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by Charles Dailey
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Some leaders who have recently passed on to glory need to be recognized on the web so we will carry a few names here.

Tribute to Ron Elerick by Bob Lentz.

January 13, 2003

It is 1:25 in the morning, and I am writing about a dear friend, Ron Elerick, who had a heart attack and died this morning.

Ron and I were roommates in Bible College in the early 60's. I baptized him in 1964. I will never forget this giant of a man (even then) coming up out of the baptistry, and letting out this huge warhoop. "A 100 pound sack has been lifted from my shoulders. I'm forgiven."

In 1975 I went to Africa with him for a time, where he was doing mission work. He established eight churches in the time he was there. Some time ago, a brother whose last name is Pemberton (spelling) went over to visit those works, and found they had grown into about 60 churches.

Ron's wife died there in Malawi in 1975. He came home with his three girls and visited his supporting churches. He then met Cindy, who became his wife, and who went back with him to Africa. They had two children together.

Ron had been appointed as an official in a Scottish Clan
and was dressed in the garb of that clan when this picture
was taken. He was highly respected on two sides of the Atlantic.

-- Comment by Charles Dailey

Ron earlier had been a Highway Patrolman in Alaska, and later preached in Homer, Alaska. He developed a ministry for Harley Motorcycle bikers. Many couldn't see how you could spend time with such people, and in particular stereotyped bikers as "Hell's Angels and Gypsy Jokers." In other words, most people, including Christians could not understand why he associated with them.

He converted more to Christ than some of us ever have, including me. He traveled all over the United States to teach them. Everywhere he went they knew him as "Preach." He could talk their lingo, and get their attention. It helped that he was 6 foot 9 inches tall, and weighed nearly 400 pounds.

Ron traveled all over the states, from Alaska to Louisiana, everywhere teaching and preaching to bikers. Some of you probably have received his newsletters. He held revivals, and worked with Week of Missions, and held Bible camps all summer long.

In recent years his ministry grew in another way. His short wife was able to get a new Harley, the lower to the ground type. She always went with him when she could in the truck and trailer. But in recent years she rode her own Harley cross country with him, and was able to do a great work identifying with the women who also rode.

Ron often said that most people thought that Harley riders had leprosy, at least that is the way people treated bikers, including some Christians. In many churches he was not allowed to preach, because he worked with bikers, and people were afraid of the image he portrayed. Yet, most bikers are just ordinary men and women, doctors, lawyers, carpenters, plumbers, mechanics -- you name it. People who like to wear leathers, ride fast, loud bikes, and share it with others who enjoyed the same thing.

Let me tell you, he was a gentle giant!! A big teddy bear who loved Jesus and people with his whole heart.

The church here at Eastside San Jose has supported him for a number of years each month. He has visited the church several times, and always encouraged the flock.

At times Ron brought bikers with him who were not yet Christians. What an influence he had on so many. I will never forget an incident that happened about 12 years ago. He was holding a meeting where I was preaching, and his Harley gave up the ghost in our front yard. He had to get to Oklahoma the next week. He called a fellow biker, who was not yet a Christian. The biker drove his pickup and trailer 1000 miles, then hauled his bike another thousand miles to Ron's home, to get the bike in a shop to be repaired. It took the man about 2 minutes to say to Ron, "I'll be there as soon as possible!!!"

I'll never forget those phone calls, or those visits from him. He always was in search of new, straight forward reading material to give to bikers. I remember having a series of studies from brother Harold Buckles. Ron was amazed at the straight forward approach Harold used in sharing the gospel. Ron had to have copies of everything I had from Harold. That was back in 1985. He filled his saddlebags with anything that he could use to give testimony of Christ.

Ron was not yet 60. Thank God for this brother who had such deep convictions, and who bent over backwards to teach those who were rejected by so many.

I miss him already!!

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