I’m not your typical Christian Minister. My reddish-blond hair is long. I have a beard, earrings, tattoos, and I wear a black leather jacket with a patch on the back. The street people know me simply as Pastor Z, and when I tell them about my faith, many listen. I am the founder of Bikers for Christ, an international Christian biker ministry. I visit places few people would dare to go. I scan rock concert crowds for young people with a deadly attraction for the fast lane. I hang out with “all types” of bikers (MC members, 1%ers, social clubs, in-laws and outlaws), addicts, hookers and wayward teens. (2 Timothy 4:5)
My journey has been long and hard. From the time I was thirteen years old until I met the Lord, I used and sold drugs. Later in life, I rode choppers and chose my own lifestyle. Not many things slowed me down, not a drug bust in the 70s, a stint in the military, not even a drug overdose. In 1974, life as I knew it came to a halt, (literally) when I crashed my motorcycle into a stone wall! (1 Sam:15:22) For the next eight months, while recovering from my injuries, I began thinking about God and the meaning of life and about my youth and the life I had led. This became a turning point in my life.
Rebellion had been a way of life. At age thirteen, I started smoking pot and drinking beer. By age fourteen, I had graduated to speed, downers, and sex. Soon I was into LSD two or three times a week, even taking it while in classes at school. At fifteen I had my first experience with bikes. I was at a parade when more than a dozen outlaws pulled up and began to party, defying anyone who challenged them. When a fight broke out with a rival club, I found myself actually rooting for them . . . like a Roman cheering the gladiators. I was already hooked on living a wild lifestyle.
At seventeen, my dependence on drugs grew stronger. I started eating reds and qualudes like they were candy, and also tried snorting and shooting heroin. To support my habit I stole bike parts from a motorcycle shop I worked at and traded them to bikers for money and drugs. I even resorted to ripping off cars and breaking into homes.
I dropped out of school and hitch-hiked across the country, ending up at a large anti-war demonstration in Washington, D.C., where I took some LSD and watched the Washington Monument melt . . . or so I thought. (Proverbs 1:7-19) I was busted for selling drugs to an undercover cop, and the law gave me a choice – go to jail or join the military. I suddenly felt a burst of patriotism. I arrived at Great Lakes Naval Training Center less than two weeks later, but even the military became a joke to me. Within a few months, I was back to dealing drugs and getting into more trouble.
While in the Navy, I bought my first large street bike – an 850cc Norton Commando. I raced people for cases of beer and bags of dope and rode with a couple of bike clubs. It was during this time that I hit the wall (literally and figuratively). After being discharged from the Navy. I went home for a few months, but couldn’t handle being tied down. I headed up to Alaska, but I was soon back in the party mode. (Eccl. 1:3-9)
One day a Christian girl invited me to her church. I thought Christians were all geeks and hypocrites, but she was cute, so I decided to go to church with her, thinking she would later party with me. Before meeting her at church, I smoked a few joints and popped a couple of pills, figuring I would go there and tell those Christians how deceived they were.
Although I didn’t like preachers, this one seemed to be speaking directly to me. I was sure the Christian girl had told the pastor I was coming, because I didn’t know anything about the power of the Holy Spirit. As I listened to his message, my defenses slowly broke down. I could feel something tugging inside of me. So, when the altar call was given, I ran down the aisle, accepted the Lord, was baptized in water and filled with the Holy Spirit, all in the same night. (John 3:1-8)
My life changed radically. God had given me the gift of evangelism. In the next few months, the church people watched in wonder as this long-haired guy with Harley wings on his jacket herded his van full of young people into the church every week. I served the Lord at that church for more than a year and even tried going to Bible school. (Rev. 3:20) (John 1:12-13)
But something was wrong. The church was pretty legalistic and although I was filled with a lot of zeal, I wasn’t grounded in the Lord. Before I knew it, my ‘old nature’ started rearing its ugly head. For a few months I’d do great, then go back to partying, then make a comeback to the Lord. (2 Peter 2:22) My Christian experience seemed like a yo-yo.
