Choctaw Association churches pray for people at 14-foot cross

Choctaw Association churches pray for people at 14-foot cross

By Grace Thornton
The Alabama Baptist

Six years ago Terry Long felt God asking him to do something out of his comfort zone.

“I had been praying that God would use me to spark a revival,” he said.

A bivocational pastor in Mississippi at the time, Long decided to put up a cross at a busy intersection in his county, and for 100 days straight he prayed at the cross all day.

“God had confirmed it was about Him and not about me,” he said. “I was terrified. But people came from everywhere.”
When word got around that a guy was praying for people at this cross, people pulled off the road all day long to ask for prayer, Long said. He would pray for them, write down their prayer requests and have them nail them to the cross.

Moving stories

And he would ask them if they knew Jesus.

“I saw Book-of-Acts type conversions,” Long said. In that 100-day period more than 1,500 people came to the cross to share their prayer requests, and around 30 put their faith in Christ for the first time.

“Every single story is a moving story,” he said. “It’s not about me — it’s about the cross. The cross is the message.”

And when Long, now associational missions director for Choctaw Baptist Association, preaches revivals, he tells those stories of the 100 days at the cross.

“So a few churches around here know those stories,” he said.

And one of them — Tallawampa Baptist Church, Toxey — decided they wanted to try it too.

Under the leadership of Pastor Leon Ross they got permission from Piggly Wiggly in Butler to put a 14-foot cross on the highway just outside the store. For a week Tallawampa members manned the cross every day, praying for people as they came by to nail their requests to the cross.

“We had people come by who were contemplating suicide, who were homeless or were needing food,” Ross said.
But most of all, they heard requests from people whose families were hurting, he said. “Divorce, drugs, depression — the family is under attack, and people were praying for healing.”

‘Real blessing’

After Tallawampa’s week was over, two other churches each picked it up for a week — Calvary Baptist, Butler, and Lusk Baptist, Gilbertown. And even though no one is manning the cross now, it still stands with hammers and nails for people to take their prayer requests to the cross.

Ross said he and his wife often drive by it, make sure none of the requests have fallen off and take a few minutes to pray for the requests.

“It’s been a real blessing for us and a real opportunity for our church to see the needs in the community,” he said.
Long, who also serves as an evangelism strategist for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, said he is “excited for them and their step of faith.”

“They had a lot of good response and touched a lot of lives,” he said.