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Cross- Country walker stops in Bainbridge to spread the gospel

BY ETHAN REDDISH

Just over a year ago, Gregory Jones made a life-altering decision that would lead him to pass through Bainbridge: give up his job, leave his home and embark on a foot trek across America. But his goal wasn’t to simply see the country, or raise awareness for some sort of social cause; no, Jones wanted to save souls and bring people to God.

Originally from Lexington, Ky., Jones worked as a chef at Keeneland Racetrack, earning $15 an hour. But his life took a turn last year, one that would set him on his current journey. In an interview he gave with 92.1 WHLR Radio in Lavonia, Ga., he described his personal loss that had spurred him on, “I lost my mom, dad, and grandma in the same year… So, instead of sitting around being depressed I said, ‘I’m just going to drop everything and I’m going to get out here, put it all in the Lord’s hands, and go out to try and make a difference in the world.’”

According to Jones, the idea to walk across the country came while he was praying. “I was praying the night before, I was at home and I asked the Lord, I said ‘God, what’s the best way I can get out and reach out to this country with all this chaos going on?’ And it was just a loud booming voice that said ‘I want you to drop everything and go.’”

Jones began his journey several months before the COVID pandemic gripped the country and forced lockdowns, but as he was on the road with limited access to news, it wasn’t until he arrived in Athens this year that he realized what was going on. “When COVID hit, I got into Athens, Georgia. And I got into town… and there’s literally nobody on the streets, it’s a ghost town. And I had no idea what was going on. I was like, ‘Lord is this the Rapture?’”

Of the various towns and cities that Jones has visited, he mentioned Jesup and Baxley as two that stood out to him. “It was mainly the ability to have a church service almost every night of the week there. I mean whether it was a tent revival, you know Jerry and Belinda Holton have a tent revival, and they do it four nights a week… and I went and sang at their church tent, I did a Josh Turner song, ‘Long Black Train,’ one of my favorite Christian songs.”

Jones’s next destination on his journey is Eufaula, Alabama. “I met the Iron Order Biker Group back in Jesup, and they were at Baymont Inn… They’re like a Christian fellowship biker group, and they take Christmas presents to kids… they said, ‘If you come to Eufaula, we want you to come to our clubhouse, we’ll take care of your lodging and stuff when you get there.’”

So far, Jones has converted 23 people. While in Bainbridge, he spoke at The Potter’s House on Sunday, with Laredo’s giving him a meal as well. Before leaving, he left a thank you note for the mayor, and remarked, “If you put it all in His hands, he will provide, and I’m living, walking proof of it.”