Sheila Wright waves to passing vehicles while standing alongside U.S. 63 south of Houston during last year's Carry the Cross. 

Area believers will unite again this Easter to hold crosses along U.S. 63 in Texas County as part of ‘Carry The Cross.’

The movement, which originated with a Sikeston pastor, calls for believers to unite on Good Friday as witnesses for Christ. More than 400 people participated last year as 133 crosses covered nearly every quarter-mile from Cabool to Licking.

“All believers are commanded to be witnesses,” said Jeff McNiell, regional coordinator for Carry The Cross. “It’s not a suggestion. It’s a charge from Jesus. Many people may not feel like they can speak from a stage, sing or even answer questions about their faith. But we can all hold a cross and point every passerby to Jesus. We obey the command to witness in the flesh and the spirit moves in the hearts of those who see the crosses.”

Texas County believers will join other Christians across the state as they stand with 10-foot crosses from 7-11 a.m. Friday, April 18. The crosses, made of PVC pipe, will be provided to those who participate.

“Our goal is to make this as easy as possible for everyone,” McNiell said. “The crosses are paid for, so there is no cost involved. And someone will drop the cross off at your location, then picked it up later. What we’re seeking are people who will hold the cross as a witness for Jesus for four hours that day.”

Undivided Hearts, which helps organize Carry The Cross in Texas County, is selling #iwillcarrythecross t-shirts to help raise funds to build more crosses. The cost is $8. The shirts can be ordered through area churches or from McNiell at the Houston Herald.

Those interested in participating or seeking more information can contact McNiell at 417-260-4343 or undividedhearts@yahoo.com. Updates and news are posted on Facebook at www.facebook.com/undividedhearts.

To conclude the day, Carry The Cross founder David Craig will be the guest speaker at a community service hosted by the Houston Ministerial Alliance. The event begins at 7 p.m. inside Hiett Gymnasium and will also include praise music, a drama performance and testimonies from those who held crosses along the highway.

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