On August 17th, 2013, Pastor BG Nevitt lost his life in a motorcycle crash. The well-known Decatur leader was riding his motorcycle until, "a car pulled out accidentally in front of him and he was killed," said friend and fellow rider, Matt Samuels.
Since then, there have been more motorcycle crashes in Central Illinois. That's why every Spring, bikers across Central Illinois gather in forsyth for the blessing of the bikes. However, this year's event on Sunday afternoon. was different. It was the first year, in quite some time, that Pastor Nevitt wasn't there to say the mass prayer.
"This was his baby," said Samuels. "I mean this was.. he loved it."
Organizers of the event say that prayer is vital to keeping the roads safe during biking season. One pastor gives a mass prayer and other ministers pray for individuals upon request.
"It is a way just to draw strength from each other," said coordinator, Debbie Coziar.
And promote safe riding.
"Our message is just, you know, be safe Make a friend."
Bikers at the event are asking all drivers to be extra cautious when driving around a motorcycle.
"They're not bikes, you're killing. They're actually lives. They're real people with families"
Families like Pastor BG Nevitt's who will continue to promote the annual blessing.