Temperatures were in the mid 80s last Wednesday, but Becky Spell Vann was happy to make the 25 minute walk from Butler Drive to Southeast Boulevard despite the weather conditions.
Vann was part of a group who carried a 10-foot cross to its new home, from a residence on the city street to the home of Tim’s Gift and The Learning Station.
The wooden cross was donated to the ministry by Pete Osborne, who along with his brother, built the cross in 2009. Throughout the years, despite moving, Osborne has always found a home in his yard for the cross, but a recent move to Swansboro left him trying to find a new home.
“Pete needed a home for the cross where it could be seen by many people and cause them to think about Jesus’ love story,” Spell shared.
Osborne has spent many years caring for his elderly mother, who enjoyed sitting and looking out the window at the cross, with Sampson Regional Medical Center’s emergency department in the background. As rescue vehicles would come into the department, Osborne’s mother would offer a prayer.
“The cross is near and dear to Pete,” Spell explained. “He truly has a heart for missions and he wanted to make sure it found a good home.”
Osborne approached Spell and the staff at Tim’s Gift, including Chris Embler. One morning, while at the Tuesday morning prayer service, he asked about donating the cross to the ministry and thought walking it across town would be a great way to get it delivered.
“He didn’t want to just load it up and put it in the back of a truck,” Spell said. “He wanted to walk it across town, with a police escort, and deliver it.”
After much prayer, Spell said Osborne, along with his coworkers from Southeastern Outdoor Products, Spell, Embler and two Clinton police officers, gathered at Osborne’s home on Butler drive, prayed and then made the 25-minute walk across town, carrying the cross.
“The 25-minute walk was a humbling experience, complete with testimonies and songs from those carrying and walking alongside the cross,” Spell said, as her eyes filled with tears and her voice began to quiver. “Many cars stopped and people shouted words of support along the route to Tim’s Gift.”
Describing the experience as humbling, Spell said there was a reverence about the event as the wooden cross made its way through the streets and to its new home.
“God wanted more to be done with that cross,” Spell said. “That procession was powerful and it truly meant something special.”
Spell said one of the Southeastern Outdoor Products’ employees who is battling cancer, picked up the front of the cross as her son, Aaron, lifted the end. Embler and Osborne hoisted the sides, and the walk with the cross began.
“When the cross was in place, a fountain and mums were put at the foot,” Spell said. “Everyone agreed it was a morning walk they would never forget. Before representatives from the Clinton Police Department departed, everyone joined hands and prayed giving honor to Jesus Christ.“
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.