Walk Across America group calls Missouri, America to repent
By Bob Baysinger
July 6, 2004
JEFFERSON CITY – Thousands of Missouri Baptists walk for their health. Some do prayer walks.
But probably none have tried the kind of walking that two activist preachers are now doing – a 3,000 mile trek across the United States, calling on the nation to “return to the law of God.”
“The purpose of this walk is to call the Church of Jesus Christ and our nation to repentance for the shedding of innocent blood,” said Flip Benham, who is director of the Texas-based Operation Save America. “Since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, more than 45 million children have been killed in America by abortion. During this 31 years of unrelenting child murder, God has not been silent.”
The walk, known as Walk Across America, began in San Clemente, Calif., on March 2 and moved into Missouri in mid-June.
The 11-member entourage moved across Missouri alongside U.S. 50. Several members of the team worshiped Father’s Day at Concord Baptist Church in Jefferson City.
The walkers are led by Jeremiah Benham, 16-year-old son of the Operation Save America leader. Benham carries the replica of two broken stone tablets, symbolizing the breaking of God’s 10 Commandments by America.
Shekinah Thomas, daughter of the other walking preacher, Rusty Thomas, is second in line, carrying a baby casket symbolizing the millions of babies’ lives snuffed out in abortion centers.
The elder Benham follows leading a horse with a “Judgment” banner draped over the horse’s back. The elder Thomas is last in line, leading a white donkey carrying a “Mercy” banner.
“James 2:12-13 tells us that mercy triumphs over judgment, but mercy can never be had apart from judgment,” Benham said. “Here is what has happened in America. We are dispensing mercy and compassion on everybody – but no justice. There is no justice whatsoever because that is so judgmental. That would mean that you’re going to say, ‘This is good,’ and ‘This is bad.’
“In this politically correct era, you can’t say that.
“Therefore, when the church actually begins to act judgmentally and say that Jesus is God and apart from Him there is no other God – not Buddah, not Allah. When you begin to mention the five-letter name J-E-S-U-S, you’re going to find out your going to get in a lot of trouble.”
Talking about the Law of God and mentioning the name “Jesus” produced some opposition for the group in Missouri.
According to the Walk Across America website, Benham went into a Missouri restaurant for lunch. A conversation with the man serving the food led to a discussion about Christ. Benham witnessed to the man, telling him he could not rely on his own righteousness or good works and, apart from Christ, there could be no eternal life.
The restaurant owner became agitated displayed a shotgun and told Benham to “stop shoving your religion in my face.”
In Sedalia, the walkers stopped at the Planned Parenthood office. They were greeted by hecklers from the neighboring tattoo parlor and the Sedalia police who advised them to leave.
Benham doesn’t believe it is too late for America to seek God’s forgiveness for the abortions and ask for mercy.
“This is a year of the Lord’s favor,” Benham said. “If we will say, ‘God, forgive us for allowing the little babies to be killed, for allowing the Supreme Court to get away with the butchery of the law of God.’
“We need to realize that the Supreme Court isn’t supreme. Every knee of every justice that has ever served on the United States Supreme Court is going to bow and their tongue is going to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord; that Christ is righteous and true; and what they have done is wrong.”
Benham hasn’t always been such a vocal Christian.
“I am a graduate of Florida State University,” he explained. “I went into the service. They tried to teach me how to fly a helicopter. When I got out of the Army, my dad gave me a saloon 11 miles south of Disney World.
“I had all the money, all the stuff that people think it takes to make them happy. But I was as empty as the vacuum in a radio tube. A couple of Free Methodists came by the saloon one day selling coffee machines. They invited me to go to church. About six months later, I gave my heart to Christ.”
After pastoring a church in Texas, Benham became involved in pro-life work in Texas and was named director of Operation Rescue. That involvement put him in a position to confront Norma McCorvey, the “Jane Roe” in the Roe v. Wade case.
“She operated an abortion clinic and hated me,” Benham said. “She would leave all kinds of messages on my phone mail, saying we’re eating babies. I had an opportunity to move our organization right next to her abortion mill.
“We began to pray for her and, on July 24, 1995, she gave her heart to Christ. I baptized her on Aug. 8. It was then that I began to see that abortion is not a political issue, it is a Gospel issue. It is a battle over who is God and whose law reigns.”
The Walk Across America tour is scheduled to end at the White House in September.