New pastor at Liberty Biker Church

Published 9:14 pm Saturday, January 20, 2018

A new leader is at the helm at Isle of Wight’s Liberty Biker Church.

Kenny Harrup began delivering messages at the church in September, and with the church struggling to find people to preach, Harrup took over for the whole month of December.

“They asked me unofficially on Christmas Day to be the new pastor,” Harrup said. “They officially asked and voted me in this past Sunday.”

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Harrup has traveled the country as a truck driver, but he returned to Suffolk permanently in 1996. When he first returned, he started attending Liberty Baptist Church and Southside Baptist Church.

Joining the Biker Church came from helping out a friend.

“About a year and a half ago, I went to help a buddy. I went to help the music department and provide live music as a praise band for the church,” Harrup said.

After helping the church with music, Harrup joined the congregation and quickly became involved.

The former pastor, James Manner, retired this past August, and this left a space for people to begin speaking at the church. There were people from all over and within the congregation that gave the messages until the elders decided upon Harrup to fill the spot.

The Suffolk native first came to faith at the age of 21, and this brought him into his first preaching gig. Harrup began “preaching” in a jail ministry, but he wasn’t sure how to answer questions about the Bible.

Wanting to help the men he was speaking to in the jail system, Harrup looked for a way to understand the Bible better, and he found that at Colonial Bible College in Roanoke, when he was 25. The school no longer stands, having folded a year after Harrup began.

Harrup’s journey with God continued as he left school to complete a mission trip in Papua New Guinea. The time spent across the world was helping fix a school house and spreading the gospel to indigenous tribes in the region.

After his return, the preaching continued for Harrup once he started driving a tractor-trailer full time. His job took him across the country, and Harrup regularly spoke in churches of every size, including truck stop chapels.

Harrup’s journey has led him to preaching full-time at the biker church, and he believes that he can give his congregation some inspiration.

“Someone in the role of a pastor equips the saints for the work of the ministry. Young kids sit sin church and you hope you give them some inspiration,” Harrup said.

The church, located at 20081 Iwip Road, holds services at 11 a.m. every Sunday, and occasionally the congregation may catch Harrup preaching in his motorcycle letters.