BY RICK WRIGHT –
The Christian Motorcyclists Association (CMA) has grown into a worldwide ministry with thousands of members across the United States and in more than 30 countries around the world. Because of the efforts of CMA members, millions of lives around the world have been impacted for the cause of Christ. And since its inception, CMA has been headquartered in Hatfield, Arkansas.
It all started in 1975 with one man, Herb Shreve, on a motorcycle with the willingness to obey God. Herb Shreve, pastor, biker, evangelist and founder of the CMA, answered God’s call to reach out to the motorcyle community. As Herb visited rally after rally, he felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit to reach out to people who lived the biker lifestyle. Herb’s faith in God, through personal health issues, including open heart surgery, never wavered. He allowed God to work through him to put a solid foundation under the ministry that has stood firm since 1975.
Herb was the pioneer that endured the brunt of the tough stuff. He put up with the intimidations and rudeness of those he was there to serve, and God blessed every mile of his journey, by ensuring physical protection, to allowing favor among the lost and providing every financial need. Herb’s commitment and sacrifice paved the way for a whole army of servants that were to follow in his footsteps.
The CMA grew and matured under Herb’s leadership. In his last few years, he took great delight in being appointed CMA Ambassador at Large. Herb didn’t worry about the uncomfortable conditions and agonizing situations he knew he would endure for the Gospel. He fought the good fight, finished the race and kept the faith.
In later years, Herb was grateful for the present leadership and how CMA was still on track with the original vision God gave him.
This grass roots movement to combine Christ and motorcylces took on a life of its own and several chapters were chartered starting in late 1976 in the Southwest and continued to grow as additional chapters began to spring up everywhere. Unfortunately, the fire that destroyed the Shreve family home in 1977 wiped out all of the early records. CMA archives contain copies of letters that Shirley, Herb’s wife, had written to members requesting information to help reconstruct the records, handwritten notes between Shirley and June Johnson exchanging the information, and many different typed membership lists. Shirley took on the task as a labor of love with total dedication.
With over 170,000 applications accepted for membership over the last 41 years, recorded on index cards, to several different computer generations, to today’s advancements in technology, CMA has tried to balance keeping up with advancements. In 2001, CMA launched a website, and from 2003 to 2006 the shopping site, Regional, State, and Chapter Web, International and Country sites, and the e-newsletter were developed.
As of today, there are nine full-time Evangelists and thousands and thousands of CMA’ers in their own local areas preaching the Word. There are thousands of Prayer Warriors on their knees and thousands that are involved in this ministry on a daily basis.
The growth God has allowed over the last 41 years is phenomenal and with six regions, nine full-time Evangelists, over 890 active chapters, and Support Center staff over 40, Herb’s words still ring true; “this ministry is reaching people for Christ” and all of it remains headquartered right here in Polk County.