Rick Gibson, a former Christian pastor, began using Craigslist a few years ago. His passion was selling motorcycle parts online and he started doing it a lot. It was through Craigslist that he met a member of the Temple Riders Association (TRA), a group of motorcyclists who ride to and from Ladder-Day Saints temples across the U.S. and Canada.
Riding is one of the most popular pastimes in the United States. In 2013, there were about 8.4 million motorcycles out on the roadways, but few associate bikers with spreading religious awareness.
“I was looking for riders who didn’t ride from bar to bar to bar,” said Gibson.
According to the Daily Universe, Gibson started riding with the TRA and networked with various members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. After his pastor duties came to an end, Gibson checked out a church with his new riding buddies.
A motorcycle ride from Idaho to Utah brought Gibson to Temple Square in Salt Lake City. It was here he had a “hand of God moment.”
“You feel the presence of the Holy Ghost in your life,” Gibson said.
He soon converted to Mormonism.
“The TRA is an excellent vehicle to expose people to the church,” Gibson added. “I think all of us, as committed Christ followers, if we believe what Jesus said when he said, ‘you are fishers of men,’ and women, we are bound by our love for Christ to live as examples of God’s love for his children.”
The TRA has around 700 members and covers approximately 1 million miles every year. The only requirements for being a member of the TRA are no smoking, no drinking, and no telling bad jokes. They pride themselves on being “not the typical motorcycle gang,” said Cindy Caldwell, Provo TRA chapter leader.
“We love to ride and we love riding with good people,” Caldwell added.