pasch was invited to one of, if not the, largest motorcycle rallies in the country at Sturgis, S.D. There, he recognized the value of the Christian motorcycle club and saw their ministry in action.
"With the Bond Slaves, you must earn the right to be part of them," Pasch said. "You have to earn it - there are certain criteria in place."
It is definitely a motorcycle club, but at its core is the promotion of Christianity as a way of life, he said. There is the commitment to their faith and reaching out to other motorcycle clubs in need, in crisis situations.
"They are very invested in other clubs," Pasch said. "It is about building relationships and sharing the gospel with the clubs.
"It is a culture that is family oriented," he said. "They have a very strong positive family environment."
Membership is for men only, but women and children are part of the culture.
At the July 12 services, Bob "Monk" Davidson, national Bond Slaves president, will tell his story. Pasch describes his (Davidson's) life as being "broken," but having been put together with the realization of needing the church. Westphal will also be involved in the service.
Usually, about 50 to 60 other Bond Slaves from this area and outside the area ride on their motorcycles to the church. The lot is filled. So is the sanctuary.
The services can be described as "atypical," and that might be part of what has brought, and will bring, people in the community to the church.
For those Bond Slaves who attend, there is the knowing they need to hear the message," Pasch said. "They know we will support them, and encourage them.
"We are supportive of using their faith in their real lives," he said. "For our members, they can be authentic too. They can use their faith in their lives."