Last state I needed to complete the lower forty-eight on my quest across America
Since the last report I have been through six cities in Virginia, including one day in our nation’s capitol. After that it was on to West Virginia where I completed the preaching in every state in the lower-forty eight. It has truly been an unbelievable accomplishment which started back in February 2015. Currently I am in Kentucky and have a few more stops before arriving, the Lord willing, in the Bay Area the first week in November. I will give a full report at that time.
Besides preaching on the streets I was able to give the main Sunday morning message at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Dale City, Virginia. At the evening service, after song and some announcements, I got up and shared my born-again testimony and then used that as a bridge on how I got into the ministry of preaching the gospel on the street with a Q & A afterwards.
I stayed with Tom Smith and his wife Margaret for 4 days while I was there. Tom is a First Love missionary along with myself. We met in Kentucky at our conference back in August. I also got to know others from the same church at that time. I had a grand time of fellowship with them all. I have shared more below. Virginia and West Virginia have spanned the first two weeks in October.
On the way there it threatened to rain the whole time. I prayed of course. Once I got here it was pretty decent out. I drove around a few blocks and got some metered parking for a buck fifty. I walked only one block down to Capitol & Lee streets. I started early about 11:30am and preached until about 1pm. It was great. This was the best overall city so far on my trip. I felt my message flowed and lots of people were listening. One young man in particular listened almost the whole time. Afterwards I tracked him down and gave him a Gospel of John and a homeless pack although he said he was not homeless. His name is Ryan. There were several other people stopping and listening. Several Christians made themselves known either as they walked or drove by. The police drove by at least once and I had no complaints. Also there was some sort of officer across the street patrolling the park on foot. Perhaps he was only a park ranger. Either case I had the freedom and favor of the Lord. It was an excellent day. As I packed up and headed for the van it started to rain slightly and heavier as I drove out of town. Charleston is the closest thing I have experienced to the “Bible Belt”.
Only about an hour drive away from Charleston it was like a different world here. This is more typical of an American city. The people seemed hardened as ever and quite liberal. It looked like there were several good corners with lots of places to eat and business around, however at first it was like a ghost town. Continue reading →
I finally made it to Florida. I got as far as Pensacola as you remember and then was averted because of hurricane Irma. I spent the next two weeks hitting cities more north. I left Claxton, Georgia after church on Sunday (9/24) and drove just past Jacksonville where I stayed at a Walmart for the night. I was here in Jacksonville last year for a week of preaching. Jacksonville is listed as the largest city in Florida. This is misleading however since they include the whole county and put it within the city limits. This makes the population around 800,000. The city itself is not that big and the preaching was something to be desired. I should have aborted my plans to stay a week last time and go further south. Regardless I made it this time to the three major cities of Florida, Miami still being the largest in reality.
Now I did not preach in Jacksonville this time. I also did not preach in St Petersburg and Fort Myers which was included in my original plans. There was still a threat of rain here because of the season for these storms so I high-tailed it down and covered the most important ones. It has been hard to sleep at night because of the heat and humidity. Some nights it never cooled down below 75 or so with 90% humidity. I usually didn’t get to sleep until after 1am but still arose around 7am to start my day. In Miami they have a lot of road construction going on which makes traveling worse. Also the further south I went I saw some of the damage done by hurricane Irma. I was entertaining the thought of stopping in Fort Lauderdale to preach but it turned out it rain quite heavily and besides I was on the fast track to Virginia.
Miami, Florida was the Furthest Place From Homebase – 3,130 Miles Away
Orlando – H2O
This turned out to be a great stop. I found a good populated corner and from what I could tell it was mostly local people. Most of the theme parks and tourism is a little south of the downtown area. After parking my van I had a few minutes to check out some corners and to get some postcards. When I came back to the van to get my gear Continue reading →
Since my last blog post I have covered a lot of ground. Most of my preaching has been in the Carolinas (North and South). After leaving Pensacola I headed north to Montgomery, Alabama where I preached a solid hour as it threatened to rain. Not too many people on the street but it was announced. I felt I gave a good message that day. After that it was onto two cities in Georgia; Columbus and Augusta. Both of these cities were not a street preachers dream but I got the job done. In Augusta they had the streets blocked off downtown for some reason and I had to go to an inferior corner. It was somewhat of a bust, but you never know.
In Columbia, South Carolina I went to a corner that was bustling with people. After about a half hour I was told by a city ambassador and police officer that I couldn’t preach using the amp. Both of them were rude. So much for Southern hospitality. I was miffed and figured I had nothing to lose. I was too tired and it was so hot and humid so preaching without the amp was not an option this day. I went back to the van and rigged one of my speakers up so that it broadcasted out the passenger window. I drove up and down the streets in downtown preaching out my window.
