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Harleys â€˜n Heaven
Bikers and Bibles come together at T.R.A.S.H.
Mike Price started the ministry "T.R.A.S.H."--"Totally Redeemed Anointed Servants of the most High" in Bassett.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
By TRISHA VAUGHAN - Bulletin Accent Writer
For years, people had called Mike Price trash. Two years ago, he realized he was.
Price, 50, saw the word to be an acronym, "T.R.A.S.H.," standing for "Totally Redeemed Anointed Servants of the most High."�
The idea came to him while he was speaking at a revival in Galax. The term is the name of his new ministry in Bassett, which reaches out to people who may have been talked down to in their lives.
Dressed in jeans, a T-shirt and leather vest and hat, Price sat recently in the bright blue sanctuary of T.R.A.S.H. Ministry, which held its first service in late October, and pointed out that "we're not a church, we're a ministry."
The T.R.A.S.H. style of worship is not like most found in "traditional churches," he said. The preaching is brief, the music is loud and there is plenty of fellowship time.
"Fellowship is very important in the body of Christ," Price said, and the ministry's atmosphere is laid back so people feel at home and comfortable.
"We like (the music) to have a little oomph in it," he said. "If it's too loud, you're too old," he chuckled.
"The message is sacred, not the method," he added.
It took Price many years to come into his own as a minister, mostly because he didn't feel at home in traditional settings.
When he was saved 13 years ago and began to evangelize, he wore suits, cut his hair, covered up his tattoos and sold his motorcycle "because that's what I was supposed to do," he said.
It didn't work. Price said he felt miserable, and "I told God that if this is it, it's not for me."�
As he traveled and spoke at various churches and revivals, Price said he got further and further from "traditional ministry." He realized there were probably more like him who would benefit from someone who was more approachable.
Many churches Price encountered had a Biker Sunday or Biker Bash each year, so he set out to create a ministry centered around bikers and people who had not been ministered to because of what they look like or their lifestyle.
"I just love Rev. (Billy) Graham," Price said, but he's not trying to imitate the famous minister. He said that it is OK to be a different kind of minister because there are different kinds of people. "(God) doesn't need another Billy Graham," he said.
Jason Gibbs of Martinsville and Jerry Rector of Ridgeway both agree that T.R.A.S.H. is the place for them. "It's not orchestrated," said Gibbs, explaining that he likes the ministry because it is a relaxed environment. On Sundays, he still attends Harvest Worship Center in Stuart.
"I love it," said Rector, who "fell in love with this place" at its first service.
Rector, a long-time biker, said, "very few churches anymore go outside the four walls (of the church)."� The ministry is a "great way to evangelize to people (and) win the souls no one will witness to," like drug addicts, drug dealers, even Hell's Angels, he added.
Price lives in Bassett with his wife Hollie and their English bulldog Lucy. "If we (all) could be the Christian, loving people like that dog is to us," the world would be in better shape, Price said with a laugh.
His daughter and two grandchildren live in Christiansburg, where Price grew up and lived before moving to this area six years ago.
Price hopes to keep the ministry open on weekends during the summer so travelers can stop in and rest. He also would like to collaborate more with other churches and ministries in the area, and has had support from David Coleman who is the pastor at Harvest Worship Center.
About 40 people attend the 7:30 p.m. Friday services at 9291 Fairystone Park Highway in Bassett. The services are held on Fridays because some of the congregation attend their home churches on Sundays, Price said.
So far, the services have attracted everyone from teenagers to great-grandparents.
"There's only one Heaven we're heading to," so people should get along and cooperate with each other here, he added.
T.R.A.S.H. will be a cosponsor of the Rebuilding Lives Rally, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. July 23 at the Community Storehouse. It will include music, food, a poker run, a service and camping.
T.R.A.S.H.'s website is www.trashministry.com.