KENNETT — Black leather and fellowship marked the fifth annual Power Place Church blessing of the motorcycles on Sunday.
About a hundred riders and friends gathered after the weekly service of the congregation that is particularly friendly to and attracts bikers. It is a Pentecostal church aligned with the Assemblies of God, although its banners celebrate the spirit as “a family church.”
After the service inside, Pastor Greg Hollis took the microphone to bless, as some of the members prepared hotdogs and other refreshments on the outskirts.
Appropriately, on what was probably the first weekend of the riding season, he beseeched God to “surround each of us with your grace and mercy.” He referred to the parking lot full of (mostly) Harley-Davidsons as “amazing machines.”
The riders, their friends and many children stood quietly with heads down beside the 40-or-so bikes catching the sun’s rays as Hollis spoke, ending with a hearty “Amen.”
The event was originally scheduled for last week, but it was rained out and rescheduled in the parking lot of the church along Rosedale Road in a corporate center. Previous blessings events have included a ride to Nottingham Park, but this week it was contained in the church parking lot with food, motorcycle games and children’s entertainment.
Organizer Jeff Smack referred briefly to the improved conditions this week and said, “We know everything is in God’s timing.”
Many of the bikers who attend the Power Place and blessing are part of a larger international organization known as Honor Bound Disciples of Jesus Christ.
Arson T., a rider who, with his friend Steve, got up from home in New Jersey at 6 a.m. to come to the event said the only requirement for being part of Honor Bound is to be in a church and do tidings to the Lord. He said the members’ pastors must affirm that they are church members.
Arson and Steve said they have been riding since they were young children, Arson when he was 10 and Steve when he was 6.
Arson said they are not bothered by weather or road conditions when they ride, and they had no fears of crossing the Commodore Barry Bridge on the way to the blessing.
Children’s pastor Isaiah Hollis said he looks forward to the blessing ceremony every year. He got his first Harley in his early 20s, he said. He added that he loves riding because of the feeling of freedom and the open air.
“Today is the coolest day because where else can you get between 100 and 150 (riders) in church,” he said.
Harley rider Carl, who came to the blessing from Coatesville, is the member of another faith-related group call the Christian Motorcyclist Association. It, too, is a national organization with individual groups throughout the nation. His group meets for rides and races. They also meet on the second weekend of each month for breakfast at the Dutch Way in Christiana.
He said he likes to spread the word of God, and that riding a motorcycle is a good conversation starter when he pulls into a store or diner.
Carl, like many of the riders at the blessing, has been a biker for a long time.
He said he finished military service in Idaho in 1979 and rode all the way across America to come home to Honey Brook,
This year, he said, potholes have been annoying and dangerous. “The are some out there that will swallow you up. You get your front wheel stuck and you could die,” he said.
Commenting on his ride across the United States, he said the Rocky Mountains were lovely; the Great Plains were boring; and crossing the Mississippi at Lacrosse, Wis., was disappointing, because he expected a larger expanse of river than he encountered.
All in all, however, he loves the country and especially Chester County. “There’s some beautiful riding around here,” he said.