MONTGOMERY – ‘Thirsty Thursday’ brings a new connotation to those seeking spiritual matters in Montgomery. Hoping to reach the motorcycle community, Throttle Up Biker Church launched with its first service June 11.
“It’s really been a process that began over five years ago,” said Rick Lucas, pastor of the ministry. Lucas, who currently attends Sunday services at Faith United Methodist Church in Montoursville and will continue to do so, believes God laid on his heart the spiritual lives of the biking community.
“Most bikers don’t go to a standard church because they typically have weekend plans,” Lucas said. As he persisted in prayer about the matter, others in the church joined him in seeking God’s will.
The solitary puzzle piece holding Lucas back from immediately activating the ministry was the need for a building to facilitate services. Locations such as Indian Park and the Harley-Davidson store in Williamsport seemed ideal sites; eventually, that piece fell neatly into place earlier this year.
Dining with friends from church, Lucas shared with the couple the burden in his heart of finding a location to begin services. It was then he learned of the availability of the former Christ Lutheran Church, 54 East Houston Street in Montgomery.
The church closed its doors a few years ago. Half of the building is a rental unit while the remaining section sat unoccupied; Throttle Up Biker Church maintains the sanctuary portion.
Lucas believes the largest misconception about biker church is that it’s solely for bikers. All are welcome, he said, explaining that the unchurched population feel they don’t belong in a standard church. “They don’t look, act or dress like standard congregants,” he said. Additionally, having to work weekends and family commitments take precedence over Sunday services.
“Bikers do so much for the community,” Lucas said. “Just because they have tattoos, talk rough, wear leather jackets and ride loud bikes doesn’t indicate they’re a gang member.” Most people are unaware of the generous acts motorcycle clubs perform, such as collecting toys to distribute to children. of mothers at shelters.
Lucas cites the Biblical story of Saul and his transformation after an encounter with God, in which Saul became Paul, the apostle, reaching many of the lost and forgotten. Lucas explained that he wanted ‘pre-Christ’ Pauls to attend Throttle Up. The eventual goal is to help them become ‘post-Christ’ Pauls, he said.
When asked the meaning behind the ministry’s name, Lucas said it pertains to the motorcycle throttle which must be twisted in order to “move forward, accelerate, and give it all for God.”
Throttle Up is nondenominational and meets each Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the sanctuary.
For additional information, visit the Facebook page or contact 551.775.2040.