LAURINBURG — On an ordinary Friday, William Thompson would have been fast asleep at 11 a.m. after working third shift at Campbell’s Soup.
But Good Friday found him walking down Main Street, part of a group of 20, helping his 7-year-old daughter Danika pull a heavy wooden cross toward the Scotland County Courthouse.
“I hope they see the Lord for what he is: a good and humble provider for everybody,” Thompson said. “He’s done a lot for me and my family… I hope other people see how good he is before it’s too late.”
Led in recent years by elementary school teacher Kevin Hunt, the small but dedicated group behind the annual CrossWalk has brought to life the last day of Jesus Christ every Good Friday for the last decade.
“Let people know that there’s still hope, that you will shine down upon us, that this one event people will see and know that the great sacrifice you made will not be forgotten,” Hunt said in prayer before the group set off from Laurinburg Pentecostal Holiness Church. “Not in this town, not in this city.”
During last year’s CrossWalk, Danika Thompson — who was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 4 — carried the cross soon after her final chemotherapy treatment.
“God died on the cross for our sins at Easter,” she said. “Jesus healed me from cancer. It’s a long story.”
Participants made the 1.4-mile trek through Laurinburg’s downtown, each taking their turn carrying the cross. Though lightened by a rear wheel, the cross could not be reduced in spiritual weight. Drivers passing by beeped their horns in solidarity, and some even rolled down their windows to shout “praise the Lord.”
“Y’all are so right, you have made my day,” one called out.
CrossWalk is not aligned with a particular church or denomination. Faye Coates, who has become the event’s unofficial pastor, said that participants walk in the hope of bringing others closer to God.
“I think that this demonstration of our love for the Lord shows the fact that we are not ashamed of the gospel,” she said. “We’re grateful for what he’s done for us; he could have left us right where we were and have been justified in doing so, but grace met us at the point of our need and we’re grateful. We celebrate what he did in giving us salvation through himself.”
Reach Mary Katherine Murphy at 910-506-3169.