By JOHN FORTMEYER
CLACKAMAS — Next Easter weekend, Portland and vicinity could be impacted by the message of the Cross of Christ like never before, Bill Perkins of West Linn believes.
Not just because Perkins envisions a full one thousand crosses carried through the core of the Rose City on Saturday, March 30 — the day before Easter — but because a re-energized commitment to Jesus as 3,000 people prepare spiritually to carry the crosses could spark a transformation to the region, he says.
“What creates revival is the preparation leading up to a cayalytic event,” Perkins told about 35 people at a promotional dessert Nov. 20 at Eastridge Covenant Church in Clackamas for the Jesus Experiment Cross Walk.
Nationally popular author of such titles as Awaken the Leader Within, Six Battles Every Man Must Win and his latest, The Jesus Experiment, Perkins outlined his vision for the spring event.
Perkins was quick to note that the vision actually did not originate with him, but with Scott Stuart, a lay member of Good Shepherd Community Church in Boring.
Stuart explained that about three years ago he was attending a men’s conference at New Hope Community Church in Clack-amas. At that event, Joe White, founder of Men at the Cross ministry, gave the dramatic and emotionally stirring Cross Builder presentation he has offered at Promise Keepers rallies nationally.
While watching White, Stuart said he had a clear picture form in his mind of crosses being carried in Portland. But it wasn’t until more than two years later, when Perkins spoke at a conference for Stuart’s company, that Stuart met Perkins and shared his unusual vision with him. The concept resonated with Perkins, whose Jesus Ex-periment book and series calls for people to “feel, speak and act” how Jesus would and get in “alignment” with His purposes.
Out of their discussions developed the Cross Walk concept. Plans call for 3,000 registered walkers — in teams of three — to quietly carry 1,000 12-foot by 6-foot wooden crosses starting at 9 a.m. at the Oregon Convention Center, moving down to the Steel Bridge and crossing the Willamette River there, then moving through downtown to Pioneer Courthouse Square. The event would then culminate there with music, speakers and prayer.
Perkins anticipates the Cross Walk will not only draw the attention of local media, but will garner national notice.
“I’m convinced that this is going to spark something in the hearts of a lot of people across the country,” he said.
Because of logistical, liability and security issues, the cost to hold the event is large — an estimated $250,000. So far, about $30,000 has been raised.
“The expenses go on and on, to do this right, and to glorify God,” said Stuart.
The estimated three semi-truck loads of wood for the crosses would be donated following the event to Habitat for Humanity. Each cross would weigh about 50 pounds.
Those attending the dessert indicated their interest in helping promote it and raise the needed funds. Sponsorship of each cross is set at $250; teams of three carrying each cross would be asked to contribute $45.
A new website about the Cross Walk, jecrosswalk.com, is set to go online by the second week of this month.