Owen Sims slid into his Harley Davidson jacket, tugged on his leather riding gloves and pulled his helmet over a face that showed no signs of the pre-dawn hour.
Owen Sims of Evans gives the West Acres Bikers Club some last minute instructions before the group's pre-dawn departure for Petersburg, Ky., Aug. 20. Members of the club delivered a donation to the building fund for the Answers In Genesis Creation Museum.
Photo by Valerie Rowell
As any die-hard biker would agree, any excuse to ride is a good one, Owens said with a smile.
But the past weekend's ride was not only for fun. It was for a cause.
Just before 7 a.m. Aug. 20, Owens led 17 members of the West Acres Bikers Club - a group consisting of 10 motorcycles and two cars - on the road to an under-construction facility called the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky.
Sim's group, a ministry of West Acres Baptist Church in Evans, spent the past three or four months conducting several fundraisers including something called an observation run, similar to a scavenger hunt, to benefit the museum, which will be the newest addition to a ministry called Answers in Genesis.
The fund raising involved selling donuts, raffle tickets, barbecue and desserts. On Friday, the group headed out to bring the funds they had raised to the ministry, which was founded more than 20 years ago to provide answers to questions about the book of Genesis.
Ken Ham, a founder and board member of the ministry, spoke to the West Acres congregation several years ago, leaving an impression on Joe Rich, who became the fund raising coordinator for the West Acre's motorcycle club.
Rich said his church motorcycle group wanted to travel to the museum to hand-deliver $2,750 to its building fund. The proposed complex near Cincinnati will cost an estimated $25 million.
"If nothing else, we are raising awareness," Rich said.
The bikers logged more than 1,150 miles on their return and enjoyed a tour of the museum building, said club president James Hyder.
"It was awesome," Hyder said. "It is going to be a real nice facility."
The fund raising venture wasn't the only thing new for the biker club, though. The club itself is relatively new. It was started just more than a year ago by three church members who enjoy riding motorcycles - Rich, Hyder and Doug Spires.
"We just got together, the three of us, and decided to start this," Rich said. "One thing just led to another and the word got out."
The club now has more than 30 members. The Rev. Larry Harmon said the group has become an effective outreach tool for his church.
"One thing is for sure in our society today, and that is times are changing," Harmon said. "We believe at West Acres that the gospel never changes, but the methods of sharing the gospel do change."
The club meets on the first Sunday of each month. For more information about the club, call president James Hyder at 855-6118 or Rich at 860-9483.
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