Christian biker president rides into Norfolk
By Sandie Shirley
2009: UK President of the Christian Motorcyclists' Association, Mike Fitton, put a new spin under the wheels of its Norwich members in a bid to win more bikers for Christ. The former policeman, who forges links with national and international members, was in Norwich to help mark the Association's 30th anniversary.
He shared his rousing call to swell membership by 2500 during the next ten years and to place a Biker Bible in the hands of every UK biker after its remarkable publishing success 18 months ago.
"I want to encourage every member and affiliate member to find four new members over the next ten years," he said. Renewed manpower from committed Christians will help share the Good News and the love of God to give hope and encouragement to people, explained Mike, at Norwich's Racecourse Public House on Salhouse Road.
As he addressed new targets for mission, he has seen the Biker Bible exceed projected forecasts. It was launched in June 2007 – a pocket-sized New Testament with 24 stirring global bikers' stories. "Since then we have given away 22,000 and now we have enough funds to publish 20,000 more," said Mike. "The original idea was to publish 50,000 in five years.
"We are seeing bikers, at Holy Joes (tee-total refreshment tents, manned by CMA at bike rallies) sitting up all night and reading those stories after a skin full."
It is not just affecting bikers and their families. "One man was given a copy on his death bed. The motor neurone disease sufferer was a confirmed atheist when he read the testimonies from the Biker Bible given to him by a nurse. His wife was convinced they made an impact and asked me to take his funeral service," said Mike.
"Recipients have got the word of God in their hand – the Bible that brings life – not a worn out document – and it has made a difference in my life," said Mike, who believes he would have taken note if he was given one when he was looking for the way ahead when he was younger.
At 16, he drifted through nine European countries. There was a brief encounter with a cult in Vienna and a memorable Christian in Amsterdam with haunting eyes of love.
"I did not realise it was the peace of God that passes all understanding," he reflects.
Returning to England he joined the police force for an adventurous career with fights and car chases. He needed a daily fix of adrenalin that included endurance sports. Descending into the depths of depression he pushed himself physically with rock climbing, winter mountaineering alone in the Alps and Pyrenees, canoeing, motorcycling and back packing.
Frustrated by authority, and with a growing violent temper, his police career took a downward spiral. Mike's answer was to move to a self-built cabin in Alaska by the Yukon River in the wilderness. But God had other ideas.
He met some Christians while on police duty when their house roof flew off in a storm. "They invited me in for a cuppa and I noticed the scripture: 'If the son sets you free, you will be free indeed'. I saw in their eyes the same peace I saw in the man in Holland." A friendship developed and they taught Mike about Christ before he heard a tough Welsh preacher speak about God's love despite his sin and violent temper.
"I realised Jesus died for my sin and everything I had filled my life with just made me thirsty. I carried a burden of guilt bigger than any pack I hauled over the mountains. I ran from problems, leaving a trail of hurting people in my wake. I wanted to stop running. I walked to the front of the packed church and surrendered my life, asking Jesus to change me and walked out free indeed."
Returning to work, the following day, began years of ridicule. But it was the best training ground for evangelism. Mike was injured in a fight and was forced to end his police career. He became a children's evangelist and development worker - leading missions in Poland and Spain before joining CMA with his passion for motorbikes. In 2004, he became their first full-time president: "This is my job and I actually get to ride a bike and tell people about Jesus which is great."
He oversees 33 branches and has developed CMA's partnership with World Horizons to provide motorcyclists for overseas missionaries in rural areas. Mike’s travels across the world to forge a new and expanding mission field.
- The Norfolk branch of the Christian Motorcyclists' Association meets regularly on:
- First Tuesday in the month at Costessy Baptist Church, 7pm to 10pm.
- Harvest Centre, Brandon Full Gospel church, Fengate Drove, Brandon on the third Friday in the month, 7pm to 10pm.
- The Boundary pub in Norwich on the second Tuesday of the month
- Social at the Racecouse on Salhouse Road, Norwich every third Wednesday from 7pm.
- Witard Road Baptist church most Sundays if they are not doing runs events or visits.
- To find out more visit www.bike.org.uk
Pictured above is CMA President Mike Fitton on his Harley Davidson.