By David Burnette
Well, the 5th annual Gathering of the Tribes was definitely one to remember. It was supposed to be a 3-day event starting Friday afternoon at the Spartanburg Harley-Davidson shop, but God and Mother Nature had other plans. Friday afternoon due to extremely heavy rains; I mean torrential rains, it got pushed off to Saturday instead.
Saturday morning things started off with a Veterans Memorial Tribute presented by Bill “SQUID”. The stage was all set up and ready to rock but those plans quickly changed due to more heavy rains and everything had to be taken down and moved around front of the Harley shop under the canopy. Thank God the canopy was pretty wide and ran the whole length of the building, otherwise it would have been a disaster.
I was talking to John Grice with Bikers Against Hunger, who is also the coordinator for the event, and he was telling me that some riders were there that rode through cold freezing rain all the way from New Jersey, Iowa, and Virginia just to be there! Needless to say, things were a little slow getting started but, Preacher Steve Ervin from His Laboring Few Motorcycle Ministry got up and started preaching. Everybody knew it was on then, Everyone just came and huddled under the awning to stay warm and dry and enjoyed the day. Some of the other speakers were preacher Cotton of Frontline Biker Church and Pastor Jim Rutledge of Church Builders just to mention a couple.
There were several bands that came out and played some awesome praise and worship. There was Michael and Dana Francis of Lion of Pride ministry, Scrape Wall, former National President of Patriot Guard MC from Michigan, Ekklesia, and others. Mike Grubb, National President of the Hell Fighters Motorcycle Ministry, was on hand to emcee the event.
In spite of the cold rain, there was still a bike show with $1000 prize and trophy that went to the road captain for the Kingdom Riders Motorcycle Ministry, (sorry I can’t find the paper I wrote his name on) Ms. Pat with His Laboring Few Motorcycle Ministry won the trophy for second place. There was also a tattoo contest and tons of door prizes were given away. The free food and door prizes were donated by Bikers Against Hunger which is a feeding ministry that helps feed the poor all over the country. If you would like to help, I’m sure it would be appreciated.
Mark Ward of Metrolina Motorsports was there selling raffle tickets on the Big Wheel Bagger they’re giving away in November of this year. Proceeds from the bike raffle go to benefit Purple Heart Homes(purplehearthomesusa.org) For tickets contact Mark @ 704-259-6204.
Be on the lookout for upcoming Gatherings around the country like Decatur, Texas August. 24 & 25, Topeka, Kansas September. 21, Las Vegas, NV September 14, and Los Angeles, California October 19. You can find more info on the Gathering of the Tribes Facebook page. Hopefully, I’ll see y’all down the road at one of the next ones.