Memorial service for pastor killed, other injured in motorcycle crashes

PLYMOUTH, Ind. -- Members of the Biker Church of the Heartland gathered Wednesday to pray for two of their pastors involved in motorcycle crashes Tuesday.

Art “Hemi” Heminger died Tuesday evening in a crash involving a pick-up truck near Lakeville.

Heminger was on his way back from visiting his friend, Al Ganser, in the hospital. Ganser was seriously injured in a motorcycle crash earlier that morning on Mayflower Road near S.R. 23.

Detailed information on those crashes can be found here.

Heminger led the Culver Church of the Heartland Branch and his friend Ganser served as the pastor for the Mishawaka branch.

“We love Art, we miss him and thank God for his life,” said Herbert Hiatt, founder of the Church of the Heartland. “We think Al will be back in service quickly and riding again.

The memorial was filled with jokes and laughs about the fun-loving legacy that Heminger left behind.

“You know we’re going to miss him,” said friend and fellow biker Bobby Newman. “We’re going to miss his face, his jokes. He’ll be greatly missed but we know he's in a better place and God bless him for it.”

Some fellow bikers said the tragedies have made them uneasy about getting back on their bikes.

“I think it’s natural because when we ride we think we're invulnerable,” said fellow pastor Gary Leary. “And then there’s a tragedy with a motorcyclist and you see it regularly on the news in the summertime and you realize you are vulnerable.”

But many of Heminger’s friends say he would have wanted them to continue to ride.

“Of course it’s not surprising to hear that this thing happened because motorcycling is dangerous,” Newman said. “But the good of it far outweighs the bad of it.”

Services for Heminger will take place at the Church of the Heartland at 705 E. Jefferson St. in Plymouth starting at 10 a.m. Saturday. Immediately following the service, many of Art’s “brothers” will set out on a tribute ride in his honor.

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