Scott Atwood has been married 21 years, to four different women.
Atwood, known as "Newfy" to his biker friends, struggled with drug and alcohol addictions for years. He's been treated for alcoholism three times and drug abuse twice, but nothing seemed to help him. It wasn't until Atwood joined the Bond-Slaves, a Christian motorcycle club for men, that his life started to change.
"I tried everything else," Atwood said. "I met Jesus Christ through the Bond-Slaves. Through brotherhood and accountability I've been sober and clean for six years."
Atwood, of Browerville, is president of the Bond-Slaves' Brainerd lakes chapter. The Bond-Slaves in Brainerd has eight members, four of whom are licensed pastors, including Atwood. As a licensed pastor, Atwood said, it's easier to get into jails to speak to prisoners. The Bond-Slaves are active in prison ministries, drug and alcohol programs, churches and youth events.
"I've put on 200,000 miles in six years traveling (to speak at different events)," Atwood said.
Wherever they go, the Bond-Slaves get people talking. Either their appearance, usually leather-clad with tattooed arms, or their message of Christianity draws attention.
"We're spreading the good news of Jesus Christ," Atwood said. "We're introducing the Bond-Slaves to people so they can get to know what our ministry is."
The Bond-Slaves are passing out Bibles and other Christian literature at a Crow Wing County Fair booth this week. Maximum Motorsports in Brainerd has two Harley-Davidson motorcycles on display in the booth, drawing questions from many fair-goers.
The Bond-Slaves are raffling West Coast Chopper and Orange County Chopper Schwinn bicycles at the fair, an attempt to raise money for various causes, including homeless and needy veterans.
The Bond-Slaves and the Vietnam Motorcycle Club are organizing a ride from Home Depot in Baxter to the St. Cloud VA Medical Center to benefit homeless and needy veterans. The run will leave Home Depot at noon Aug. 20. Registration is 10-11:45 a.m. Cost is $20, with all of the proceeds being donated to address the needs of the homeless veteran population.
Atwood expects 60-100 people to go on the ride for homeless veterans. People don't need a motorcycle to attend. Atwood said cars, trucks, even 18-wheelers can drive with the group.
To donate to the homeless and needy veterans cause, send a check payable to St. Cloud Stand Down Inc. In the memo category, write Operation Homeless Vets. Donations can be sent to Bond-Slaves MC/Brainerd lakes chapter, C/O Scott Atwood, 28704 392nd St., Browerville, MN 56438.
"Because it's for homeless vets, I think people will take a stand on that," Atwood said.
The Bond-Slaves meet 7 p.m. the first and third Tuesdays of each month at the Brainerd American Legion. There's a potluck 6 p.m. on the fifth Tuesday of the month.
HEIDI LAKE can be reached at 855-5879 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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