NAYLOR – Steve Epp knew what he needed to do.
“The Lord said, take the cross to the street,” Epp said. “This is my church.”
With that message, Epp went to the street, carrying a cross. In the past several weeks, he has trekked through the Carolinas and Georgia.
“I’m enjoying it,” Epp said. “I’m 63, I was a very sick man five years ago, and I said, ‘God, I have to make a mark. I want to change my country.’ We blame our president, and we blame everybody else, but it’s really our fault. The church needs to be out there, and so if nobody else will do it, I will, and it’s been an amazing journey. I can’t even describe it. I thought it’s going to be hard, but it’s been amazing.”
Epp said he is amazed by the charity and hospitality of those in the states he has visited in the past eight weeks.
“I don’t think anywhere in the United States is like the Carolinas and Georgia,” Epp said.
“I’ve received 200 to 300 bottles of water, 50 bottles of Gatorade. I’ve got gifts I couldn’t turn down. Food, cupcakes, the people are so gracious.”
Epp said his trip has just started, and he will go across the country to spread the word.
“I’ve done the bottom part of North Carolina, then I went through South Carolina, I’m going through Georgia, and I’ll be in Alabama sometime a week after next,” Epp said. “I’m going from coast to coast.”
Epp will be traveling down U.S. Highway 84, noting he couldn’t travel along Interstate 40 or Interstate 20.
“I’m about one-fifth of the way there,” Epp said.
Epp was encouraged by the charity shown by people.
“I believe there’s an awakening coming across this land because the people that love each other so much,” Epp said. “It’s amazing, and we have to keep that.”
This charity was exactly what God wanted for the people, Epp said.
“What He taught us was love,” Epp said. “The LGBT issues and all that stuff, I don’t get into that because God loves everybody, and He forgives, and that’s all that matters.”
Epp said he did not think much of religion.
“Religion is what hung Jesus on the cross,” Epp said. “I don’t like denominations. They just sit in their four walls and like my wife said, we need to get out of the holy huddle and get out here where the kids are.”
Epp said he walks, on average, 12 to 18 miles per day.
“Just out here praying for people,” Epp said. “I prayed for at least 15 people today on the road, for all kinds of brokenness, heartaches, and jobs. All kinds of things.”
Joe Adgie is a reporter for the Valdosta Daily Times.