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Soul Hospital revving up motorcycle and drug recovery groups

From surviving a gunshot wound in the head in the 1980s to a motorcycle crash in late 2011 — “There’s no other way you can explain it other than miraculous” — local motorcycle enthusiast and rider Daniel Fish has seen and experienced a lot in his almost 57 years.

The McDonald resident is now helping others experience Christianity through a new motorcycle ministry that meets every Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Soul Hospital church in Ooltewah.

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Daniel Fish sits on his motorcycle outside the Soul Hospital on Ooltewah-Ringgold Road. Fish is part of a motorcycle ministry there every Saturday.

“I pretty much lost my drive to be big, bad and invincible,” said Fish. “Being a Christian is one of the easiest things in the world to do. You can simply give up and be used.”

For the past two months, motorcyclists have been meeting each Saturday for Bible study and discussion.

With its laid-back atmosphere, Soul Hospital, perhaps best known for its Thrift Store Heaven located on-site, has always sought to serve the marginalized, said pastor John Ledford.

“Our mission is to reach broken people,” he said. “When the [thrift] store closes at 6:30 p.m. each night, our goal is for something meaningful and helpful to be going on every evening.”

“It’s my personal opinion that motorcycles and alcohol don’t mix,” said Fish. “I also wanted to start a place where people could come on a regular basis … and wouldn’t be told ‘We are happy to have you and your tithes, but park that noisy thing around back.’”

Soul Hospital also recently began sponsoring an alcohol and drug recovery support group based on “The Most Excellent Way,” a biblical approach to recovery that was founded in California in 1986, according to Ledford.

“I’ve been working with drug and narcotic addicts and similar for several years,” he said. “People that are hurt, it takes some extra effort to love on them.”

Ledford said he would like to see other groups such as those focused on divorce and grief care come to Soul Hospital.

“We need responsible volunteers to help in the thrift store and I’d love to have some very mission-minded Christians not already plugged into a church to consider serving with us,” said Ledford. “I need some servants — people who aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty.”

For more information visit http://soulhospital.org.

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