Apr 212015


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        Contact: Lisa Pierce, (334) 501-4276 or cycle@arm-al.org


3 Days, 3 States, 300 Miles-Cyclists Cross Alabama to Raise Funds for Poverty Housing Alleviation


OPELIKA – Tuesday,  April 21, 2015 –

Just 3 days away! From Friday, April 24-April 26th, 8 cyclists will be crossing Alabama to raise awareness about the housing needs in some of the poorest areas of our country, while raising money for home repairs in Lee, Macon and Sumter counties. Their ride will cover 100 miles a day for three days and is a triple century challenge.


The Sixth Annual Cycle of Service benefits Alabama Rural Ministry (ARM), a home-repair ministry based in Opelika. Most of the households ARM serves are led by the elderly, disabled or single parents who live on limited or fixed incomes, said Lisa Pierce, ARM’s executive director. ARM also hosts two free summer day camps for underserved children in Livingston and Tuskegee.


This year’s goal is to raise $25,000, which will be applied to the cost of purchasing the construction materials the organization uses in repairing homes for up to 10 families, Pierce said. We are also renovating a community outreach center in Tuskegee, Alabama. Riders are currently gaining sponsors and it is not too late to register  to ride at www.active.com or our website.


Donors can contribute to the cause now and throughout the three-day event by credit card at http://cycleofservice.arm-al.org


Bikers participating in the Cycle of Service will ride for five to eight hours a day. Profiles of the riders can be found at http://cycleofservice.arm-al.org   The ride begins at 7:30 a.m. Friday at Auburn United Methodist Church and will end Sunday afternoon near Livingston, Alabama.


Some riders will participate all three days, while others will join various legs of the ride.

Friday April 24- Day 1: Auburn to Georgia State Line to Tuskegee

Saturday April 25-Day 2: Tuskegee to Selma via HW 14

Sunday April 26-Day 3: Selma to the AL/MS state line via HW 80 (will end north of Livingston, AL)


For more information about the ride event, go to http://cycleofservice.arm-al.org  or www.facebook.com/Bikebama

A community service work day in Tuskegee will be held from 8:30 a.m.  to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 25th at Tuskegee Methodist Church 202 S. Main Street Tuskegee, AL. Volunteers will be continuing our efforts to renovate a church being repurposed into a Community Outreach Center.

For more information, contact Lisa Pierce, lisa@arm-al.org or (334) 332-8878 (cell).

Mar 202015

Saturdays are something special at ARM. On average of two Saturdays a month it is when we get to be with our families and hear more of their story and share ours. It is when our friends from the local community and around the state come out and put their hands, hearts, and a few hammers together to make some much needed repairs on a home. Joining hands in the morning and afternoon  to pray together, laughing as we eat, fellowship, and share some reflections about the scriptures; all of these make for a day that looks a lot like the kingdom Jesus said was here and would be fulfilled at His return. And when the day is closing, we can see the light of joy as a person like Ms. Brenda can smile at her new windows that are now water and air proof. Radiating with joy, she beams as she sees new siding and fresh paint.  Hugging each “friend”, she praises Jesus! For me, it is a reminder of hope and what living in genuine Christian community looks like. I literally live for Saturdays.

That is why events like our 6th Annual Cycle of Service mean so much. Being one of the main ways we raise funds to support our home repair and children’s ministry, we always look forward to the experience of a celebrated and anticipated finish. So, what does this ride really look like?

  1. Imagine sitting in a bicycle seat for about 6 hours and getting off maybe once per hour for 15-20 minutes. Can you hear the colorful conversations of 5-6 other fellow cyclists having a similar experience?
  2. Imagine a long blacktop with some rolling hills. Hills that have you out of breath at the crest but that bring great reward as you coast down-usually at about 27-30 mile per hour.
  3. Sun…rain…wind-with a myriad of combinations…
  4. Imagine the evening where your legs and back remind you of the physical sacrifice you just made after 100 miles of pedaling.
  5. Now multiply that by 3.

To cycle with us, you have to commit to getting sponsors and raising at minimum $1200. Through emails, Facebook, and letter writing campaigns, they get individuals and businesses to make a financial commitment. It is touching how passionate our riders are and how much they care about the ministry of ARM and wanting to be a small part of its influence, outreach, and Kingdom work. On the ride, we are supported by local churches and groups who feed us and provide a place to shower and sleep. Again, it is a reminder of the radical hospitality usually only found among followers of Christ.

As  April 24-26th approaches, we are training, tending to our bikes, and working in some long rides before the big weekend. I hope you will surround this event with your thoughts and prayers. Maybe you can give a small donation in support of the ride. Our $25,000 goal will be applied to 10 more family’s houses like Ms. Brenda mentioned above and the Tuskegee Mission Hub we are currently renovating.

