SANTA MONICA (CBSLA.com) — When Walter “Chick” McGill reaches the Santa Monica Pier Wednesday to conclude his cross-country trek, he says he knows the journey to national healing has only just begun.
KNX 1070’s Margaret Carrero reports the 69-year-old Tennessee pastor and Vietnam War veteran is completing what he calls the nation’s first-ever “prayer walk” across more than 3,200 miles through 14 U.S. states.
Since kicking off the “TransAmerican Crosswalk 2014” last June on U.S. Route 64 in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, McGill says he has carried a large American flag and saluted every passing motorist along the way “as a gesture of honor and respect for his fellow Americans.”
McGill says he’s also received certificates of appreciation along the 234-day trek – including in the Inland Empire and San Gabriel Valley – as he prayed for the nation and distributed a memento prayer booklet at town halls along the way.
The pastor said it’s all part of a divinely-inspired plan.
“God called me to walk across America,” McGill said. “He asked me to call attention to the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule.”
The cross-country adventure has been documented at the Walking Coast To Coast website, where McGill can be seen trekking across states like Tennessee and Georgia with the help of police escorts and being greeted by residents and supporters alike.
McGill – who was locked up in a San Bernardino County jail in 2012 over a trademark dispute with the Seventh-Day Adventist Church – says with all the unrest going in Baltimore, Ferguson, and other cities, Americans need to hear his message now more than ever.
“If people would abide by the Golden Rule principle ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’, you wouldn’t be killing people with toy guns,” he said.
In honor of the Transamerican Crosswalk, the state of Tennessee has declared April 29, 2015 to be “A Day of Recognition”, according to McGill.