Pastor who was jailed by the Seventh-day Adventist Church walks across America
Pastor Chick McGill, a Creation Seventh-day Adventist, was put in prison by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist. He is now walking across America to promote religious liberty. -Advent Messenger Commentary
Man walking across the country to promote 'new birth of freedom'
Winston-Salem Journal | May 27, 2014
“God told me to walk across America to promote a new birth of freedom and integrity in America, raising awareness to the principles that made this country great and free to begin with, such as the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule, the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights and all of our founding documents,” McGill said as he relaxed. “I am promoting a movement to bring God back in as head coach.”
McGill said he had planned to walk 30 miles a day.
“My 68-year-old body is not able to do that,” he said. “I made it 15 miles the first day, and I wanted to stay in bed the next day.”
McGill found the strength to keep going, and said he has avoided blisters on his feet and — with one mild exception — hecklers.
“North Carolina has been a very friendly state,” McGill said. “People are giving me the thumbs up, throwing their arm out the window, giving me the salute. People have bought meals for us and bought groceries for us.”
McGill said the message for the walk came to him when he was in the Arizona desert trying to live like a homeless man.
“God woke me up at midnight and said, ‘I want you to walk across America,’” said McGill, who is from Tennessee. “I objected on the grounds that I am too old. I said, ‘We need to find a young man to do this.’” When the message was repeated the next two nights, he said, he decided he better pay attention.
McGill is not alone on the walk. His wife, Barbara, drives his “pace car,” keeping him supplied with water, checking in on him and, when the day’s walk is over, taking him back to the motor home in which they spent their nights. They leapfrog the route to put the motor home in front of them from time to time, but each day, about 6 a.m., McGill picks up his walk from where he left off the day before.
The McGills met Mayor Newell Clark in Lexington on Tuesday but didn’t sample any of the town’s famous barbecue because he doesn’t eat pork.
The McGills are members of Creation Seventh Day Adventist Church, a group that separated from the Seventh-day Adventists and officially became a church in 1991. One of the causes that McGill is promoting is a petition drive in connection with his church’s legal battles with the Seventh-day Adventists over the name of the church.
McGill said that he avoids denominational and doctrinal questions when he talks to folks.
“God loves everybody,” McGill said. “He loves the atheists, he loves the agnostics, he loves every kind of religious person. He may have an ideal, and as a Christian I am trying to emulate the ideal and follow the ideal. But if I meet a person who is a Buddhist, I am not going to condemn his view just because I think I have a better view, because I am never going to get anywhere doing that.”
People have shared segments of his walk, but McGill said what’s he’s really hoping to do is make arrangements in advance with other churches along the way.
“When I walk through a town, I would like to have a tribe of people walking with me,” he said.
Labels: Seventh-day Adventists