FAIRMONT - On Saturday, more than 100 motorcyclists will roar through town before beginning a 100-mile ride together.
The local chapter of the Christian Motorcycle Association is raising funds through sponsorships for what is known as "Run for the Son," a nationwide event.
John and Carol Justice, leaders of the local chapter, say anyone who wants to ride is welcome. Tax-deductible donations will be directed to the national organization, which uses the money for three main missions: providing transportation for pastors around the world, purchasing Bibles for persecuted Christians around the world, and participating in the Jesus Film Project.
READY?TO?RIDE?— Members of the local Christian Motorcycle Association chapter bow their heads in prayer before starting their Bible study recently in Fairmont. Sitting in the circle, from left, are Cindy Milne, Pete Milne, David Milne, Mark Behrens, John Justice and Carol Justice.
The local chapter - officially called Riders of the Light-Fairmont Forming Chapter - was created in the spring of 2011, when two local men were connected by the national office.
Pete Milne had been driving to Windom to participate in its chapter. He was looking for something closer to home. John Justice called the national office for information about how to form a group in Fairmont. The duo was introduced and together began forming the local group with help from their wives, Cindy and Carol.
Justice had seen the association represented at motorcycle rallies such as Sturgis - their distinctive patches are hard to miss. He decided to join and begin a chapter after noting the association's activities. Besides the annual Run for the Son, the chapter rides together regularly, participates in community events, and volunteers for things such as cleaning up after Relay for Life.
"It is fun riding with other riders," Pete Milne said, "but it is a ministry to the other riders."
"We are servants," Carol Justice said. "It is basically paying it forward."
There are about 10 active members of the local group, and about 30 more who are registered with the national organization but may be unaware of the monthly rides and meetings.
Chapters from all over southern Minnesota and as far north as the Twin Cities will participate in Saturday's ride.
John Justice has been riding motorcycles all his life, while his wife is relatively new to the activity. She began just a few years ago, when John bought his first bike. She loved it from her first ride.
"I enjoy the freedom," she said. "The open air."
According to John, being part of a Christian motorcycle organization doesn't mean handing out miniature New Testaments or preaching at rallies.
"We don't approach people," Carol agreed. "People approach us."
The patches - called "colors" in motorcycle lingo - members wear on their clothing let people know who they are.
"You get people who are scared to go into the church building," Carol said, "But people will just come up and talk to us."
Those interested in Saturday's Run for the Son should meet at 11:15 a.m. at Walmart in Fairmont. They will ride through town to Bethel Evangelical Church, where the youth group will serve lunch for a donation. Riders also will participate in the association's international time of prayer. The group will then hit the road toward Mankato, taking paved back roads.
Association members meet 7 p.m. Thursday evenings at The Lighthouse in Fairmont. There are no dues to become a member.
For more information, contact John Justice at (507) 676-1580 or email him at John.Justice68@gmail.com