We’ll keep you posted as we draw closer to the event. Here is the link to the Cycle of Service web page if you would like to make a gift. Thank you so much! Much love and pedals :)))  Lisa


Riders at the Georgia line

Riders at the Georgia line

Jun 152011

The ride is just over 1 week away! We have 9 riders going across the heart of Alabama. Despite record high temperatures and miserable conditions, we are going to pedal our way through the Black Belt of Alabama.

Who are our riders? Keith Foster, Kevin Voyles, Mark Young, Tara Lontz, Ginger Purvis, Chase Crowson, Scott Middleton, and Lisa Pierce. Lisa, Tara, Mark, and Ginger will do the Black Belt Challenge from Livingston to Tuskegee while the rest will go from State line to State line! What an incredible challenge and witness. The state line tour will include a Century ride of 103 miles the very first day! It’s going to be intense.

In a few days, we will announce those participating in the Tour for Tornadoes. This leg of the journey is designed to help tornado victims and all proceeds for this will go to rebuilding homes in West Alabama. The ride is rich with purpose and meaning!

Please pray for this group and help them with their challenge!

Tomorrow our first set of work teams begins working in Tuskegee with Mrs. Long. She lives by herself in a home her grandfather built. The roof started to leak and over time, all the sheetrock has fallen down. With no insulation, and no sheetrock, not only does the rain come in but all the other weather causing extreme cold in the winter and now extreme heat as the temperatures soar. Ms. Long has asked for work and enjoys sitting with the elderly and helping as much as she can. Our teams in Livingston have been serving families there and working with families who lost much of their homes in the recent storms.

Please pray for us and send messages to their Facebook pages as they travel across!



Jun 272010

Today started bright and early with breakfast at Memorial UMC in Selma. After sleeping on floors throughout the church, we arose to a great meal and getting everything situated for the day’s ride. We even were able to have a police escort through the city of Selma. Riding over the Edmund Pettus Bridge and remembering the sacrifice of those who had to fight for civil and voting rights was very memorable. The ride was not going to be long-50 miles, but it was going to be filled with large, rolling hills during a 10 mile stretch.

My personal glitch stated early when I broke the valve on my back tire. But no worries, Chase had a spare tube and was pretty handy. The tube was replaced and off we went! I decided I was going to stay with the boys and learn how to draft…I lost my balance and ran off the road a few times. But overall it seemed to be going well…and then I heard a WHOOSSSSHHHH….and I looked behind and my back tire was flat…again. It seemed to be a great place for a break so we all stopped and Keith worked on my tire. After about 15 minutes, we were back on our way. I guess after resting a bit longer I just felt more tired…it seemed harder and harder to get up the hills. After about 20 minutes of hills but feeling really strained, I looked at my back tire and realized it was nearly flat yet again. This would make flat number three in a two hour period. Frustration was setting in…Keith and the pack were way ahead but Garrett made his way around. I was able to change out bikes…this bike was a bit tall for me but we made it work. It was wonderful getting into Montgomery and the church.

Lunch was a huge spread of sandwiches, chips, cobbler, and refreshing drinks. Sitting together at the old Cloverdale School we recapped the events of our day and the next step of the afternoon. We were tasked with helping clean inside a gym and hall of an old school being converted into a community center. We swept, dusted, cleaned walls and basically repeated-it looked great after two hours.

The night ended with another generous spread of food from St. Mark’s UMC. Roasted ham and turkey-it hit the sport. We closed our evening with a devotion on John 6 and what it means to think of Christ as the body and blood. We shared our thoughts about what communion means and then served communion to one another. Molly sang some beautiful songs and we enjoyed the fellowship around the table. Overall, it was a fun day and I learned alot…the first day was about endurance…today was about perseverance and overcoming obstacles…

We are all extremely tired and looking forward to completing our journey tomorrow. To God be the glory!

