Faith on two wheels

Faith Riders Richard Gomez Jr. (left), Geri Gomez, Richard Gomez and Bruce DeFoor will be leaving Clovis at 5 a.m. Saturday to travel to Sturgis, S.D., to share their faith. Photo by Eric Kluth.

By Gary Mitchell

When you’re a Faith Rider, you can handle powerful machines, the open road — just about anything. Except a Big Texan 72-ounce steak.
When Richard and Geri Gomez were asked by their minister at Faith Christian Family Church to serve as lay ministers for a new kind of motorcycle ministry, they prayed about it and started enlisting members in April.
One of the first couples was Bruce and Beth DeFoor.
“We didn’t even have a name for the group at the time,” Richard Gomez said.
While the ministry started through the Faith Christian church, anyone is welcome to join, regardless of faith.
“We decided Faith Riders was not just for Faith Christian Family Church, but for all of our community,” he said.
Now 32 people have signed up and about a dozen folks participate in monthly rides, Bruce DeFoor said.
“We’d like to go out twice a month, usually on a Saturday morning, but it’s only been once a month so far,” he said. “We have meetings once a month — usually a breakfast and then we go on the rides. Most of them are short rides, depending on the weather. We went to San Jon off the Caprock, and one time we rode to Amarillo to the Big Texan to see if Richard and I could eat that 72-ounce steak.”
How did that go?
“Don’t mess with Texas,” Richard Gomez said. “Now I understand where that saying came from.”
“It was still a fun trip,” DeFoor said.
“But I won’t try it again,” Gomez said. “We try to share the Word of God with people along the way.”
DeFoor recalled a trip to Glorieta in northern New Mexico and an afternoon trip from there to the Pecos Wilderness.
“We took everybody’s photos,” he said. “We stopped at the lake, shared testimonies and prayed together. A biker who’s a non-Christian wouldn’t necessarily feel threatened or out of place with us on these trips.”
Geri Gomez agreed.
“It’s a lot of fun, a great adventure,” she said, and then looked at her husband. “It’s good for the marriage.”
Nine of the Faith Riders Motorcycle Ministry plan to take part in a two-day trip to Sturgis, S.D., the “granddaddy” of all motorcycle rallies.
“We leave at 5 a.m. Saturday,” Richard Gomez said. “We’ll travel about 650 miles the first day. It’s an opportunity to let my light shine up there. We’ll have the opportunity to share one-on-one, plus all the fellowship we’ll have with each other.”
“It’s the bikes and the sport that brought us together in the first place,” DeFoor said. “We see ourselves like the CMA (Christian Motorcycle Association). Every ride the CMA goes on, they serve breakfast and pass out Bibles. I’ve never met a CMA rider who pushes himself or herself on you. They’re just there for you. And that’s the way we want to be.”
For information on the Faith Riders Motorcycle Ministry, contact Richard Gomez at 799-0902.