On May 22, seven church leaders and one lay person, cyclist enthusiasts, went on a special 1,200-mile ride from Washington, D.C. to St. Louis, Missouri—the site of the 2022 General Conference Session. They mapped out the ride, committing to ride about 100 miles per day. Photo credit: Mark Froelich
On May 22, seven church leaders and one lay person, cyclist enthusiasts, went on a special 1,200-mile ride from Washington, D.C. to St. Louis, Missouri—the site of the 2022 General Conference Session. They mapped out the ride, committing to ride about 100 miles per day.
But this trip was about more than just cycling and fitness. This trip represented the combination of a favorite hobby, cycling, and literature evangelism. These cyclists were moved to share Adventist literature themselves with those with whom they would come in contact, thus providing a greater purpose to their trip. They purposed to reflect to the greater church community that many hobbies can be used for missionary purposes, thus inspiring more to get involved and reach more souls in a friendly way.
During an evening vespers program on June 2 in a rural Huntingburg, Indiana church, Anthony Kent, an associate Ministerial director at the General Conference and one of the cycling participants, held up a worn-out copy of the Great Controversy that his great-grandfather, Thomas Kent, had purchased from a literature evangelist, Phillip Reekie, whose mode of transportation was a bicycle.
This book was read not only by Thomas but also by at least six other farmers in community. And they all accepted the Adventist message! It is estimated that more than 20,000 people have been impacted by this one man’s ministry and joined God’s last-day remnant people.
Each morning before embarking on their daily 100-mile cycling mission, the team came together for breakfast and an inspirational worship. Stocked with water, energy granola bars, and literature—a copy of the Great Controversy, Arthur Maxwell’s Your Bible and You, and a small tract retelling the story of the cyclist literature evangelist--they went. They were also accompanied by a service vehicle that would assist them with any maintenance issues.
As they traveled, they met people who were working in their yards, walking in their neighborhoods, or shopping in stores. To these new friends the cyclists would stop and share the story of Phillip Reekie and then share with them the tract and books. They also prayed with people, and sometimes the people offered to pray for them and their mission! People were very receptive to the literature!
Their first stop in the Lake Union territory was the town of Madison, Indiana. From there, they journeyed to Jasper, Indiana. That evening they came to the Huntingburg church for a fellowship meal shared with local church members, followed by the inspirational vespers lead by the cyclists.
The next morning, Paul Kilroy, an elder from the Evansville First church, also an avid cyclist, joined them for a day of cycling that ended in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. Paul was very impressed with their endurance and remarked, “They were all very strong.” They spent their Sabbath in the Thompsonville church in Illinois leading out in the church service.
As they rode through Indiana and Illinois, they continued to share tracts, books, and prayers with individuals they met. We praise God for the seeds they planted in our territory!
And you can share Jesus with others too! Sharing literature with others using a personal touch is one of the most effective ways of sharing the Gospel with others.
In the book Gospel Workers, page 25, Ellen White noted: “There is great need of men who can use the press to the best advantage, that the truth may be given wings to speed it to every nation, and tongue, and people.”
South Pacific Division President Glenn Townend, also one of the cyclists, remarked: “We had rain, we had cold, and we had days with over 100 (40 c) degrees. But we are doing this in memory of the literature evangelist who rode his bicycle throughout Australia and provided the foundation for the growth of the church in Australia.”
May these cyclists and the work of Phillip Reekie be an inspiration to all of us and let us adopt the General Conference theme “I Will Go” in our own churches, in our own families, and in our own personal lives.
Pastor Townend’s challenge to us is: “Whatever your passion or interest, you can use it to witness for Jesus.”
Annette Metz is a member of the Evansville First Church