I had a better time at Myrtle Beach where I set up on a busy corner where the people walk by to see the attractions. This is kind of like Santa Cruz. There were plenty of people. The highlight was about halfway through. A man came up and sat down by me and eventually was laying down. He seemed to look homeless and not sure what he was up to. I kept preaching and a few of his buddies came by and I stopped preaching and shared with them. One of them took a Gospel. That was when Marshall, the man laying down revealed he was a believer and to keep up the preaching. That is what I did and when finished Marshall said he was so encouraged by the message and that is what he needed to hear. He must of mentioned this at least three times. I gave him some goodies and then I prayed for him. He also in returned prayed for me. As we parted ways I continued to pray for him.
Downtown Raleigh, North Carolina as Seen From Freeway
The next day was Sunday. I went to West Monroe Baptist Church. They were friendly enough. It was a large church, which most of the churches are here. It was a large brick building. Huge! This one had several out buildings as well. The service was good. The pastor preached a good message from 1 Cor 9 and did a good job. I met him briefly. I had an odd thing happen as I sat there and observed an older gal in front of me scrolling through a shopping website during the service. She was looking at shoes. Continue reading →
I’m writing this blog update from Pensacola, Florida where there is a hurricane coming up through southern Florida. At this point it is uncertain if it will affect Pensacola to the point of evacuation. The continued prediction is showing the hurricane moving further west to now Tallahassee is included in its path. My next report will have more on the hurricane. One of my concerns is it will affect my travel plans going to Southern Florida it could be up to 3 weeks or longer before everything is back to normal.
I have just gone through several Southern cities. I started my preaching in Shreveport, Louisiana. I then moved on to Jackson, Mississippi; then I headed down to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After that it was over to Mobile, Alabama before coming here to Pensacola.
Mobile, Alabama as Viewed From the Dashboard of the Van
These cities are well within the infamous “Bible Belt”. I noticed however that people here are indifferent and somewhat complacent of their faith and the Gospel in general. I didn’t move very many of the written materials. These are; Bibles, Gospels of John, and other Christian literature. I had a few conversations and I had a few people I was able to pray with. Each city took on its own challenges. I had to deal with some humidity and heat but the van ran well and I’m doing fine. The highlight was Woody, a man who was parked around a corner in Shreveport, heard me preaching and got out of the car to come talk to me. I was able to pray for his walk in the Lord.
God’s Car Wash
On two different occasions, the first being in Flagstaff, Arizona, the van was washed by rainstorms. As I passed through there was a thunderstorm so severe and the rain hit the van so hard it washed off all the dirt and all the bugs off the windshield. Similarly in Jackson, Mississippi I had the same thing happen. I was planning on getting the van washed the next day but because the rain again was so heavy it washed off all the bugs and dust, I decided not to get the van washed. God had taken care of it all for me. I didn’t have the nerve to tell Him that He missed a few spots. I try to keep the van clean so that it has a good appearance when I park at Walmart’s and in other places. I noticed that the better-looking your vehicle is, the less hassle you’re going to get from security or police. Believe it or not people judge outwardly. Sometimes on these road trips it doesn’t pay off to have the van washed at a car wash for $10 or $12 and then only have it get very dirty the very next day, so it was nice to have just a basic job done by this rain.
Currently I am at homebase awaiting a big trip across the country to the East Coast in September. I have returned from my summer trip to the Pacific Northwest. After leaving Seattle I traveled down to Vancouver, Washington and the greater Portland area. I have lots of friends here and had many visits and times of fellowship. I saw Richard Latimer and John Payne both of which I stayed with in Vancouver. I attended church with long-time friends of Glencullen Baptist in Portland. I preached in downtown Portland several times before heading to the Pacific Coast. The heatwave which was to send temperatures in the Portland area to triple digits forced me to the coast about 5 days earlier than anticipated. This allowed me to get some rest and also to preach in a few places I would not have preached in had I continued with my original schedule. I got lots walks on the beach too!
Sunset View of Pacific Ocean – Oceanside, Oregon
My travels also included stays at other churches. a new church and Pastor I met along the way was found in Tillamook Oregon. it was called Life Changes Christian Church. I rolled in there on a Wednesday just in time to go to the beach and have a barbecue with the workers that were there for Vacation Bible School. I met pastor Brad and he allowed me to park overnight at the church and then I attended a pastor’s prayer meeting in the morning. I also met a couple who knew my cousin, a longtime resident of Tillamook.
Heading south I stayed in Lincoln City at the Foursquare Church where I was able to stay for two nights. Continue reading →