The Rev. Lindley Ginn Royston, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Edgewater, combined his love for God and motorcycles for the last 20 years.
Yesterday afternoon, the minister, 56, and his wife, Sharon Ruth, 55, were killed when the 1982 BMW motorcycle Mr. Royston was operating went out of control on a ramp leading to U.S. 50 in Arnold and hit a guardrail shortly before 4 p.m.
Police said the couple, of the 3700 block of 8th Ave. in Edgewater, were pronounced dead at the scene from multiple injuries.
Mr. Royston had been pastor at the church since 1963. He was in a motorcycle club of local ministers called Blessing of the Bikes.
"They left a legacy of love behind," said their daughter-in-law, Juanita Royston, 28, from her home in Arnold today. "We know they're with God now. That's what they always wanted."
Police at the scene said the couple may not have been wearing helmets. Helmets normally don't get knocked off in an accident, police said.
But the couple's son, Mitchell Royston, 26, said his father "was a safe driver. He always wore a helmet."
Police said the couple was riding the motorcycle southbound on the Md. 2 exit ramp and to westbound U.S. 50 when the collision occurred. They were returning from a trip to Pasadena, Mitchell Royston said.
Mr. Royston said his father had been taking medication for a heart problem, but doctors said his condition had been improving.
"Something must have happened to him," said Mr. Royston. "It was such an easy drive with all of his experience."
The Royston family is awaiting results of an autopsy.
The minister had been driving a motorcycle since 1972. The motorcycle he was driving was in mint condition, the son said.
Mr. Royston said his father had gone on many trips, even as far as Texas. Mrs. Royston had ridden less with her husband in recent years, he said.
The Roystons were thrown off the motorcycle about 50 feet from the point of impact with the guardrail, police said.
Police said the motorcycle continued on for more than 450 feet before coming to rest off the roadway.
A witness driving behind the motorcycle said the vehicle was going about 55 mph.