Area Pastor & Friends Embarking on 350-Mile Bike Journey to Raise Money for Ministry

PORTER TWP., Pa. (EYT) – An area pastor is sharing how a missed opportunity can sometimes open the door to something even better in the future.

(Pictured, left to right: Kevin Neal, of New Bethlehem; Bruce Brinker, of Hawthorn; and Pastor Doug Henry, of New Bethlehem. Not pictured: Reverend Kevin Myers, of Cambridge Springs – formerly of Punxsutawney.)

Pastor Doug Henry, of Leatherwood Church in Porter Township, will be going on a 350-mile bike journey with three other men to support a ministry in Romania – Barnabas Ministries, founded by Daniel Hurrelbrink, a former Emlenton resident.

Pastor Henry grew up in southern Clarion County and graduated from Redbank Valley High School in 1996.

At the age of 13, he signed up to go with a group of people on a special long-distance bicycle trip from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C. However, an accident that ended in a broken leg prevented him from attending the trip.

The story didn’t end there, though.

Over the last four to five years, Pastor Henry got back into bicycling again, slowly building back up to longer and longer rides. As he did so, he decided it was time to try for that long ride again, but this time, with something more added in.

“This has been a trip I’ve been wanting to take for a long time,” Henry told exploreJeffersonPA.com.

“I thought, ‘If I’m going to do this, I might as well have some good come out of it.'”

According to Henry, who has been the pastor at Leatherwood Church since 2005, their congregation has been helping to support Barnabas Ministries in Romania for over 25 years, including making two group mission trips in recent years, as well as multiple individual members taking their own mission trips.

Henry said after working for so long with the organization, he realized that his bicycle trip could offer a good opportunity to raise money for them.

“It seemed like a natural fit to help them and support them.”

Barnabas Ministries is a Christian non-profit organization that is dedicated to protecting and providing hope to children while strengthening and supporting families in rural Romania through education, empowerment, and advocacy.

Henry noted that Barnabas Ministries has already built an orphanage and a kids’ campground and is now working on three new projects: a community playground, a community center, and a church. He’s hoping his ride can help them raise money for those projects.

According to Henry, he won’t be tackling the ride alone.

Two other local residents, Kevin Neal, of New Bethlehem, and Bruce Brinker, of Hawthorn, will be accompanying him, as well as a fellow clergy member, Reverend Kevin Myers, of Cambridge Springs (formerly of Punxsutawney).

The ride will utilize the Gap Trail and the C&O Towpath Trail from Pittsburgh through Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia, ending in Washington, D.C.

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The group will be funding the ride themselves, taking all of their gear from tents to sleeping bags on their bikes.

“We want to do it the old-fashioned way, as long as the weather cooperates,” Henry noted.

They plan to undertake the entire trip in six to seven days in September, traveling approximately 60 to 70 miles per day.

“I’ll be 44 this year, so part of it is a bit scary, going that far, but we’ve been training and working together as a group to make it happen, and I think it’s going to be a good trip.”

Donations from those who wish to support the fundraising effort for Barnabas Ministries can be made in two ways: either a flat donation amount or donation by the mile.

Sample By-the-Mile Donations:

$.01 per mile = $3.50 donation
$.05 per mile = $17.50 donation
$.10 per mile = $35.00 donation
$.20 per mile = $70.00 donation
$.25 per mile = $87.50 donation
$.50 per mile = $175.00 donation
$1.00 per mile = $350.00 donation
$2.00 per mile = $700.00 donation

Donation checks can be made payable to Leatherwood Church, 889 Church Road, New Bethlehem, PA 16242, with the words “Bike Trip” in the memo line of the check.

All donations are tax-deductible and 100 percent of the money donated will be given directly to Barnabas Ministries.


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