Jeff Collins is a hero in Huntington, WV. He rebuilds bikes for Veterans and others in need; asking for no money, no gratitude. or no special attention. He simply wants to help people. Jeff, a member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Huntington, WV, has set up a workshop in Trinity’s parish house to support those needing transportation. Every day, one will find Jeff fixing, rebuilding broken bikes for someone in need.
The genesis of this mission lies in Jeff’s involvement in the The Gathering, a weekly outreach dinner at the church that he manages. The Gathering serves over 6000 hot meals annually but he found, in getting to know those coming, that many lacked any kind of transportation other than walking. They had no car, no minivan or access to public transportation so Jeff stepped in with this bike ministry. Jeff himseelf is an avid cyclist; on any given day, you will see him riding his bike around town. He loves the feel and freedom of the ride. And the ride allows him to think and ponder new ways to support others.
Jeff has already repaired over 50 bikes and has recently received over 30 more to repair and give away. He receives broken bikes from all sorts of folks in Huntington and has also developed relationship with local Veterans agencies to forward names of those in need. Beginning on a shoestring, he’s brought entrepreneurial eye to the ministry, utilizing his own tools, donated bikes and supplies. His workshop is reminiscent of countless images of Santa’s workshop for toys, but instead of toys, it’s filled to the brim with broken bikes in need of repair and a new home.Jeff’s ministry is but one of several stemming from Trinity Episcopal Church, developed out of its Metro Theology concept that seeks to match the assets of a church to the needs of its local community.
This effort is similar to Franklinton Cycle Works, a bike ministry in Columbus, OH that was sponsored from St John’s Town Street. Cycle Works mission is to Educate patrons about bicycle repair and maintenance, Create a space and provide the means for people to maintain their bicycle, and to Foster values of community, environmental sustainability, and healthy living. Are there other bike-focused ministries that you know of across the Episcopal church?