Former Hell’s Angel, Barry Mayson’s Journey To Christ
THE ONLY WAY OUT WAS DEATH!
That was the rule of the organization The Hell’s Angels, probably the most feared and notorious motorcycle gangs in the country. They were out to get Barry. He had not been willing to carry out their orders and by their unwritten code he must die! The restaurant was surrounded by roughlooking dudes waiting on Barry to come out. He knew that he might die the Hell’s Angels didn’t play around. In fact, the very reason for his being on the WestCoast was to attend the funeral of one of the “brother angels” who had been shot in the back three times. This was also to be Barry’s proving time.
Although he had lived through the prospecting year a period of trial association with the Hell’s Angels and although he had worn the Hell’s Angels jacket, he still had to pass the their final test. Barry was given the orders to eliminate several members of a rival club back on the East Coast. The year of trial, a jacket with Hell’s Angels on it, and a lot of rough times had not completely hardened Barry. On the surface he was a ‘tough’ one to be feared. But inside a raging war was taking place. (Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly realms.”) How many times had he struggled just to keep up with terrorizing activities of the club. What an effect it had taken not to show any sign of weakness. There was a storm raging on the outside but a veritable war on the inside. How did Barry get into this mess? What had led him to this place 4,000 miles from home a point of being filled with fear, knowing that a certain death waited just outside the door?
Charles Barry Mayson’s early childhood was fairly normal, similar to that of thousands of other boys across the United States. He lived in a good home and was taught right from wrong. His childhood activities included attending a baptist church with his parents. Like many others at the young and tender age of nine, Barry made a profession of faith in Jesus, and was baptized in water. Barry did not, however, experience the reality of Jesus.
Everything sailed along smoothly until I was sixteen, and then my world came apart. My stepfather, who was a real father to me, caught Malaria. He was a pilot for Pan American Airlines and was in England when the illness struck. The doctors notified my family that he was in a coma and that his kidneys had ceased to function. The only prognosis for Ben Mayson was death. It was easy to fall back to earlier experiences. In my need and desperation, I petitioned God for help. I asked God to spare my fathers life, but one week later he died! Deep down I knew that I had no faith, that God had not really heard my prayer. (Psalms 66:18 “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me Isaiah 59:2 “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, cursing him, denouncing the whole idea even to saying that there was no God. (Proverbs 28:14 “Happy is the man that feareth always; but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.”)
The rest of my time in high school was filled with turmoil. My grades dropped, I started drinking and getting into trouble. I resented authority, especially that of my mother and including that of my teachers as well. I cheated my way through high school, graduating with others who had earned their diplomas. Somehow I managed to be accepted to a small Baptist College in the mountains of Georgia.
I was going there at my mother’s insistence all I had in mind was having a good time. Eventually I was thrown out for bad behavior. I turned to the Army next, but it turned out to be a bummer because I still had a problem with authority. “Freedom” the idea began to take root in my mind, until it became an obsession with me. After leaving the Army, I had moved to Atlanta, Georgia, and I was working at the Ford plant there.
At this time, I hit upon a way to ensure my freedom. I bought a motorcycle and learned to ride it, and ended up riding in a small club called the “Rising Suns” which soon became the main interest in my life. Lacking any restraint at all, my new freedom soon led to parties, fights, crime and drugs. Eventually the police busted up our club and I fled town to keep from going to jail. At 26 years of age I settled in Charleston, South Carolina, working in night clubs, gambling, and continuing in my sinful ways. Soon I began to ride with another motorcycle club, the Tribulators. With this group, I became known as Barry and seemed to have all the things. I wanted my own way; freedom and popularity.
Unknown to me, God was still working. I had renounced him, but he had not renounced me. It took a series of events for Him to get my attention. In 1973 I came in contact with the Hell’s Angels and eventually became a member on the East Coast. The activities that followed kept me on guard all the time. There were continuous wars. Everything was well organized and secret, but I knew people were getting killed, not who or why, but that it was happening. A brother “Angel” was shot and killed in San Diego and the events that took place there changed my life.
I remember the day of October 27, 1976, very well. The Hell’s Angels on the West Coast had given me orders to eliminate several members of a rival club on the East Coast. Although I had been participating in terrorist activities for a year, needless killing just was’t my bag, and the ones that had been given me the orders could sense that . . . I had been followed and finally I went into the restaurant, knowing that it represented temporary safety. I knew that if I walked out the door, certain death waited.
I called home, 4,000 miles away. My wife, Gypsy, was staying at my mothers house. On the phone I told them I was about to be killed, and then I started repenting for the bad life that I had lived. I told Gypsy that I was sorry for the way that I had treated her. All this time, my mother was on the phone too, and soon she began to tell me just what I needed to hear at that moment. She said, “Jesus died for your sins 2000 years ago so that you could have ‘eternal life’ (John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.)”
I thought that I had done too many bad things that Jesus would have nothing to do with me. I had been on the phone for a long time (the call lasted three hours). In a restaurant, 4,000 miles from the only love I knew, I felt fear, loneliness, and emptiness. I stood there on the phone listening to my mother tell me of Jesus’ love and forgiveness. (Romans 8:32). She also told me of his ability to protect and keep and promised me that He would help me out of the situation, if I would accept Him into my life (John 10:27-30) “My sheep hear my voice and I know them, and they shall follow me And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my fathers hand. I and my Father are one”) Hot tears began to stream down my face, and right there in the restaurant, I prayed the sinners prayer(Romans 10:9) “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”)
A New Life
New hope, new joy, and healing power swept over me as Jesus gloriously made me a new creature. I literally felt the arms of Jesus being wrapped around me and holding me. I knew that then I, Barry Mayson, and my wife, Fran were born in the kingdom of Gods (II Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old thing are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”) God is faithful and true and He did deliver me from the hand of the enemy that day.
And I came to the realization that the Hell’s Angels were not my enemy. My enemy was Satan and the powers of darkness (John 10:10 “The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I (Jesus) have come that you may have life and have it to the fullness.”) Right now!! Through many miraculous circumstances, I was able to escape the death blow of the Hell’s Angels and return to South Carolina to my family.
I have surrendered my life to Jesus and I trust him to complete the good work that he has started in my life. I have my wife Fran, two sons and a daughter with me, and as I think about God’s goodness and love, I know that we are growing together in him.
Charles “Barry” Mayson Sr. “Graduated to be with Jesus.” Jesus was his passion. Mr. Charles “Barry” Mayson Sr., age 63, Jonesborough, passed away Wednesday, July 4, 2007, at his residence. Mr. Mayson was a native of Atlanta, Georgia, and son of the late Bennie Mays Mayson Jr. and Mary Elizabeth Carr Mayson. He was a US Army Veteran, having served in Korea. Mr. Mayson was the founder of Heaven’s Saints Motorcycle Ministry. He was also founder of Barry Mayson Outreach, which has been in operation for 31 years.
Survivors include his wife, Fran McLaney Mayson, Jonesborough; one daughter, Bari Ann Riddle, Jonesborough; four sons, Charles Barry Mayson Jr., Jonesborough, Shane Mayson, Washington, DC, Rusty Poss, Elizabethton, and Todd Mayson, Charleston, SC; one brother, Richard Mayson, Atlanta, GA; two sisters, Tara Lou Coughlin and Tanya Lynn Foret, both of Dallas, TX; and two grandchildren, Alix R. & Keri.