Tom Collins is no stranger to trouble.
“I’ve been in biker stuff ever since I can remember, and not good stuff,” he admits. A rebel in his youth, he found himself in many unthinkable situations — some of which landed him in prison.
During his time in multiple correctional institutions, it was the King James Bible in which Collins found solace.
“It was the only thing that kept me going,” he says. He had a strong faith in God but still found it hard to leave elements of his past behind him.
“They say in the Bible that once you accept Jesus Christ, you become a new person. Well, then you can’t go back to your old ways,” he explains.
Coming to realize this, Collins began his journey to turning his life around. Stepping up to Pastor Phil Waldo during a Sunday morning sermon, Collins pointed to his chest asking for help to put God and Jesus Christ in his heart. And since that moment, he has begun what he calls God’s plan for him — a plan that he never knew.
Five years ago he joined the Christian Motorcyclists Association (CMA) and is a member of the Servants of the Light in Boone, one of CMA’s many Iowa chapters. And just this year he began organizing the Biker Ministry at Open Bible.
“I don’t lead it, really,” he explains. “God does.”
At its first meeting, the ministry joined in worship, prayer, hymns and testimonies. Testimony is a crucial part of the service, Collins says, because people are “tired of hearing” what God has done for others.
“They want to see it,” he says. He just wants to open a safe place for others to come, share their experiences and invite one another to revel in the Lord’s word — no suit or tie required, he says.
“One heart at a time. That’s what we do,” says Collins.
In the future, he hopes the Biker Ministry will expand in size as people of all kinds come to find acceptance. Along with bike rides and road trips, the Ministry will also plan fundraisers for charity.
“All we can do is plant the seed,” said Collins. “It’s up to God to help us grow.”
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