Christian Motorcyclists Association
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|Type||Evangelical Non-governmental organization|
John Ogden, Sr. (CEO of CMA USA)
|Focus(es)||Prolestyzing/evangelising the Christian faith|
|Method(s)||Travelling, by motorcycle and word of mouth|
|Motto||Riding for the Son|
The Christian Motorcyclists Association (CMA) is an international Christian, interdenominational, non-profit organization established in 1975. Its purpose is evangelizing to the motorcycling community.
CMA was started by Herb Shreve, an Arkansas pastor who purchased a motorcycle to close the generation gap with his rebellious son. As they rode together to biker events and rallies, it was apparent that the church had no outreach toward motorcyclists. At first, he prayed that others would take this mantle of ministry, but he accepted the task and began evangelizing alone at motorcycle rallies. In 1975, he resigned from his church to start CMA.
The organization grew to over 125,000 members and over 1200 chapters in all 50 states, and then gained chapters in 31 foreign countries, through the CMA International Ministry. René Changuion started CMA South Africa in 1980 and was the first country to be in the CMA International Coalition, now called CMA International. The UK organization was formed in 1983 when members of the Christian Bikers Association, established in the UK in 1979, approached the CMA in the USA and South Africa.
For most of its history, CMA has attracted, and been attractive to, motorcyclists in the 'cruiser' motorcycle category. Currently, the membership seems evenly split between 'cruisers' and 'tourers' with a new emphasis being put on sport bikers, quad riders, and off-road riders with their Fast Lane ministry. CMA South Africa is predominantly sport bike riders as of much of the country, and CMA Off Road for quad sports.
CMA is not a club but a ministry. This distinguishes CMA from other biker organizations that associate due to manufacturer brand loyalty or riding style. CMA's ministry team program is designed to "make ministers of their members." This implies a breakdown of the traditional distinction between clergy and laity that exist in most Christian ministries. Members are associated with the national organization and then independently may become members of local chapters.
CMA operates under a Board of Directors working in conjunction with six regional evangelists, a Lead evangelist, and Special Projects Evangelist, in order to support the goals and objectives of the organization. The current Chairman is John Ogden, Sr. This leadership team oversees CMA from a national level by appointing other state, area, and local leaders across the country. The headquarters is in Hatfield, Arkansas.
Events and outreach
CMA, as an organization and through the initiative of individual members, is involved in motorcycling events across the US and in evangelistic efforts to U.S. prisons. The "Seasons of Refreshing" conferences, conducted by CMA regional evangelists, prepare members for ministry in the coming rally season. The regional evangelists are full-time ministry staff who also have significant administrative responsibilities.
CMA sponsors a once-a-year fundraiser and ride (1st Sat. in May), called "Run For The Son," which raises money for home missions in the U.S. (CMA outreach), and supports three other international evangelism ministries - The Jesus Film Project, Open Doors, and Missionary Ventures (see link below). CMA holds state, regional, and national (usually divided between east and west) rallies. These rallies are times of "fellowship, praise and worship," bike games, and support.
One of CMA's major outreaches to open communication with sport bike riders is to offer gear checks at races or rallies. Any participant can drop off their helmets and jackets at a designated CMA drop-off point and receive a tag to claim their items later. All services are offered free of charge.
CMA publishes a monthly magazine, "Heartbeat" and sells merchandise through its "Goodie" store, only to CMA members. The merchandise includes tracts, accessories, and merchandise sporting the CMA logo. Merchandise sporting the CMA logo over a certain size, such as the CMA back patch, can only be used by members who have completed the organization's ministry team training series.
CMA (UK), which has an estimated 1,000 members, has an outreach arm called Holy Joe's whose members provide a cafe and helmet park at motorcycling shows and events. Proceeds from these and HJ's annual bike show are donated to charities such as emergency medical motorcycle couriers Freewheelers EVS.
- "Biker preachers spread gospel by the seat of their pants". Weekly World News. February 10, 1981. p. 34. Retrieved November 23, 2010.
- "History". CMA (UK). Retrieved 28 December 2009.
- "FESTIVAL OF 1000 BIKES". Vintage Motor Cycle Club. Retrieved November 23, 2010.
- Boyce, Russel (October 29, 2009). "Bikers take the Bible on the road". BBC News. Retrieved November 23, 2010.
- "Holy Joe's". Holy Joe's. Retrieved 28 December 2009.
- "Holy Joe's Bike Show". Holy Joe's. Retrieved 28 December 2009.
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