Jerry and Jeune Coffey’s love for motorcycles is only eclipsed by their love for ministry.
As members of the Carolina Faith Riders, the husband and wife from Forest City have married their passions so they can share the gospel wherever their bikes carry them.
“It’s taken us places where we never thought we would be able to share God. We’ve spoken to the Hells Angels and the Outlaws,” Jeune says referring to the two infamous biker clubs.
Their ministry has brought the Coffeys in contact with some of the roughest personalities. It has also brought them alongside boys and girls who have lived through the roughest of times.
The Coffeys participated in last year’s inaugural “Ride for Clyde,” a charitable ride benefiting Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH). BCH serves many children who have experienced trauma from neglect, abuse and family dysfunction.
The couple is gearing up for this year’s second “Ride for Clyde” which takes place May 10-13.
“Once both of us committed to last year’s ride, God gave us such a passion for it that I can’t explain it,” Jerry recalls.
Organized by the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, “Ride for Clyde” brings together motorcyclists for a three-day, 460-mile ride that stretches from the east coast to the mountains of Clyde, N.C. Along the way, participants visit three of BCH’s locations where they meet the boys and girls they are raising funds to help.
“I never realized how the children would affect me personally, especially the ones at Cameron Boys Camp,” Jerry says about BCH’s residential wilderness program in Moore County. “I had no idea the Baptists had that.”
Jerry and Jeune Coffey plan to take part in the Ride to Clyde event again this year. The three-day adventure May 10-13 stops at several Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina (BCH) locations to allow riders to meet children and others who are helped by the various ministries of BCH. Last year’s inaugural ride raised nearly $20,000.
“We fell in love with the children,” Jeune says. “Our church [Chase Baptist in Forest City] really got behind us. They dive in with anything that has to do with children.”
Like all of the participants, the Coffeys were challenged to raise at least $100 each in addition to their registration fee. They set an initial goal of $500, but according to Jerry, they were “floored” when their final tally reached $3,750. The ride raised nearly $20,000 in its first year.
“That’s all God. We just delivered the money He provided,” Jeune explains.
The Coffeys were the top fundraisers last year, but as Jeune humbly says, “We hope we get beat this year.”
Being a part of “Ride to Clyde,” or any motorcycle event, would have been impossible for the couple a few years ago. In fact, their riding days appeared to be over.
In 2014, Jeune wrecked as she avoided a truck that was attempting to pass another vehicle.
The damages to both her bike and her body were extensive. A year later, Jerry totaled his motorcycle when he skidded on hydraulic fluid leaking from a tractor in the road ahead of him.
“We didn’t know if we’d ever ride again,” Jerry reveals. “We left it in God’s hands.”
Once the couple healed from their physical and emotional wounds, Jerry began shopping for motorcycles.
Looking online, he found a pair of bikes for sale in Wisconsin. “I prayed, ‘God, if it’s your will for us to get these two bikes and continue in motorcycle ministry, please work this out for us,’” he divulges. The funds to purchase the bikes came through the very next day.
“It’s given riding a whole new meaning,” Jeune says.
As “Ride to Clyde” approaches in May, Jerry and Jeune are sharing their excitement with other bikers and encouraging them to go.
“I tell them they will be blessed beyond measure as we get to share God with the children,” Jerry says. “It’s an experience I’ll never forget.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE – If you are interested in Ride to Clyde on May 10-13, 2017, visit bchnc.org/ridetoclyde to join the ride or sponsor a cyclist.)