When John Doty sought to redefine his life in 2011 after going through a divorce, he turned to riding, but he also turned to Redemption Road Riders, the local chapter of Christian Motorcycle Association.
The evangelistic motorcycle ministry, he said, was what he needed, as it gave him a family and surrounded him with people with similar values. Now, Doty is president of the organization and enjoys mingling with the different motorcycle groups that CMA assists.
“We’re a helping organization, so a lot of times we’re asked to put on events. But CMA, as a chapter, we can’t do events, but we can help other organizations do their events,” he said.
The name “CMA” is a staple at many popular rides, such as this past Sunday’s Support the Troops Ride. CMA assists annually by passing out water and popcorn and doing other tasks as needed to help the ride go smoothly. Next, CMA will be at ABATE’s Safety & Awareness Ride on May 4 and also at the Haynes-Apperson Parade, Bikers for Bridges, and the Howard County Veterans Reunion, to name a few.
Rich Harlan, a member of CMA, stressed that the organization doesn’t push its beliefs on people. Instead, he said people of the motorcycle community know they’re there in case anyone has questions and doesn’t feel comfortable in a church setting.
“We’re not a church, but we are there and are exposed to people who may have questions but don’t really want to go sit in a church,” he said. “They’ll approach us, and if they have questions they’ll ask and get their questions answered.”
While CMA helps out various other organizations, the only ride CMA is allowed to put on, according to Harlan, is the worldwide Run for the Son ride. All chapters worldwide have the ride, and proceeds allow CMA to purchase transportation for people around the world.
As of 2016, CMA purchased 5,396 motorcycles, 6,484 bicycles, 26 boats, 24 horses, one camel, two snowmobiles, and three horses and buggies to pastors working in 104 different countries so they can plant churches.
This year’s Run for the Son takes place on Saturday, May 4, at Maximum Power Sports on U.S. 31 in Peru. Registration begins at 10 a.m. with kickstands up at 12:15 p.m. The 75-mile ride will take bikers through Mississinewa and Salamonie Forest.
Last year’s Run for the Son fund-raising total worldwide was $4,769,143.