A powerful afternoon thunderstorm cut short the cruise-in hosted by the Cruise In For Christ ministry on Saturday, but in terms of spreading the gospel, the event was “overwhelmingly successful,” said event organizer Clay Honeycutt.
“I was really happy even though we got rained out.”
The cruise-in began at about 10 a.m. at Beary Country Gifts & Collectibles on Old Beary Trail in Mount Airy, an hour earlier than scheduled.
Honeycutt said the cruise-ins, held every third Saturday of the month, are a means to facilitate the ministry.
“We are a group of Christians that love to share the gospel to a lost and dying world using the old cars,“ he said. “If you can feed someone, you can talk to them. If you’ve got old cars out, you’ve got a chance to present the gospel.”
Canned food and clothing donations are accepted at the cruise-in as well, which are distributed to those in need within the community.
The ministry, which was formed by Honeycutt and Ricky Cockerham in 2008, also performs at nursing homes and hospice centers.
“We’re involved,” Honeycutt said.
In addition to classic cars, trucks, bikes and rat rods on display, the event Saturday featured live and recorded gospel music and prayer, lots of prayer.
Singers Penny Rinehart, Monie Creasy and Debbie Christine Smith performed, with Smith’s set nearing its finish as the heavens let loose.
“That happens,” said Honeycutt, noting that turnout had been affected by rain in the forecast for Saturday.
“When you’ve got a $70, $80,000 car it’s not coming out in the rain,” Honeycutt said.
About 35 vehicles parked, compared to the usual 50 or so.
“A lot of people came and drove through and left,” he said. “They cruise in to see who’s there and cruise out.”
Despite the forecast and morning rain, the day had been sunny and warm – until it wasn’t.
Though they had been tracking the weather, Honeycutt said the storm surprised them.
Shortly before 2 p.m., “it came out of nowhere,” he said.
The event organizer had just enough time to put a bag over the sound system before the rain came down, getting stuck and soaked in the process.
“It was all I could do to keep the bag on it,” he said.
Most of the show cars had left before the storm it, with about eight or 10 forced to weather wind and rain.
“I’m just glad no one’s car got tore up,” said Honeycutt, thankful the storm hadn’t included hail.
“There was only two hail balls, and both hit me.”
Cruise-ins hosted by Cruise In For Christ ministry will be held in the Beary Country parking lot every third Saturday of the month.
For more information, visit the ministry’s page on Facebook.
Reach Terri at 415-4734.