Pastor walks 31 miles, raises $13K for charities, scholarships

The Rev. Jim Cross, pastor of First UMC Ashdown and Richmond UMC, chose 1 Peter 4:10, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others,” as the Bible verse for Impact: Walking for Christ 2014. This is the second year he has embarked on a more than 30-mile walk to raise funds for charitable causes and scholarships for young people.
Cross chose Saturday, Jan. 25, for the 2014 walk. He began by walking around his neighborhood, then to the city park, around each school, to the community of Ogden, and back to the Ashdown High Track—a distance of 31.1 miles. Others accompanied him on parts of the walk, and he received numerous messages from those praying for him. The walk took just over 10 hours.
T-shirts, wrist bands and various foods were donated and sold, and a 5K walk was held in conjunction with Cross’s effort. As with last year’s walk, which raised $16,000, the bulk of donations came from church members, the community and from acquaintances and friends across a wide area. This year’s total topped $13,000.
In a time span of a little over a year, almost $30,000 has been raised in answer to a pastor’s question to God: What can I do to make an impact in the lives of others? The blessings have been spread over a world that needs all of us to ask and live out this same question. Sometimes, the answer is not as hard at it might seem.