Jun 182010

Today marks two weeks since we were activated by the state of Alabama to support the efforts with the BP oil spill. Our role as the National Guard has been to assist with the BP claims. Our mission is called Task Force Alabama Claims Assistance Teams or TF ACAT. (We have all kinds of cat jokes floating around). Our 200 person group has been housed in Baldwin County at a coliseum. Most of the soldiers sleep in cots in an open area and each day are deployed into different communities of Baldwin and Mobile counties to distribute information about the BP claims process or assist with assembling claims packets. Who knew that a massive oil leak would create a need for this kind of assistance?
Being in Gulf Shores has created challenges for my training for the ride-mainly getting time. My rides have been just before dark or early on Sunday mornings. Besides the numerous amount of small bugs that make breathing a challenge-it hasn’t been too bad. Unfortunately I am not being challenged by hills which I believe is going to have its affect. But, we’ll see. Sunday I am riding 50 miles just so I know that I will be ok on the following Friday.
I am excited about the riders! We have such a great group of people going with us-all very mission minded and servant hearted. I will be doing my best to try and keep up. There are only two girls really riding so it will be fun.
Being in Baldwin County and listening to employees of businesses discuss their fear and frustration has helped me stay connected with what is happening here. Although we do not repair homes in this area, the situations that are occurring sometimes become the initial scenarios that strap people financially and keep them from being able to repair their homes.
We are all diligently raising our support and working to raise our $1200. These proceeds will go to help us serve more families. Some of our goals for the fall include opening a thrift store for building supply materials and possibly becoming a partner with a program called Circles. We have some huge hurdles ahead of us but looking forward to the incredible challenge!
Finally, my ride last Sunday went very well. The distance from Robertsdale to Point Clear and back was 40 miles. Most of it was flat with some small hills. Getting to Point Clear and riding along the Gulf was inspiring and really beautiful. The coastline has rows of quaint and cute cottages most of which are summer or rental homes. Parks were frequent for boat launches and picnics. Much of the land was crop land with a few deep, green, plush horse pastures dotting the landscape. I expected an intense sun but high clouds diffused some of the heat. Without hills I was able to ride fast and was finished in about 3 hours. I know that will not be the case with the actual ride.
Just one week away and I’m ready to ride!
Blessings, lisa

Jun 122010

As I sit and write, I personally have had a change of events. The oil spill in the Gulf is basically a national crisis. Alabama and other coastal states are working diligently to protect their coastal areas and clean up oil that has already come ashore. It not only is a mess, it is sad. We listen to the people’s fear and frustration as they face their businesses being shut down;  who’s livelihood is being greatly affected. It breaks our heart as we see innocent animals soaked in oil-collateral damage. We cannot fathom the ecological impact upon our ocean and coastal areas. Biking across the state becomes more important for me-training in Gulf Shores, watching what is happening to families and factoring the long term implications for people.

All that being said, I’m also eager to begin. Nervous…but eager. I am very excited about our 10 riders and how much fun we are going to have and all the excitement being generated about our ride. We are going to have an exciting time together-legs pumping, sweating, hands numb, wind in our face, shoulders aching-all so we can raise awareness about families that need repairs to their home. Our efforts will continue each evening as we relate and remember the atrocities of the Civil War and Slavery, and then work together helping with the renovations of a community center.

Finally, it is the work of our volunteers that mean so much. This week began our first full week of volunteer work teams. They worked on everything from wheelchair ramps to extensive floor work. Our day camp kids completed their first week and are learning about different countries and how other kids worship Jesus in those cultures. They sing, learn Bible studies, swim, and so much more!

And, that is what this is all about. We continue to learn and grow. So, plug into the ride and consider sponsoring a rider and definetely praying for us. Thanks so much! See you on the ride!


Jun 032010

It’s never too late…well by June 12th it will be. But, if you were thinking about the ride and just couldn’t get the registration in, that’s ok-we are extending the date just a few more days! If you haven’t spent much time on a bike or haven’t trained-that first day could be a real challenge. Come anyway!

We so far have 9-10 riders so although a small crew-it will be lots of fun and a great learning experience! I personally am excited about not only the physical challenge but being able to serve. The Slavery and Civil War Museum in Selma promises to be a great experience. Plus, being able to help with renovations at a school that is being converted into a community center will connect us into the Montgomery community.

Today I spoke with the Tuskegee Rotary Club. What a great group to spend time with. We described the number of families we are able to serve each year in the Tuskegee community and then why the ride is so important. One of the members has agreed to be a corporate sponsor for our ride.

If you are in the Auburn area, we’ll doing a few more practice rides so stay tuned!

Most of all, continue to pray for our efforts. The whole point is to share Christ’s love-it’s why we ride, why we serve, and why we work on homes! Thank you again!

See you on the ride!

May 312010

May 31st-Memorial Day is about upon us. This is the registration deadline for those who would like to ride. We are excited about those who are going to join us. We have a wide range of riders some with great experience, and others like me who seem to huff and puff just looking at a hill. The support has been great! We have a great list of corporate sponsors- mostly building supply companies but also Kinnucan’s, several churches, Kroger, and more. Riders are putting out challenges for raising their support-consider using facebook, our template fundraising letter found in the info. packet, or other creative ways.

ARM is doing some amazing things this summer and fall. Our Livingston staff is getting ready to host their first set of teams in a few weeks. They’re site will be packed with 60+ kids coming each week on average. In Tuskegee, we will stay steady with out of town work teams and weekend teams. This fall, we will be opening our store. We haven’t come up with a name yet but it is a thift store for building supply materials and tools. This will give ARM its own office space (much thanks to the Auburn Wesley Foundation for supporting us for so many years) as well as an extra source of income. ARM is also prayerfully considering another venture that is geared toward helping families get out of poverty. We’ll keep you posted on this development.

But, events like the Cycle of Service help us so much to continue our outreach to underserved families and children. If you would like more information, let us know. Thanks so much and we look forward to seeing you on the ride!