News

Pastor Turned Biker

by Office of Marketing | September 27, 2013
Reverend Kevin Kohler ’83 no longer ministers from the pulpit but from the seat of a Harley Davidson motorcycle. After retiring from ministry in 1996, Kohler has joined multiple motorcycle clubs and served the Lord within the biker community – all while leading Today for Tomorrow, Inc., a company he founded in 1988 that offers financial, mortgage and estate services. Over the course of three-and-a-half weeks in August 2013, Rev. Kohler joined the Harrisburg chapter of the Harley Owner’s Group (HOG) on a coast to coast round trip motorcycle ride.
 
Rev. Kohler is currently involved in three separate motorcycle clubs. He is leader of the Central Pennsylvania Black Sheep Harley-Davidsons for Christ, chaplain for the Harrisburg HOG Chapter and chaplain for the Central Pennsylvania Guardian Knights Motorcycle Club. Black Sheep, through which he operates most of his ministry, is a group of Christians who wish to identify with a motorcycle ministry and serve the biker community. In the past 13 years this organization (which reaches 1.8 million HOG members around the world) has established over 900 chapters in 38 states and six countries.
 
For the past four years, Rev. Kohler has ministered with Black Sheep as chaplain to the Harrisburg HOG Chapter – providing monthly breakfasts, hospital visits, bike blessings and boot shines. Most recently, Rev. Kohler joined HOG on a nationwide motorcycle ride called Sea to See the Sea. 
 
In 24 days of riding, Rev. Kohler and the Harrisburg HOG Chapter visited 25 different states and traveled over 9,000 miles. As chaplain, Rev. Kohler was asked to pray for and bless the trip every morning and had the opportunity to build meaningful relationships. Between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the group saw attractions such as Atlantic City, The Arch at St. Louis, the Grand Canyon, the Four Corners Monument, the Hoover Dam, the Golden Gate Bridge, Mackinac Island, and national parks that included Mount Rushmore, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Sequoia and Badlands.
 
Though many see the biker community as a rough crowd, Rev. Kohler sees it as an opportunity to share the love and hope found in Jesus Christ. When asked how or why he ministers to the biker community, Rev. Kohler relates the story of Moses at the burning bush. “God asked Moses, ‘What’s in your hand?’ You see, we all have something in our hand to help honor God … in my hand, I have a motorcycle.”

Rev. Kohler doesn’t just offer companionship through hospital visits and nationwide bike rides – he also preaches the Gospel with his show bike, Thorn. After buying a 2008 Harley Softail Custom, Rev. Kohler was finally able to create a theme bike which was something he had been dreaming of doing for many years. With the help of a customization shop in California, Rev. Kohler designed a motorcycle based on Isaiah 53; “He laid on Him the sin of us all.” These words are etched on the chrome gas tank and royal blue paint depicts Christ as the Lion of Judah, the Sacrificial Lamb and the Risen King with the Sword of Truth.
 
Rev. Kohler once displayed Thorn at Gettysburg Bike Week. Looking back on that event he said, “In one day, with that bike, I reached more unchurched people with the Gospel than I ever did in my 15 years of ministry. There were 40,000 bikers there and I talked to them about the Gospel for the whole day until my voice was hoarse.”
 
God can use any of our passions, desires and talents to spread the good news of salvation. As VFCC holds a dear place in Rev. Kohler’s heart – in fact, all of his children and their spouses studied here too – he would like to urge VFCC students, employees and alumni to use whatever God has placed in their hands, whether it's a motorcycle or something else, for the purpose of the Kingdom.