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Pastor erects 14 foot cross alongside busy roadway to help heal hearts

Published: Apr. 22, 2012 at 11:05 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 28, 2012 at 2:49 AM CDT
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GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - A Jackson County pastor has erected a large wooden cross alongside a busy intersection. He spends most of his time there to help heal hearts. Terry Long of Lilly Orchard Baptist Church says it's part of his 100 day Christian mission to reach all races.

Almost everyday, Pastor Terry Long is kneeling and praying with someone in front of a large, tall wooden cross at the corner of Highway 63 and 613.

"The Lord told me to put a 14 foot cross up at the busiest intersection that I know of. And that is here and pray for a 100 days for revival in our county," Long said.

Sunday marks day 75 of this mission. So far, more than 1,000 folks, many heavily burdened, have pulled to the side of the road for prayer. They also nailed their deepest, handwritten petitions to the cross.

"People have needs whether family problems, or healing, or whatever," Jackson County Resident Gill Welford said.

Reiser and Sandra Welford were at the cross Sunday with special requests.

"Me personally, I don't know how many times that I have stopped and he has prayed with me, and I will tell you, it has been a blessing," Welford said.

Pastor Long said he believes the symbol of love has also helped strengthen and save lives.

"This little pouch here was from a mother who came and put in my hands early one morning and said, 'Would you please put it on the cross?" I said, 'What is it?' And she said, 'My husband I have just discovered that my 18-year-old daughter is cutting herself. The razor blade is in that pouch and would you put that on the cross?' Three weeks later, the 18-year-old showed up here by herself and gave her heart and life to Jesus Christ. There's no more cutting," Pastor Long said.

The pastor said knowing that lives are changing and people are being healed will keep him alongside the road, on his knees, and before the cross.

"The cross is the heart of Christianity. It is safe and it doesn't belong to any religion or race," Long said. "People are drawn to the cross and I have seen the power of the cross."

Long said he's not taking a salary from his church or from his job while he continues his 100 day mission.

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