Biker rebels find cause in
by Kelly Feser Eells
Larry Hackworth, founder of the Brotherhood of Christ Motorcycle
Club, can't sing the power of prayer's praises enough these days.
"We've been really blessed," he grinned, referring
to the evangelical biker club he and wife, Jane, credit with
changing their lives.
And the club has also, Hackworth enthuses, made a positive impact
on hundreds, even thousands, of other people since its formation
a little over one year ago - more and more, he points out, every
"It's amazing," he said, citing one of the traveling
ministry's (two of its members ordained) recent experiences at
a prison near Bakersfield. "Most people we try to reach
are either alcoholics or into drugs. We try to save the lost.
But at this last prison, Yuba, well, the first time we were there,
half the guys were in lockdown."
Which is why the Oak View resident and fellow BOCMC members were
honored to be asked back; those in lockdown, they supposed, "wouldn't
know, or wouldn't really care" that they'd missed the bikers'
testimonies the first time around. "But it turned out so
good," he continues, that the club, on its second visit,
presented to a full house. "The thing that touched me most,"
Hackworth said, "was how some of the guards there broke
down and cried."
The Hackworths acknowledge the draw their motorcycles are. Jane
appreciatively notes that, "they (prison officials) let
us ride our bikes in." And Larry indicates that, whether
"it's just a desire for motorcycle ... .or someone who,
in looking to join, just wants to wear our patch," the club
is becoming increasingly popular.
Nevertheless, the BOCMC "has to be careful." Potential
members, Hackworth admitted, "might be like-minded, but
they still have to go up in front of our board" before being
either granted or denied club membership. He explained that the
board, which is primarily comprised of Ojai Valley Foursquare
Church and Church of the Living Christ elders, makes the final
determination - based on such factors as the potential member's
level of church involvement, understanding of club by-laws, etc.
But Hackworth views every contact he makes as a spiritually strengthening
"This one guy, he'd only heard about us and what we did.
He wasn't there (at the prison), but he donated a turbo diesel
Volvo to our club. And then God led us to donate it, in turn,
to this crippled girl" whom the club had been praying for.
"We signed it over to her."
Another heartwarming experience occurred over Valentine's Day
weekend. "We were out on a ride in Santa Ynez with our wives,"
he said, "when we met this old lady in a park, who we thought
was homeless." Though the woman turned out to be quite affluent,
"She asked us to pray with her. She said, 'My dad's being
buried today. Can you guys come with me to the gravesite?'"
Hackworth marvels at the memory. "There was a big turnout;
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., for example, was there. We spoke at the
burial and, while no one accepted the Lord then, it was when
we were on our way home that this big old Texan pulled us over.
He said, 'It was such a blessing seeing you all there (at the
gravesite).' We all pulled off the highway then and prayed together.
And, when he left, he said, 'See you in heaven.'"
Experiences like these - "the kind where, after we've prayed
for someone or something, we're told that we've touched a lot
of people" - assure the Hackworths that there is an ever-intensifying
"hunger for the Lord."
Larry and Jane agree that, attractive as their club's crest might
be (depicting a tattooed arm and a representation of Jesus' arm
shaking hands across a crucifix), their message is even more
attractive. "We get a lot more out of it than we put in,"
said Larry. Jane, a church intercessor, i.e., a person designated
by his or her congregation to organize group prayer, underscores
her husband's sentiment by encouraging the entire community to
attend the first BOCMC fundraiser on Sat., May 4.
The event, scheduled from 5 to 10 pm, includes a spaghetti dinner,
auction and live music concert and will be held at Ojai Valley
Foursquare Church on 441 Church Road. Call 649-2818 for additional
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
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BROTHERHOOD of Christ Motorcycle Club gets ready to ride.