Major Chuck Yockey with the the Salvation Army Motorcycle Ministry has been coming to the Sturgis Rally for seven years. Yockey says that they have been coming since the 75th Anniversary of the Sturgis Rally. Originally there were only three or four that came but this year the ministry has grown to 12 or 13. Yockey says, “But we’re going to continue this tradition going for years to come.”
Yockey explains, “We’re offering bike blessings and biker blessings. We pray for the biker and the motorcycle itself. We’re having a recovery meeting at the Salvation Army downtown in Rapid City. I will do just about anything that we’re asked to do. We are a service of the Lord.” Yockey also explains that they are passing out prayer cards with a scripture on the inside. The manufacturers and God are the only ones that know what the scriptures say.
The Salvation Army ministry also has a strong concern for human trafficking. Yockey explains, “We want people to become aware of the horrific problem of trafficking in the world today, especially right here at the rally. And if folks have a drug addiction, you want them to know that the Salvation Army is there to help.”
Yockey describes one way that the ministry is able to help. “A few years ago, we were here and we had a Dogs and Hogs dinner at the Salvation Army open to anyone who wants to come. And as we were grilling hot dogs and noticed, a couple came in. They saw the free meal sign. They sat down. And a couple of us just noticed they weren’t quite right. Something interesting was going on. So we went over, sat down, introduced ourselves to them. And come to find out, this couple had lost a child in a fire just a few days before that. So we were able to be there and minister to them and prayed for them, and they stayed in contact with the Salvation Army for several years, pass that. So that’s the reason why the Lord brought us to that day.”