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‘Arley’ Davidson Days reaches out to neighborscomment (0)

November 19, 2009

As far as Rick Harris was concerned, it was just too easy.

The name of his community — Arley — was just asking for an event like this. And he felt as if the community itself was, too.

Despite some rain, a rough count of 1,000 people turned out Oct. 9–11 for Arley Davidson Days, a communitywide motorcycle event Meek Baptist Church in Winston Baptist Association put on to reach out to its neighbors.

It also served as a fund-raiser to help youth groups of Winston County churches.

And yes, Harris, a member of Meek Baptist, got permission from Harley-Davidson to play off of its name.

Richard Welch, pastor of Meek Baptist, said the motorcycle theme was a good way to interest the youth and involve them in the event.

“The youth were very prevalent in all that was going on from set up to close down and guided guests around during the event,” he said. When “straight-line winds came in Friday night and blew the tent down, they helped move everything back into the family life center.”

In spite of the less than welcoming weather, the people of Meek Baptist got to know people from the Jasper, Cullman and Huntsville areas by creating a festival atmosphere with food, music and motorcycle displays. They also found opportunities to pass out gospel tracts.

Randy Makemson, director of missions for East Cullman Baptist Association, spoke at Sunday’s worship service, along with Tommy Harper, president and founder of Working by Grace Ministries, who has been in motorcycle ministry for 11 years.

“The thing we grew up loving to do, He doesn’t want us to throw it away but use it, whether it’s motorcycles or trucks or horses or being a cowboy,” Harper said.

As a first time event, Arley Davidson Days had a pretty good turnout with just word-of-mouth and a few posters for advertising, Welch said.

“We got great compliments. This is something we want to build up and something we want to continue annually.” (TAB)

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