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Sewing Seeds "Cross" America

Gregory Jones

Last Monday morning, many of you may have noticed a bearded man carrying a cross as he entered and walked through town. This is the story of one person who is unlike anyone we have seen doing this task. We had the pleasure of talking with this man, hearing his story, signing his cross that will reach far across the country, and wishing him well as he went on his way.

His name is Gregory Jones, and he is from Lexington, Kentucky. By his own disclosure, Jones is a recovering addict/alcoholic who, in 2019, received a call that most of us would find difficult to answer. But God called, and Gregory answered. Because of his faith and his steadfastness in God’s plan, he had no trouble giving away all of his earthly possessions to walk with Jesus across the country or wherever He would lead him.

“When the call came,” explained Gregory, “I gave all of my belongings to my roommate, including my car and my last paycheck, and I took off.”

It seems that following God as he walks to and fro across the country has brought much joy and multiplied Gregory’s faith. According to Gregory, he has been making the pilgrimage across the country each year, equipped with only a small backpack, an infectious smile, and the cross.

As we stood on the side of the street, Gregory talked about the places he had been, including a walk to Atlanta, Georgia, San Diego, California, and Canadian, Texas. He told of something that even a nonbeliever would be moved by. During his travels, with no standing plans or preparations, he has never once slept outside, nor has he missed a meal. His faith sustains him.

Gregory’s testimony and faith are not just powerful, they are transformative. As he enters each community, he weaves a tapestry of connections with local churches, pastors, various ministries, local leaders, and business owners. His arrival is always met with love, acceptance, and a willingness to assist, all in support of his mission to share his love and devotion to God. His ministry is a beacon of hope, inspiring others to follow in his footsteps.

In just the last week, Gregory has touched many lives on a personal and deep level. He has spoken at several church gatherings, one of which was Oak Ridge Church’s Homecoming Sunday service.

Many might wonder, “What does someone who, by all accounts, is a babe in Christ have to offer lifelong believers?” That’s the question, and here’s the answer, and it’s as old as Christ’s own story. Those who have been too dark places that most people could never even imagine are so zealous when they find the source of hope and love. They do not want to hide it or keep it for themselves. They know more about the need for relationship because they have always been poor in that regard and they would never want another single human to feel those feelings of desperation and despair.

You could compare the kind of faith that Gregory has as ‘childlike’. The kind of faith that Jesus tried to explain to his disciples and to us. Gregory didn’t ask ‘Why me?’; he stated ‘why not me,’ just as Isaiah did thousands of years ago when he was in a position to accept or decline a directive from God.

To date, Gregory has logged over 8,000 miles (at which time, he stopped counting). He started in 2019, then the pandemic hit. So on Easter Sunday, that fateful year (2020), he dressed in a white robe, long hair, sandals and carried his cross through his hometown of Stanford, Ky.

 Since the first leg of his journey, he has relied upon God for strength and courage. For his faith, God has placed him in the company of others who help his ministry grow. Earlier, we mentioned what he does when he gets to a community, but it goes further than that. He familiarizes himself with the leaders to find out information that he can use to help the less fortunate while he stays. Many of the issues he focuses on are those that occur the oppressed, the lost and the homeless; all of whom feel hopeless. Gregory’s ministry takes donations and information along the way, and he uses them to help those in need by meeting them where they are.

This is the picture of the church as Jesus meant it. People don’t get their lives together and then go to church or seek Jesus. Only Jesus is the answer to many of life’s dilemmas. People go to church to worship and to be in the company of other imperfect believers and seekers so that they might learn from and be supported by them. If you’re not walking with people that are moving in the direction you need to be going, you might just be walking with the wrong people.

There are stories about Gregory’s journey and ministry by hundreds of local newspapers and online news sources as well as national news outlets across the internet. Gregory has been a busy ambassador for Christ ever since the first day that God laid it on his heart to go. All the fear and worry that must have come with the decision must’ve been unnerving, but God.... Anytime Gregory asks for God’s help to overcome the fear, God shows up in a big way, in fact, sometimes immediately and this has served to not only keep Gregory going, but it multiplies his faith and, in turn, others’ as well.

Gregory has walked all over, each time with a certain destination in mind, but the journey is where the meat is. This is where Gregory has made a marked difference in growing the church. This is where God has sent him to meet the physical needs of others and the seeds are planted. I have a feeling that Gregory is planting his seeds on fertile soil. After all, didn’t Jesus eat with the outcast?

Gregory is returning to Canadian, Texas, where his last pilgrimage was cut short. He had to take an Amtrak train back to Lexington, where a family member was sick. Morgantown received a blessing last week when Gregory made his way into town for a spell on his way back to Texas.



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