Riding with a mission seems to be the motto of the newly formed Wings of Service Chapter 754, an affiliate of the Christian Motorcycle Association (CMA). Members are from Manila, Blytheville, Lepanto, Osceola, Caruthersville and Cooter. Presently the group has over 30 that meet each month at the Log Cabin Restaurant in Manila.
A group of Christians that enjoy riding motorcycles began talking about organizing a local chapter and held their first meeting August 22 in Manila.
President of the group is Harley Bradley of Blytheville. He has been very pleased with the support for the group. Serving as vice president is Allen Donner. Jackie Ivy serves as road captain and Rena Bradley is treasurer. Reba Dill serves as secretary and Ray Dill is the club's chaplain.
The CMA is over 25 years old and was organized in 1975 by Herb Shreve of Hatfield with the purpose of reaching the motorcycle world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Since that beginning, the organization has steadily grown to over 84,000 members nationwide.
CMA took Jesus' words, "Go into the highways and hedges compelling all to come in that my house might be full." (Luke 14:23) and adopted this as their motto.
CMA's purpose is to provide and encourage members to be active in their testimony and Christian witness to all motorcyclists; to provide a Christian fellowship ride group; and to provide an evangelistic association for Christian motorcyclists. The only requirement for becoming a member of CMA is being a Christian. After joining CMA and completion of ministry team training, members are asked to wear CMA "colors" or back patch to show their honor to Jesus Christ.
There are different ministries including working with children, first aid, mechanical, hospitality, music, prison, prayers and others.
CMA is a interdenominational ministry and is well respected by most.
"We do not get into doctrine, we are a Christian group that want to use our riding for the Lord," Bradley said.
The CMA raises money each year to provide motorcycles for pastors in the Third World Countries that need a way to take their work to the people in the remote villages. The organization has named this once a year fund-raiser "Run for the Son." The local Chapter 754 raised $2,262 to donate to the CMA. Thomas and Geneva Raidt raised $352 and Darrell Edwards raised $325. The Wings of Service group rode from Manila to Jonesboro where they met with other chapter riders and continued their ride to Hardy. At the end of the 100 mile ride, they enjoyed fellowshipping and a meal with group riders from other areas.
The organization operates entirely on contributions. The Wings of Service is in its first year of organization and members are enjoying taking part in community activities. They rode in two local Christmas parades, Blytheville and Manila. They donated "toys for tots" at the Manila parade.
Wings of Service meet the second Thursday night each month at the Log Cabin Restaurant in Manila.
For more information about The Wings of Service or CMA, interested persons may call Bradley at (870) 763-1839 or Dill at 561-3717.
"We realize that people are busy and can't go to every meeting or every event but the organization gives people the opportunity to give as much time as they can.
Unlike some other Chapters that are made up of particular types of motorcycles, Wings of Service is open for all types of motorcycles and being a biker is not a requirement.
The group plans to ride on Saturday from Blytheville to Cooter and on to Osceola and back to Blytheville where they meet on the WalMart parking lot for a get-together.
Other activities they plan to attend a singing and dinner on the ground at Bethany Baptist Church in Manila on Sunday, June 22. Everyone is invited to attend.
Members are planning to ride in the Buffalo Island Bikers' second annual benefit for Relay for Life for American Cancer Society. It will be held June 28. The ride will begin at the Leachville Church of Christ on Main Street and travel through Caraway, Tyronza, Ridge Road in Harrisburg, Jonesboro, and back to Leachville.
The group has been invited to take part in Biker Sunday at 5 p.m. June 29, at Neals Chapel Baptist Church in the Bondsville Community.
The next regular meeting will be held at 6 p.m. July 10 at the Log Cabin Restaurant in Manila.