Ministry on Wheels: Morgan County church provided 100 bicycles to children
By Catherine Godbey
For the Enquirer
Dozens of bicycles — some adorned with neon green rims, some with bright blue frames and some with silver streamers — filled No Fences Cowboy Church.
Each of the 100 bicycles represented a gift to the community thanks to the Falkville-based church’s children’s group.
“We wanted our kids to learn about what it means to be servants in the community. We wanted them to learn about helping people. We wanted them to understand what it felt like when they brightened someone else’s day,” said Josh Sparkman, pastor of No Fences Cowboy Church. “This has been an awesome opportunity for them and for our community.”
Dubbed Pedal Into Spring, the outreach mission focused on providing children in the community with bicycles started three months ago.
“Ranch Kids, our children’s group, decided to get bicycles for kids who may not have them. They thought it would be a good way to show their love for others and to keep the kids active this summer,” Sparkman said. “It seemed like a great way to really make an impact in our area.”
To find children in need of bicycles, the church sent letters to Danville-Neel Elementary, Falkville Elementary and Sparkman Elementary schools. More than 100 people sent in requests for bicycles.
The response surprised the church.
“We thought maybe we would give out 50 bikes at the most,” said Sparkman’s 10-year-old daughter Laney Sparkman, a member of the
church’s Ranch Kids children’s group. “We never thought we would give out 100. That’s a whole lot of bicycles.”
Josh Sparkman attributed the response, in part, to the country’s economic situation, from the rising gas prices to inflation.
“At first, I was surprised that that many people needed bicycles. But, with the way things are now, it’s not too hard to see how some people need a help. We are just trying to help people however we can,” Josh Sparkman said.
To fund the project, the youth collected monetary donations from church members and held fundraisers, including a 5K and fun run. When the bicycles arrived, teams of members gathered at the church to assemble them.
“We set it up so that the families would come to the church to get the bikes. That day was one of the best days. The kids were just so excited,” Josh Sparkman said.
Along with the bicycle giveaway, in the past year No Fences’ Ranch Kids organized a canned food drive, collected clothing and coats to give away and wrote letters to shut-ins and individuals in nursing homes.
“Doing all of these things has felt good. It feels great knowing that we are able to help somebody else,” Laney Sparkman said.