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Crossing the U.S.

Man says he's carried cross across nation

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POSTED: April 25, 2007 5:03 a.m.

He’s crossed the nation numerous times with only the clothes on his back and the cross over his shoulder.

"I’ve been on the road seven years without stopping carrying my cross," said Chuck Johnson, a California native who came through Richmond Hill Monday. "My home is where the cross is."

Johnson started his ministry on March 1, 2000 in Tijuana, Mexico. He said he walks with the cross over his shoulder to remind people they need Jesus in their lives.

His current cross is 12 feet tall and a little over five feet wide. At 12 pounds, Johnson said his current cross is much lighter than his original one which was made of thick cedar wood.

"I started with $55 in my pocket," he said. "The Lord told me I needed that much to get started. The first cross left me with a dollar-and-a-half in my pocket and I’ve been on the road since."

Johnson’s main goal is to get motorists to see the cross as they drive. He said he doesn’t preach and he doesn’t try to condemn people. He just shares his stories from the road, stories he said he plans to compile into a book entitled "I Carry the Cross: God Does all the Work."

"My ministry is to just get people thinking Jesus," he said. "I pray for people and tell cross stories of the road."

While his main objective is to walk with his cross, Johnson said he does get rides from people to various places he’s headed. He said he once even hitched a ride on the back of a Harley Davidson.

"That was a picture-perfect moment," he said, referring to his cross tied to the back of the motorcycle.

Johnson is currently headed up Highway 17 to Savannah and said he eventually will make it to Myrtle Beach and Virginia.

All of his food, water and money come from donations.

"I get donations from people," he said. "People have to be willing, and the Lord always provides."

 

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