Date of Award
Religious and Theological Studies
Antony Alumkal, Ph.D.
Biker, Christian, Ethnography, Evangelical, Motorcycle
For two years I rode with a group of bikers. For those two years we rode together, ate together, and prayed together. The bikers with which I rode were members of the Christian Motorcyclists Association and they believe that they have a mission to evangelize the world of American bikers.
The resulting ethnography is a study of a little known, little understood and little studied segment of the American evangelical Christian movement. Recent academic study posits that Americans in larger numbers are experiencing religion, spirituality, and faith differentially than in the past, as reflected in gradually decreasing numbers of Americans who report themselves to be regular members of religious congregations.
One notable exception to this apparent decrease in church identification and membership is found in the evangelical Christian movement. The members of the Christian Motorcyclists Association represent themselves to be dedicated evangelicals whose mission is "changing the world, one heart at a time."
Since its founding in 1974, the CMA has grown into a ministry with thousands of members in hundreds of chapters nationwide. This study documents two years of attendance with CMA members at public events, private gatherings, and the completion of in-depth, personal interviews with members. The study asks and answers just how the membership of the CMA fits into the typical profile of American evangelicals and documents its transition from a purely biker centered ministry into an evangelical Christian outreach organization.
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O'Connell, Richard Vincent, "Angels with Leather Wings: An Ethnography of the Christian Motorcyclists Association" (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1115.
Received from ProQuest
Richard Vincent O'Connell