PORTLAND — On the day before Easter — Saturday, April 19 — Portland and vicinity could be impacted by the message of the Cross of Christ as never before.
Bill Perkins of West Linn envisions 300 crosses moving on a designated route starting and finishing at the Oregon Convention Center. This event, he says, will express a re-energized commitment to Jesus as 900 people prepare spiritually to carry the crosses.
“What creates revival is the preparation leading up to a catalytic event,” Perkins said. “This will be a silent walk in which the participants will have spent days and weeks before it preparing themselves for a deep spiritual experience. Men, women, families and students will participate.”
Nationally popular author of such titles as Awaken the Leader Within, Six Battles Every Man Must Win and his latest, The Jesus Experiment, Perkins has a compelling vision for the spring event. But he was quick to note that the idea 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 Happy Valley. 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 Experiment book and series calls for people to “feel, think, speak and act” as Jesus would and get in “alignment” with His life.
Out of their discussions developed the Cross Walk concept. Originally the event was planned for 2013 with 1,000 crosses and 3,000 participants. But time ran out before the necessary funds could be raised and so the event was downsized to 900 registered walkers — in teams of three — to quietly carry 300 12-foot by 8-foot wooden crosses starting at noon at the Oregon Convention Center, moving down to the Steel Bridge and crossing the Willamette River there, then moving along the waterfront. The event would then culminate back at the convention center with music, speakers and prayer. Perkins said it will be an amazing scene as the line of crosses could be a half-mile long, or longer.
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.
The semi-truck loaded with wood crosses will be donated following the event to Habitat for Humanity. Each cross will weigh about 50 pounds.
The event website, jecrosswalk.com, provides information about the event as well as a place for people to register a team of three to carry a cross. The cost for each cross is $50 and each team is encouraged to find $75 in additional sponsors to help cover the cost of the event.