Cross Walk tradition continues in Brownstown


As he helped carry a 10-pound wooden cross along West Walnut Street, a couple of thoughts were on Tim Lichtley’s mind.

“We try to kind of put ourselves in the place where Jesus was at,” he said. “Of course, we can never really capture that to the fullest extent, but just a little bit of reflection of what he went through on our behalf, that’s a large part of it.”

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He also thought of the opportunity to have others, including his children, walking with him.

“I think it’s one of the most vital things that I could give them,” he said. “My wife and I are trying to raise them to love the Lord and serve God, and any kind of experiences we can give them like this just plants those seeds a little bit deeper in their life.”

On Tuesday, Lichtley and three of his five children, Marissa, 13, Matthew, 11, and Makenna, 10, participated in the Cross Walk.

The Brownstown Area Ministerial Association continued its tradition of organizing the walk during the week leading up to Easter.

Starting at noon each day throughout Holy Week, with one person in front and another in back, the wooden cross was carried along Brownstown streets. People took turns bearing the weight of the cross.

Brownstown clergy members led the walk each day. At the halfway point, everyone stopped to pray. At the end, a devotional was shared before a final prayer was offered.

This year’s Cross Walk began Monday at the Jackson County Courthouse and ended at Brownstown Church of the Nazarene, where Lichtley serves as pastor.

On Tuesday, the cross was carried from the Nazarene church to Brownstown United Methodist Church. From there Wednesday, it wound up outside Brownstown Presbyterian Church. Then Thursday, it went from there to Brownstown Christian Church, where a Good Friday service was conducted the next day.

Lichtley said he is in his sixth year as the Nazarene church’s pastor, and he has participated in the Cross Walk every year.

He said he likes seeing how many people join him during the walk. On Tuesday, there were 15 other people and a dog.

“Oh, it’s great,” he said. “There are so many things that divide us, but it’s just nice one time a year for sure we get together and we do this. For me, it’s encouraging to see the community come out. Sometimes, the crowds are bigger. Sometimes, they are smaller, but we always get together with the same principle, the same theme.”

Marissa said she has participated in the Cross Walk for several years, too.

“I just like walking around the community and showing people that there’s a purpose for this,” she said.

She had an opportunity to carry the cross during Monday’s walk.

“Just how Jesus had to carry it on his shoulders and everything he had to go through, that Jesus laid his life down for us,” she said of what was on her mind during the walk.

Matthew and Makenna both carried the cross Tuesday for different portions of the walk.

While Matthew said the cross wasn’t that heavy, he knows the one Jesus carried on the way to his own death on the cross was nearly 10 times heavier.

“How hard it was for him to go through it, how hard it was for him to give his life for us,” he said of his thoughts during the walk.

For Matthew, participating in the walk had a simple purpose.

“I just want to learn more about God,” he said.

Makenna said it’s important to get a feel for how Jesus’ shoulders must have hurt while he carried the cross.

“As people drive by, they see us carrying it as Jesus did,” she said.

The Cross Walk gives people a chance to reflect on the reason of Easter, which is to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.

At the end of Tuesday’s walk, Brownstown Christian Church Associate Minister Doug Pogue shared in a prayer what he hoped people thought about when they saw the cross this week.

“Lord, may people look on it and even for a moment be blessed and in wonder and amazement and realize the real purpose of it,” he said.