Starting at 10 a.m. April 18, members of Alleluia, in addition to congregations from other area churches, will gather at Burns Memorial United Methodist Church on Lumpkin Road. Many will carry crosses as they walk more than 1.5 miles in remembrance of Jesus’ walk to Golgotha, where he was crucified. Walkers will pause at Ascension Lutheran and Hillcrest Baptist churches to hear speakers and music before continuing to St. Joseph Catholic Church.
“This is far and away the most ecumenical interdenominational thing that we get to do on a big scale,” said Gary Garner, one of the event’s organizers.
Garner’s wife, Nancy Garner, said no one is really sure how long the Alleluia community has been presenting the Crosswalk, but estimates it has taken place in some form for about 30 years.
“In the very, very beginning, there was one of the community members, a woman of Hispanic descent, and she used to walk the neighborhood from noon to 3 p.m. every Good Friday,” she said.
The South Augusta Pastors’ Alliance became involved about 15 years ago and the walk has taken a route similar to this year’s ever since.
“I have four kids,” Kelly Dolin said. “I think for me and my children, we learn by doing. We carry the crosses. It’s quiet. It’s meditative. It just gives you time to really reflect and enter into a fraction of Christ’s passion.”
Dolin said the event draws back former members of the Alleluia community who have moved out of state.
“You see people you just don’t see any other time of the year,” she said.
After the walk, those who want can stay at St. Joseph’s for the Stations of the Cross, which starts at noon.
Louis Hymel said that for him, carrying the cross during the Crosswalk is a humbling experience and helps him ground his faith.
“I’m sharing a little bit of what Christ did. A very little bit,” he said.