Just outside of Joplin, on east Newman Road, there's the international headquarters of a Christian motorcycle group. Members of that group began a rally today that's meant to build each other up, and strengthen each other, so they can find new ways to minister.
We usually introduce someone in our story by their first and last names.
"Hollywood. Short, Wood," says Hollywood himself, who got his nickname from Brother Chuck.
"I'm kind of clean-shaven, compared to the rest of them," says Hollywood.
"Them" being the Covenant motorcycle group, with chapters across the U.S. and Canada, and a message they want heard loud and clear.
"They watch you, especially in the motorcycle world," says Hollywood.
Hundreds of Covenant members are expected to meet in Joplin, with some traveling more than two days, to fellowship and talk about ways they can set better examples.
"Love one another, as Jesus loves the church. Take care of the poor," says Brother Chuck.
"I have a past, like all of them have a past," says Hollywood.
Hollywood got into crime when he was 13. But that's all in the past right now, most of it, anyway. He uses what's behind him to talk to people eye-to-eye.
"That's where you make the connection. You have to make a connection to these people who want something different," says Hollywood.
"Opening doors is like getting to go witness where other people don't go," says Brother Chuck.
"Minister to prostitutes. Drug abusers," says Hollywood.
Sure, there's talk at this motorcycle rally about ways to make a hog sound ever louder. But bikers say they remind each other about what's really behind their ride through life.
"You can tell them anything you want, but if you don't show love for them, if you don't show understanding for them, you'll never get through to them." says Hollywood.
No matter life's past, or nickname that sticks around, there's always now to set an example.
Members of the Covenant motorcycle group say their rally will end Thursday, or Friday. They call it "biker time," and it depends on when most of the riders leave for home to get ready for work next week.
KOAM - Licensed to Pittsburg, Kansas