I wish I could tell you that I’ve always made good choices in life or have always done the right thing, but I haven’t. Choosing to cling to the pain and hurt from my past, I’ve made some terrible life decisions. One of the most painful was divorce. I can only tell you that God hates divorce! It devastates families. (Malachi 2:14-16)
I am thankful that our God is good, full of grace and mercy. He is able to take the worst situations and make things new. After coming to the end of myself, I realized that serving the Lord Jesus Christ with all my heart, mind and strength, was the only way to have peace and fulfillment in my life. It was and is my desire to have Him rule and reign in my life everyday. He continually changes me, helping me grow in the knowledge and grace that He promises. (2 Cor. 5:17)
I have a beautiful wife named, Esther. She is my soul-mate and partner in the Lord’s work. I have three beautiful daughters, Melody, Sandra and Andrea and grandchildren whom I love with all my heart, and who love me. I am also thankful for the close friends, brothers and sisters in Christ that are literally all over the world. Serving God and being in His presence are the ultimate high that anyone can experience. (Proverbs 18:22) (Psalms 127:3)
God has given me the gift of evangelism and teaching. I have had the privilege of sharing His love and truths with many different types of people, on the streets, in churches and at outreaches. It’s an exciting thing to be able to witness to people about the awesome things God has done and continues to do in my life. In 1987 I was licensed as a minister, and in 1990 I was ordained as a pastor. I am able to perform weddings, help with funerals and memorial services and share the gospel in hospitals, juvenile halls and in the jails. (Psalms 104:4) God has done many miracles, and incredible things in my life, family, and ministries.
In 1990, I founded BIKERS FOR CHRIST International Motorcycle Ministry. Since then it has grown to thousands of members in the U.S. and overseas. The Lord Jesus Christ has given our members a burden to reach out to all types of people, including “normal” folks, outlaw and independent bikers, drug addicts, alcoholics, rebellious teens, rock n’ rollers, punkers, satanists, and others to whom God leads us. We use our motorcycles as tools for evangelism, sharing the gospel with everyone we meet. We’ve promoted Christian rock bands that offer an alternative for young people. We’ve seen many souls saved and backsliders reconciled. It’s very rewarding to see the Lord change people’s lives as they yield themselves to Him. (John 15:4-10)
From 1990 TO 2001, I served as a Calvary Chapel pastor in Northern California. In 2003, I began a church in a bike shop and called it “Rushing Wind Ministries”, also known as the “Biker Church”. We now hold our Sunday service, Bible studies and events in a rented space that also is home to our BFC Headquarters and offices. I am the senior pastor and am blessed to say that we have started over a dozen other ‘Rushing Wind Ministry” biker churches since 2003.
God is truly a God of second chances and mighty miracles. In addition to being the pastor at the church in Oceanside, California I travel as an evangelist all over the U.S., Canada, Mexico and parts of Europe, and I have had the pleasure of leading thousands of people to faith in Christ. (Rom. 10:13-15)
God has also given me the opportunity to share the Gospel message with people like Jay Leno, Charlie Hunnam, Emilio Rivera, Lorenzo Lamas, Peter Fonda, Mick Fleetwood, Billy Idol, Robert Patrick, Brett Michaels, the guys in Motley Crue, the artists at LA Ink, plus bike builders Jesse James, Billy Lane, Arlen Ness, Paul Yaffee and others. I’ve also been able to share with many of the leaders of most of the hard-core motorcycle clubs in the U.S. and abroad. Matthew 9:10-13
Jesus freed me from the bondage of drug addiction and other sins, and I’ve found that living for Jesus and serving Him is the only way to have real peace and true purpose in life. Life is short, and we need to live life with eternity in mind. The Bible says that “life is a vapor” and we are only here for a short time. (James 4:14)
Those who are Christians will enter heaven for an eternity. Those who die in their sins will face an eternity away from God. We each choose the road we’ll take. Some take the road that leads to destruction and death; but everyone can make a U-turn and get on the road that leads to life. Make the most of your time on earth by loving God, loving your family and friends, and trusting Him who died for your sins – Jesus Christ. (Matt. 7:13-14) (Joshua 24:15)
Love and Respect, Pastor Fred Z.
If you’d like to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then pray this prayer – and mean it: ‘Dear Father, please forgive my sins and wash them clean by the precious blood of Your Son. I ask you to come into my heart and change me. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and help me to be a better person as You lead and guide me. Write my name in Your Book of Life so I may have the hope of heaven. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
The Next Step:
Read the Bible everyday, start with the Gospel of John. It will help you to know and understand God.
Pray. Talk to God as a friend. He loves you and wants to hear from you.
Be baptized and tell others about your faith in Christ. He will bless you for it.
Find a good Bibles believing and teaching church. (We can help you with that)