“It continues to surprise me how God took a bunch of bone head bikers like us and now gives us the opportunity to minister to those in need.”
It’s the third Sunday of the month, and Joe Drake, along with 30 to 40 of his biker friends are praying in the lobby of Nashville Rescue Mission. This monthly ministry to the homeless, which started with just two men, has been three years in the making.
After a time of prayer, many of the men and women will visit with the guests until the chapel service starts. Then Joe Drake, who recently celebrated 20 years of sobriety, will deliver a message he describes as “God given.”
“God always puts the message on my heart,” said Joe. “The topics change, but the message I am most focused on sharing with these men who are ‘marginalized’ and considered the ‘least of these’ is that they matter, they have value, and they have worth. These men matter to us and they matter to God.”
Over time, bikers from Christian Motorcycle Associates, Crossroads Riders Motorcycle Ministry of Clarksville, and Sons of God Motorcycle Club have joined Joe’s group in this monthly outreach to the homeless. The group Damascus Road brings the praise and worship for the night.
“I’m amazed at how this group has grown,” said Joe. “I believe it is as much of a ministry to us as it is to the men we meet at the Mission. Many of us have also been in recovery, overcoming bad situations, and bad life style choices. So we get it. And we know that God can make a change in their life, just like He did in ours. When I see one of the men we’ve ministered to at the Mission show up at my church, which is right down the street, I know we are making an impact.”
At the end of the service there is always an altar call. Twenty to thirty men and women will line up along the stage, ready and willing to pray with anyone in need. “You can see in so many of their faces that God spoke to them during the service,” shared Joe. “And time and time again, a club member will tell me it’s the first time they’ve ever led someone to the Lord. Both are blessed and touched by God.”
At the end of the night, as Joe heads home, he says a prayer, “Thank you Jesus for restoring my life and my family. I was on a path of destruction and had I stayed on it, that could just have easily been me sitting in that chapel tonight. Thank you God for allowing me the opportunity to minister to these men who you dearly love. Amen.”
The Mission is grateful to Joe and this monthly motorcycle ministry to our guests. If you’d like to learn about ways in which you and your organization can get involved, visit nashvillerescuemission.org/get-involved.