U.S. Biker Embraces Sabbath
By Andrew McChesney, Adventist Mission
The invitation startled Richard Smith as he stopped at a senior center to collect meals to deliver on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle to retirees in the U.S. state of West Virginia.
“Would you like to go to the Seventh-day Adventist church with me?” asked Ruth, who also worked at the senior center.
“I don’t know”, Richard said. “I don’t know anything about the Adventist Church”.
Richard, 72, had visited various Sunday churches during two marriages and two jobs. But he had never been baptized. He didn’t know which church to join, and he often thought, “If God wakes me up one day and says go to a different church, I want to be able to pack up and move”.
So, when Ruth invited him to church, he replied, “Let’s try my churches first”.
He asked Ruth, a divorced nurse six years his junior, for her opinion after visiting a first church together on Sunday.
“If I just wanted breakfast, it was good”, Ruth said about the church’s doughnuts and fruit juice.
In reply to his query after the second church, Ruth noted that the pastor had spent much more time on the announcements than the sermon.
Ruth’s observations gave Richard a new perspective, and he finally agreed to go with her to an Adventist church. Soon he began to ply its pastor, Bill Hunt, with questions about the Bible, and the answers amazed him.
“It was like I had this veil over my head”, Richard said. “I could see through it, but everything was kind of hazy. Bill yanked that veil off my head and I said, ‘Wow, things are as clear as a bell!’”
Richard also shared a common interest with the pastor; they both are bikers.
Then the pastor invited Richard to attend an evangelistic series—one of 35 evangelistic series in West Virginia that were funded by a 2015 Thirteenth Sabbath Offering. Richard attended with Ruth and was baptized. In all, eight people were baptized after the 2016 meetings at the Huntington church.
Today, Richard, pictured left, is 72 and sharing his love for Jesus with anyone who will listen.
“The Lord takes such good care of me, and I think, ‘Why?’” he said. “I know He talks care of everybody, but why? It’s like I am sitting down at the table, looking at my plate, and everything on it I like to eat. What more can I ask for?”
Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission. Find more mission stories at adventistmission[dot]org
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