Tennessee Pastor Walter “Chick” McGill, a 68 year-old Vietnam Veteran, is walking coast to coast, carrying a large American flag while saluting every passing motorist as a gesture of good will and respect to his fellow Americans.
McGill told Tulsa Today in an exclusive interview, “This was not my idea, but God’s. He sustains me.”
McGill said he was deeply concerned, if not depressed, about America, but took courage from 2 Chronicles 7:14 which reads, “If my people who bear my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my presence and turn from their wicked ways, I myself will hear from heaven and forgive their sins and restore their land.” (The Jerusalem Bible)
After walking nearly 1,600 miles from the point of origin on the North Carolina coast, McGill had just met the Mayor of Kiefer, Oklahoma and was having a late lunch at a Mexican Restaurant in Glenpool as we spoke.
McGill expects to reach Drumright on Friday and his final destination, Santa Monica Pier in California, in the spring of next year.
Pastor McGill will be the second oldest man in history to make the 3,200 mile trek from coast to coast and the flag he bears will be the first ever to be hand-carried “from sea to shining sea” by a veteran. McGill visits city officials to give a memento of this national prayer walk to every town along the route.
McGill objects to the term “Reverend” as he does not believe he should be revered, but serves God as “a simple pastor – a servant of the people.”
Calling this project the TransAmerican Crosswalk 2014, McGill is promoting “’a new birth of freedom’ and integrity in America, calling attention to the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule, and our nation’s founding documents.”
Of all the states he has visited so far, McGill said Oklahoma has been the most welcoming especially in the smaller towns around Tulsa. He said he “gets more waves” in the area than in the City of Tulsa. “Oklahoma has been so good to me – I’m thinking of moving here,” McGill said.
Part Cherokee by blood and affiliation, McGill says people here are more patriotic and he is humbled by the number of children that want to meet him and talk with him about his walk and his faith.
McGill says he has learned that “Americans are not apathetic” about the state of the nation, “they just don’t know what to do.”
Personal powerful faith “begins in the heart, in the family,” Pastor McGill said. “Parents must spend time with their children and families. Personally renewing their individual faith can save the nation.”
It is a “radical demonstration of faith” McGill admits about his journey, but “if you are going to talk the talk you must walk the walk.”
McGill is accompanied by his wife, Barbara, who drives the pace car. At night they stay in the motor home they are driving across the country, often in church parking lots. They tow the pace car from site to site.
You may follow McGill’s cross-country adventure at www.walkingcoast2coast.com.
Local media reports as of this post include:
The Tulsa World, click here for the story.
Fox23, KOKI, click here for the story.