Culture

Apr 10, 2017 by Will Maule

The 'Disciples' Biker Gang Is Changing Hearts And Bringing Jesus To The Lost

The 'Disciples Motorcycle Club' is no ordinary biker gang. They love Jesus and want to see his Kingdom come in the often sidelined biker community. Recently, VICE caught up with the group, and produced a truly incredible short documentary on their work. 

"I believe right now, there are men right now next to their motorcycle in their garage, with a beer. They are gonna go to Church tomorrow, cos' tomorrow's Sunday. But Church has left them behind. And you've gotta touch their heart, you've gotta electrify their soul. That's what they are waiting for!" says founder James Johnson. 

Before every ride, this biker crew don't start with shooting up or smoking weed. Instead, they pray. "Heavenly father we come to you with joy and thanksgiving, Lord, always. We thank you so much for this day to come together in brotherhood, as one in the body of Christ, and ride on two wheels. Amen!"

"God is great!" the men shout before getting on their bikes and riding off down the freeway.

Public opinion on groups of bearded bikers has dived in recent years. Back in 2015, a mass shootout took place between rival Biker gangs in Waco, Texas resulted in 9 deaths and multiple injuries. Aggression, intimidation and lawlessness are often synonymous with these groups.

James is seeking to change this public perception by the power of the Holy Spirit! 

Johnson was actually in a crime-ridden biker club before becoming a Christian. He does not disclose which one. "I've gone back and seen this mix mash of experiences the Lord has put me through to put me where I am at now!" he says. A former drug addict himself, he ended up attending a pentecostal Bible college, where God changed his heart.

But it hasn't always been easy. A lot of Christians have criticized Johnson and his biker crew for looking different to your average follower of Jesus. "We've taken a lot of flack. We're told we are unholy. People say "you guys ride fast," and whatever they can find to say. People have said all kinds of stuff about us!"

However, members of the group find a strong affinity to Jesus Christ himself, as a man who defied the norms of the day. "Jesus in a lot of ways was an outlaw. He was doing stuff that was countercultural, going against the grain," biker Matt Rollison says. 

The club is on a mission to bring Jesus into this often volatile community. They want to minister and connect with many other biker gangs and desire to introduce them to Jesus Christ. 

"A lot of our prayer happens on the bike," says group member Robert Herring. "We get alone on the interstate. We're riding and having a good time. It is very spiritual to be out there, the wind in your face. You can talk to God. You have all this beauty around you!"

Dustin "Slim" Rucker is the 'Prayer Sgt.' in the motorcycle club, and describes many of the spiritual needs of those that are welcomed into their community. "I'm big on servant leadership. I was the head deacon of a Chuch for eight years," he says. "These days, it's tricky to navigate our social interaction. If you look at our modern society there's such confusion on what manhood and masculinity is. So you end up with a lot of ill-prepared adults. That's one of the things that the club did for me."

"It gave me a place that I could open up."

Next, the bikers head out to an empty shopping mall, now converted into a Church. They have a time of worship, then biker pastor Charles Butcher gets up to speak.

"This club is a bunch of people who thought they were nobody. People told you year after year you were useless, you were not gonna amount to anything. This is your time guys," the pastor says.

Then, one biker gets up to address the group and tell of how God and the group helped him get sober. "I put my wife and my family through hell. But now, I haven't had a drink in 442 days." The rest of the group celebrate and praise God, whilst others pray for the man's wife and kids. It is a beautiful moment. 

"Some of these guys i've met, they are from broken homes, some are orphans. I've had men that were in their 50's, that just me telling them I was proud of them.. like I could just see it wash over them," says prayer Sgt. Slim. 

Then, one member gets his 'full patch' to become a fully-fledged member of the group. The rest of the crew gather around and pray for him and his family. "Father in Jesus name we just anoint this couple with oil, Father we know that in the Bible the oil is the sign of the Holy Spirit. We ask you to pour out your Holy Spirit on this couple. Amen!" 

Then, Johnson invites Slim up to the front to give him his full patch, in an incredibly emotional moment. "Slim, when it says in Deuteronomy 28 that 'they shall see the name of the Lord upon you...' he begins to cry, "and they'll respect you. You have meant this to me since you came along."

"The first conversation I had with you, you challenged me. When I said I was gonna go out and drink, you've come over to my house and prevented me from doing it." 

"A lot of times, we don't express to the brothers that we ride with what they mean to us. But you mean a lot to me," Johnson says, as Slim grabs him and embraces him.

"Becoming a disciple is about being a better husband, a better Father, about overcoming addictions, about spiritual progression. It's about moving to the next level! I want to get to the next level. I want other men to see that there are other levels and to start climbing the stairs too." 

These guys love Jesus so much. It is so inspiring! Watch the full short documentary below. 



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