There’s a Nike quote that goes something like, “There are clubs you can’t belong to, neighborhoods you can’t live in, schools you can’t get into, but the roads are always open.”
This type of mentality is the foundation of Winterset’s Road to Freedom Biker Church where acceptance is a policy and the joy of riding stems from a little more than the revving of engines and the pumping of throttles.
The church offers a supportive family atmosphere, explains Pastor Marvin “Bull” Shultz.
“We accept your habits, hang-ups, as well as your hurts,” he says. Show up wearing blue jeans, shorts, muscle shirts and “leather is totally appropriate” the pastor adds.
Pastor Bull first entertained the idea of a biker church after he had gastric bypass in 2005. After 15 years of bad health, he was able to return to what he enjoyed.
“I was given my freedom back and able to ride with and associated with individuals that truly love the open road,” he says. And thus this vision became a reality at their first service held in May of 2013. It was quite the first year.
“Our church is different from others, as what we do is make our services mobile,” explains Pastor Bull. Members were able to give sermons not only in Iowa but in Sturgis, S.D., and Tahlequah, Okla. Their first baptism was in October of last year at Middle River Park in the ford.
But attendance is not limited solely to motorists.
“We welcome anyone to attend,” says Pastor Bull. Due to various struggles with money, alcohol, insurance issues and run-ins with the law, not everyone has access to a motorcycle.
“No one coming here is perfect, and those that are perfect probably should not come here,” he laughs.
Road to Freedom Biker Church services are held at 2 p.m. on Sundays. During the winter months, they will be located at 115 John Wayne Drive, unless stated otherwise on their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/RoadToFreedomBC). The church’s upcoming plans are to travel to Daytona Beach and various counties around Iowa, making friends and enjoying the ride along the way.
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