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Pastor Dean serves others with devotional kindness

Jake Berg 2020 file photo

Pastor Dean Ekloff co-founded a welcoming church ministry after people judged him for going to worship services in his motorcycle leathers.

SNOHOMISH — Dean Ekloff has always been a biker, but a calling from the Lord put him on a new passion in his life.
If you have lived in Snohomish for a while you may know who Dean Ekloff is. Locally known as Pastor Dean, you can usually find him spreading the word of God.
For more than 30 years he’s made a name for himself connecting people with God.
Ekloff was born Nov. 6, 1944, and he grew up in Cathcart and went to Snohomish High School. After high school, Ekloff joined the Navy, in which he served for 10 years, and soon after in 1970 he got married. Ekloff’s drinking began while he was enlisted in the Navy and it followed him home. He owns that he once was considered one of the town drunks.
His love for motorcycles led him to join the Christian Crusaders Ministry in 1979.*** It was soon after joining that group that Pastor Dean began taking the gospel seriously, and by 1986, he stopped drinking. One year after getting sober, Ekloff’s new mission in life became helping other people do the same. He even began letting people who needed help stay on his property in the Snohomish area.
Incorporating his biker lifestyle into the role of a pastor hasn’t always been easy. After being given grief from a few churches for coming in wearing motorcycle gear, he and another biker set their own path, starting the Midnight Cry Church in 1994. The congregation grew beyond just bikers.
Although he no longer preaches at Midnight Cry, Ekloff continues to help those with addiction.
“I just want to help people rehab from drugs, and find God,” Ekloff said over a phone call.
Motorcycles still play a part in his life. He recently helped out with the Riders Remembered Memorial Wall, which pays tribute to local bikers who have passed away.
“I believe I have found my true meaning in life by serving God, and helping others,” said Ekloff.  

** - This story has been corrected on the term of ilitary service, how the story describes Ekloff's relation to biker clubs and about his motorcycle. The Tribune regrets the errors.



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