The Story Behind the Cross Carrying Man On Highway 36
When you think of the journey of the cross, your mind goes to Calvary, not Missouri Highway 36. However, motorists along this route over the last month may have seen a man carrying a cross along the shoulder of the road. It's hard to miss. It's 11 feet tall and weighs about 45 pounds.
Steve Epp is the man with that weight on his shoulders. He and his wife Saundra are from the Tulsa, Oklahoma area. They call themselves the missionaries on the street.
I talked to Saundra while she was stopped just outside Hannibal, waiting for Steve to catch up on his trek after he left Monroe City. The couple has been married 45 years and they're ordained ministers. Their regular church life took a big turn in 2015.
"The Lord spoke to us and said that we don't need another church building. He wanted us out on the street spreading the word," she told me. "People need hope and encouragement for the day." And that's what they try to spread on their journey.
The Epp's journey of the cross has taken them all around the country since then. They've made the trip across America from coast to coast. Sometimes they just walk through certain regions but they always focus on rural areas. On this trip, Steve is carrying the cross through Missouri on Highway 36 from St. Joseph to Hannibal. They expect to reach the Missouri/Illinois border by tomorrow, September 20.
Steve and Saundra try to travel 8 to 10 miles a day, depending on how many people pull over to talk to them about their mission. You can follow their journey on their Facebook page, The Well Tulsa.