Bikers unite to pray for a peaceful Bikefest - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Bikers unite to pray for a peaceful Bikefest

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Peace and unity for all bikers this Bikefest weekend - that's the message coming from a group of churches that organized a prayer service and Biker Blessing in Carolina Forest Thursday night.

Those in attendance at the Biker Blessing called it a beautiful sight to see, as both white and black bikers came together with the community, standing with them, representing unity and peace for Memorial Day Weekend.

The prayer service was held inside the gym at Carolina Forest Elementary School. Several church groups, members of the community, and county leaders were also gathered. Prayer and songs led the service; scripture and words of encouragement from fellow bikers ushered in a spirit of peace and open invitation.

More than 50 bikers of all ethnic backgrounds joined in the celebration. Violent "Heels" Lucas, a Myrtle Beach bike rider, helped organize the event and invited Bikefest riders to come.

"It was very important to put something like this together to demonstrate more of the positive aspect and just start the whole event off in prayer and blessing to promote ride for peace," said Lucas.

Pastor Joe Washington of HOPE Church was one of the organizers of the event; he said after last year's violence, he didn't see anything positive about the Bikefest, he said it was needed for the city to do this to make the bikers feel welcome, and to pray for peace over the city.

"We recognize that they are tourists and they are helping our economy, so I thought that something positive should go out," said Washington.

The welcome was extended also by the Chairman of the Horry County School Board, Joe Defeo, that spoke to the crowd about welcoming the visitors and how the school is part of the community.

Saundra Rhodes, Horry County Chief of Police gave words of a warm gesture saying those that are here to have a good time and obey the law are welcomed, but those that come to make her job harder were not. She told the crowd that the police presence was higher this year because of the last year's events, and it is only a precautionary measure to make sure what happened does not happened again.

Dennis Devorick, Principal of Carolina Forest Elementary School, said he is a pastor and a biker too, and he helped organized the event to support his community and enlighten those that often look at stereotypes because of fear.

Devorick said, "Sometimes we don't engage the bikers that we have a fear from a distance, but if we just sit down and talk to people we'll get to know people." 

After an evening of prayer and blessings, it was then time to ride. Ministers gathered all of the bikers in front of the school to say a pray for the bikers and their safety. They were then united as one on the road, traveling down Carolina Forest Boulevard in solidarity as they headed to Atlantic Beach Town Hall, in a symbol of unity.

"There are white bikers and there are black bikers that want to ride in peace, love, and unity and I think it will send a positive message not only to the city, and Horry County, but to world," said one attendee.

HOPE, Centenary United Methodist, and Cedar Branch Missionary Baptist Churches sponsored the service. Representatives told WMBF News that they were pleased with the turn out, saying in part social media was a big drive for spreading the word.

They want the Biker Blessing service and the unity ride to become an annual event.

Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.
Powered by Frankly