Harleys and leathers for local church group

OCEANSIDE — “Jesus saves bikers too,” is the slogan on Pastor Fred Zariczny’s business card. Fred Zariczny, better known as Pastor Z, is the founder of Bikers for Christ International ministry and Rushing Wind Ministries church in Oceanside.
Bikers for Christ International boasts 4,000 leather-clad evangelists who share the word of God with fellow bikers, veterans and anyone searching for God. “We’re going full throttle for Jesus,” Zariczny said.
The ministry also serves the community with food distribution and prayer. “The Lord tells us the needs,” elder Kevin Fadden said.
Rushing Winds Ministry church in Oceanside has 100 members. There are affiliate churches in almost every state and in 19 countries worldwide.
While you do not have to be a biker to be a church member, biker culture is an integral part of the church and ministry. Sunday services are relaxed, with a four-piece Christian rock band amplified over a top-notch sound system. Members roll in on their Harleys, wear the church patch, and have the black and red church logo tattooed on their arms, necks or backs. There is even an on-staff tattoo artist who travels with the ministry. “We take folks ‘as is’,” Pastor Z said. “We welcome everybody and anybody riding up on a bike, car or Vespa.”
Zariczny found his calling when a friend invited him to church. He was using drugs, riding with an outlaw biker club and searching for meaning when the message he heard in church clicked.
Zariczny served as a church volunteer and studied to be a pastor. He founded Bikers for Christ ministry and Calvary Chapel in Marysville in 1990, and Rushing Wind Ministries in Oceanside in 2000. “I reached out to the kind of people I used to be like,” Zariczny said.
Zariczny works as an evangelist and pastor. He is a self-described mix of Billy Graham’s preaching and Robin Williams’ humor when he talks about God.
Church services are straight from the Bible. Church members flip from Revelations 4:2-3 to Exodus 28:2, as Pastor Z compares jasper to his wife’s diamond ring.
His delivery is light and inclusive. Pastor Z leads churchgoers through one chapter of the Bible each Sunday, reading the word, giving a tangible example, and adding in a joke.
Where the Bible tells of elders wearing white, Zariczny reassures members that good guys wear black too, when they’re out riding and dealing with oil and bugs. Church members nod, laugh and follow along with the Bible in hand.
Pastor Z speaks at biker rallies and churches across the U.S. He is a regular speaker at the Sturgis Rally held in Black Hills, S.D., and will be speak at a festival in Belgium in September.
Zariczny is always ready to bring Jesus into the conversation. “Jesus is an awesome guy,” Zariczny said.


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