ROSEBORO — Anthony Glenn Hobbs had no problem catching the attention of motorists traveling on North Carolina Highway 24. It was really easy to do with a gigantic wooden cross, where words such as Mercy, Grace and Truth are engraved.
As cars, trucks and big rigs passed, the evangelist waived his arm while holding the popular symbol of Christianity in the other. When Hobbs travels throughout Sampson and Cumberland counties, many honk their horns and continue down the road. But some of them stop too. It’s why he stands in the bed of his truck. Hobbs wants everyone to know about the love of Jesus.
It began more than a decade ago with Hobbs spending time before his job, which involved painting and sheet rock. He also did it during the middle of the day.
“At lunch time, I’ll go and hold the cross on the corner somewhere,” Hobbs said. “I’ve put a lot of hours in and never asked for a lot of help.”
When Hobbs was in Roseboro Monday morning, a postal carrier brought Hobbs a sandwich. Others have donated money too.
Hobbs, a native of Fayetteville, enjoyed talking about some of his personal stories which involved being homeless, drug addiction and overcoming blindness. He admitted there was a time when he was a non-believer, especially after being molested.
“I used to say, ‘Lord if you love me, why don’t you stop this man from doing this, and not knowing the whole time that the Lord was going to take my pain, so I can talk to other people going through it,” Hobbs said.
As a victim, he can relate to others.
“I can see that in other people and I know what they’re going through,” Hobbs said. “It’s like shooting a gun and going deer hunting. Do you want to hear from the man who shot the gun or read the book? I want the man who shot the gun. You can read a book all you want to, but until you shoot a gun, you’re not going to know how (to use it).”
His time wasn’t always easy on the street. There been a few brushes with the law or other people. One of the accusations involved using the cross to hit someone on the head. He was also stopped because of the large cross sticking out of the vehicle.
Previously, he used a car to travel, but his current truck was donated to him six months ago by a couple of U.S. Army soldiers from Fort Bragg. That allowed him to travel around the country to spread the message.
“I went to Vegas, California, Denver. I came home for a week or two and went to New York. In the last six months, I’ve traveled all over the U.S. carrying this cross from town to town,” Hobbs said about his personal calling from God. “What a blessing he thought enough of me to be a part of this.”
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.