Ride to Clyde bikers collect $32,379 for children’s homes
    May 30 2017 by Mike Creswell, BSC Communications

    Over the course of three days, 78 motorcycles traveled 460 miles in the second annual four-day Ride to Clyde and presented $32,379 to the N.C. Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH) during the annual BBQ Festival at Broyhill Home in Clyde on May 13.


    BSC photo by Mike Creswell
    Bikers give away candy and kazoos as they visit with children along their Ride to Clyde, an annual trip from Fort Caswell to Clyde visiting Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina sites along the way.


    The amount greatly exceeded the more than $19,000 given in the inaugural Ride to Clyde last year. More riders took part this year, with some 97 bikers making the trek from the North Carolina Baptist Assembly at Fort Caswell on Oak Island to Clyde, with stops at:

    • Cameron Boys Camp in Moore County, a year-round residential wilderness ministry;

    • Mills Home on the main children’s home campus in Thomasville to meet the kids, hear a testimony from a 15-year-old girl and to have a blessing of the bikers led by BCH President Michael C. Blackwell;

    • Lake Junaluska for an overnight stay and time to pray and think about the experiences of the ride; and

    • Broyhill Home in Clyde, a 92-acre home currently providing care for 50 children, the home’s maximum capacity.
     
    Larry Phillips told the crowd at Broyhill Home, “We love what you’re doing. It’s our vision to share the love of Christ and make a difference in the lives of the children we come in contact with,” he said as he presented the check.
     
    “The children’s handprints will be on the hearts of these riders forever,” he said. 
     
    Broyhill Director Linda Morgan told the bikers that she has worked with the home for 44 years. “I got to see how God transformed a blackberry patch into a haven of hope,” Morgan said. “It’s because of people like you who give and give and give.”
     
    Some of the bikers work all year on collecting funds for the Ride to Clyde. Top contributors this year were Jerry and Jeune Coffey, who collected more than $8,000 for the collection. They are members of Chase Baptist Church, Forest City. They held a golf tournament, served meals and did a variety of fundraising projects.
     
    BCH constitutes one of N.C. Baptists’ biggest and most needed ministries. Each year the homes care for more than 20,000 lives impacting numerous children and families through 21 locations across the state. 

    Though the children’s homes receive funding through the Cooperative Program, those funds have not kept up with BCH’s ever-growing ministry to the state’s increasing numbers of children needing care because of broken homes, abuse and many other social situations.
     
    For more than 100 years, BCH has depended on capital campaigns, collection of food and other items needed for day-to-day living and special campaigns like the Ride to Clyde.
     
    Riders were quick to say they were blessed more than the kids, who were delighted to be able to sit atop a huge Harley-Davison Electra Glide Ultra Classic, Honda Gold Wing or other brands of motorcycles – and happily blow the horn.
     
    Occasional rainfall meant the bikers wore their rain suits, but the wet could not dampen the spirits of either the riders or the children who greeted them with signs, waves and squeals of happiness. “It was just such a blessing to be with the children,” said Terry McPherson, who rode his 1999 Harley Davison Road King, which already has 132,000 miles, from his home in Midland. He is a member of Hopewell Baptist Church in Monroe, a church that has a number of motorcycle enthusiasts among its membership.

    Another Hopewell member is Phillip Morris, president of the Carolina Faith Riders group, who rode with his wife on their 2004 Electra Glide in the Ride to Clyde.
     
    “It was absolutely awesome,” he said, “and we are so thankful to get to see what Baptists are doing through the children’s homes.”
     
    Steve Starling, pastor of Freedom Biker Church in Monroe, brought eight members with him on the ride; he also took part last year. 
     
    Starling also said that the best part of the ride was learning about the amazing ministries to children that Baptists have. Bringing members to visit the homes and meet the kids was sort of like jumping in with both feet and getting the full experience, he said.
     
    Three riders came from Hope Community Church in Shelby, said member Dub Caldwell, one of the three. They are part of the Bikers for Christ group, which boasts more than 3,000 members across 50 states and 23 other countries. 
     
    “What a blessing it was to meet the kids,” he said. Caldwell let one child after the other sit atop his Harley Davidson.
     
    In a Friday night gathering beside Lake Junaluska Friday evening, the riders swapped experiences of the ride. One man came near weeping as he told how a boy at one home would not take candy, but his face just lit up when he was offered a penny with a cross cut into it.
     
    The cross pennies are great witnessing tools, the riders agreed. One man told how a girl at Camp Duncan was given a penny and told the gospel; she immediately gave the penny to one of her friends – and told her the gospel story as well.
     
    Judy Evans of Otto told how eager one girl was for a hug and just clung to her. Judy is wife of Baptist State Convention staffer Lester Evans, who works with associational partnerships. 
     
    “Just call me Crash,” joked Coot Yow at the Friday night session, telling how he slid down on his motorcycle and sprained an ankle on Oak Island. But he and his wife made the ride anyway, hauling his bike on a trailer pulled by his pickup. They are members of Kinza Baptist Church in Stanfield.
     
    The Ride to Clyde originated with Brian Davis and Rit Varriale, pastor of Elizabeth Baptist Church, Shelby, as a way to share the love of Christ with children in care, raise money for the Baptist Children’s Homes and share about their ministries with riders. It also happens to be a great way for bikers to enjoy the open road for a few days.

    5/30/2017 10:51:03 AM by Mike Creswell, BSC Communications | with 0 comments
    Filed under: BCH, Children




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