If you spot a woman wearing a Salvation Army Motorcycle Ministry (TSAMM) vest zipping down the highway on a three-wheeler Harley Tri-Glide motorcycle, it’s Ellen Lloyd doing her favorite thing.

The 70-year-old Nebraska resident and retired nurse is a Salvationist who is on a mission to travel the country and share the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Ellen travels the country with her motorcycle ministry.

“It’s very freeing,” Ellen said of being on the road. “You feel the breeze on your face. You smell the smells; you see the sights. You feel that God is there.”

Ellen, who is also part of the Christian Motorcyclists Association, generally rides during the nine months of the Midwest’s spring through-fall seasons. But if a warm winter day should arrive, the cycle is out on the road.

“I had my bike out one day in January of this year. I went 50 miles that day,” Ellen said proudly.

Ellen takes part in bike blessings and gives away Bibles at bike dealerships, repair shops, bike rallies and other bike-related events. “Any place where there are bikers,” she said.

According to Ellen, a bike blessing is a fairly straightforward process.

“You basically just talk to the person a bit and pray with them. You say, ‘Bless this bike; keep it safe; keep the driver safe; help them stay awake and alert,’” she explained.

Captain Carolina Almendras-Yanez, Omaha Kroc Center Officer, with Ellen

Ellen usually travels in Midwestern states, but makes one long trip across the country each year. Texas was her destination in 2022— and New York the year before that. She goes to the annual famed Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota every year.

Ellen rode her mother’s motorcycle when she was a teenager. It was not until she was 40 and she and her husband purchased a small motorcycle at a garage sale that she began to ride again. She joined TSAMM about five years ago.

She proudly wears her Salvation Army vest whenever she is out riding.

“It’s amazing how many people come up to me when they see the vest. They tell me things like, ‘The Salvation Army helped me as a child.’ I have heard that comment many times,” she said.

Ellen always has a traveling companion with her: a stuffed bear that rides on the back of her motorcycle. It acts as another point of connection with people.

“A lot of kids comment about the bear,” Ellen said. “If a parent is OK with it, I will let a kid sit on the
bike. It makes the kid’s day.”

Ellen is active in the women’s ministries at her corps.

When she is not on the road, Ellen is active at the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Omaha, Neb. She uses her sign-language skills to sign during the singing of certain hymns during worship services and is involved in women’s ministries. She also helps with the Angel Tree at Christmas.

Ellen enjoys making machine-sewn quilts (“I have made 10 in the last year,” she said.) One quilt recently sold for $300 at a fundraising auction with proceeds benefitting the Christian Motorcyclists Association. She has given other quilts to friends and family; another quilt went to a local veteran in need.

Ellen has no plans to stop riding her motorcycle anytime soon.

She concluded, “God has led me into a wonderful ministry, serving him through the motorcycle. And it brings me great joy.”




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