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12th annual Jesus Walk set for Friday in Philippi

Submitted photo The 12th annual Jesus Walk is slated for Friday evening in Philippi.

PHILIPPI — The 12th annual Jesus Walk is slated for Friday evening in Philippi.

The gathering of walkers at the Blue and Gray Park near the Philippi Covered Bridge is to kick off at approximately 5:30 p.m., and the walk is slated to start at 6 p.m.

“This event started over a decade ago,” Haven of Hope Worship Center Pastor Howard Swick said. “I was watching TV during Passion Week and they were showing different villages in South America as they all hosted Jesus Walks on Good Friday.

“I thought it was such a great way to remember the true meaning of Good Friday and Easter; remembering the walk Jesus made carrying His cross for our sins,” he said.

Swick, a Barbour County native, noted that he shared the notion of inviting locals to take part in such an event with his wife Benita, also a Barbour County native.

“I told my wife and co-pastor Benita that I would love to see a Jesus Walk in Barbour County,” he said. “So I started calling folks and using social media and the first year we had about a hundred folks come out.”

Pastor Swick pointed out the Jesus Walk is not just for any one church or denomination. All are invited to take part.

“This is a Christian event, not sponsored by any particular church or group,” Swick said.

“Everyone is welcome. We line up at the Blue and Gray park at 5:30 p.m. on Good Friday. At 6 p.m., we pray and start the walk. We all line up behind our Jesus (an actor dressed up as Christ carrying his cross) and walk across the (Philippi) Covered Bridge en route to the Barbour County Courthouse.

“We sing Amazing Grace and pray before dismissing. It’s a simple way for us to remember Jesus walking 2,000 years ago for us,” Swick added.

For any persons wishing to take part in this Jesus Walk who are not familiar with Philippi, officials recommend you find the Tygart River, and the Philippi Covered Bridge will lead you to the parade route.

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