Our Beloved "Punkin"

​"Sweet Baby" Rhonda

The founders of the Highways & Hedges Motorcycle Ministry
Jerry "Punkin" Melton
& "Sweet Baby" Rhonda

Hi. My name is Jerry Melton but everyone calls me Punkin. I'm the founder of The Highways & Hedges Motorcycle Ministry along with my wife Rhonda. We attend, and I am the pastor the Iron Horse Church in Little Rock, Arkansas. I am a member of ABATE District #1.

I was born November 7th, 1944. My folks started going to church when I was about 10 yrs old. We attended Summit Church of God in Bauxite, Arkansas. I was saved as a teenager and attended church until I left home. It was then I began a life of sin. I don't want to paint a bad picture of my life. I have had a good life for the most part, but it had it's ups and downs. I believe it took those for me to get to where I am today. I can look back over my life and see that even though I wasn't serving the Lord, he was taking care of me. I know now that the reason I didn't handle the down parts of my life very well was because I did not let God do it for me. I would try by myself and it would always be a disaster. Even the "ups", or good times of my life always had something missing. I was always lacking something.

It took years for me to see why I had walked away from car wrecks that should have taken my life, and why during one of the darkest parts of my life, I took a bottle of sleeping pills and drank a quart of bourbon and did not die, God was taking care of me when I could not

In 1994, while recovering from a failed marriage, I was living in my camper trailer and renting 5 movies a night, all the time I was blaming her teenage son for our marriage not working. A Christian biker asked me to take a ride with their group. When riding a bike, you don't have a radio or anyone to talk to while your going down the road, so you have a lot of time to think. As I watched the Christians ride, my life kept crossing my mind. I didn't know at that time that the Holy Spirit was doing a number on my heart. When we stopped on top of Mt. Magazine one of the bikers said they had been in prayer and wanted to have prayer as a group. We all joined hands and bowed our heads and they began to pray one at a time. I was afraid to look up because every prayer they prayed was like arrows at a target, and I was the target.

That night I couldn't sleep for telling myself why I couldn't serve the Lord. First I said "I'm not good enough" and God said "You're right, but I love you anyway". For every reason I came up with, God agreed with me, but would always tell me He loved me. Anyway, He told me if I wanted a better life and if I wanted to go to Heaven that I would have to repent and follow Jesus.

That night I put what faith I had in Jesus, I started studying the Bible and praying. When I was alone with the Lord I found myself asking him to show me how I could improve myself and be more diligent in all areas of my life. I asked God to put good people in my life.

Of course there are still bad times in my life, but now I have Jesus and I know that those times only increase my faith and make me a better Christian. God has been so good to me. In the years since, I have seen all of my kids saved. I had never taken them to church when they were little, but God was still merciful and saved their souls. I prayed for a Christian wife, and you see, God blessed me with the best. I thank God for my wife "Sweet Baby" Rhonda. She helps me so much with our Ministry. I can't blame anyone for the bad parts of my life. I know now why I failed at marriage before. I know what was missing in my life even when I was having a good time in the world. It was MY Jesus Christ! Through him I have found true Joy. I pray now that everyone should come to know Him as I do. That is why I have this fire inside of me to go tell the world that Jesus Christ is the answer to every problem.

Motorcycles have always been apart of my life, since my teenage years and yes, that's been quite a while. I love bikes and I love bikers. I joined CMA in 1994 and would go to biker rallies, drag races and anywhere bikers were, sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I would love to camp right in the middle of the secular bikers and not so much with my Christian brothers and sisters.

In 1999 I was called to Preach and God said I would have a ministry. Not wanting it to be a Punkin thing, I told God that He would have make it happen. Rhonda and I just kept ministering and going to biker events. One day, Big Dan Bernal said he wanted to go with us to see how we ministered. He went a few times and one day he said to me, "Punkin, you should call your Ministry Highways and Hedges, because that's where you go", and I said, "OK, that's what it'll be".

I know God sent Dan to us and he is still with the ministry and heads up the Board of Directors. We went online in 2002 with The Highways & Hedges Motorcycle Ministry web site and God is sending us the people to get the job done that He has called us to do. God has truly placed some wonderful people in this ministry, not just in this country, but from around the world.

Thank you for letting me share with you and keep us in your prayers.

God Bless and we'll see ya down the road.

Brother Punkin 

July 20th, 2016, Brother Punkin went to his reward. Those who knew him personally miss him dearly, but are comforted in the fact that today he is hugging on Jesus.