Walking sea to sea for Christ
Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 14, 2006
Walking from “sea to shining sea” has taken on a whole new meaning for Greenville native Dennis Blackmon.
The 1981 Greenville Academy graduate has been walking across the United States on a spiritual journey, carrying a cross made of PVC pipe and duct tape, and sharing his personal testimony of Jesus Christ.
The 44-year-old piping inspector fell through a floor in Boaz, Ala., and severely injured his back.
“Within four years, I had had two back surgeries,” Blackmon said, as he stopped along Highway 10 between Greenville and Luverne Wednesday morning. “I was strung out on morphineŠfinally, one night, I asked the Lord what my purpose in life was, and I started to read the Bible zealously.”
Blackmon said that two months later, he received a vision in which he saw two angels, an elderly gentleman and a beautiful lady.
“The gentleman spoke to her and she told me to start writing, and then she said, ‘From sea to sea.'”
Even though Blackmon, at first, wasn't sure what she meant by ‘from sea to sea,' he started writing immediately.
“I wrote day and night for the next eight months,” he said.
The big, black notebook that he carries looks worn and well used as he has used his poetry to minister to people he has met along his journey. He has written over 350 poems, and he met a publisher in Jackson, Miss., who is going to publish them in a book entitled, “In the Form of a Poem.”
Two months into his writing, Blackmon said the Lord awoke him from out of his sleep and revealed to him what ‘from sea to sea' meant.
“After I finished the book, I caught a Greyhound to Huntington Beach, Cal., and I'm walking all the way to the Atlantic,” he said.
“I've not wanted for anything,” he added. “The Lord has put people in my path to witness to and for me to serve.”
Blackmon does not hitchhike, but he said that if the Lord puts it in someone's heart to give him a ride, he would accept it because he sees it as a chance to witness to him or her.
“Every time I get out of a car, the Lord has someone waiting on me somewhere down the road.”
Along his travels, Blackmon said that he has stood in front of several congregations and churches and has given his testimony and read his poetry.
While traveling through Arkansas, he came upon an elderly lady who had no running water in her home. So, Blackmon completely repiped the entire house for her.
“I've actually zigzagged my way across the country,” he said, smiling. “I have to walk the way the Lord sends me.”
His current plans are to travel Highway 10 to Highway 37 in Georgia, all the way to Highway 84, which will end his cross-country journey in Brunswick, Ga.
“From there, I'll catch a Greyhound and go to work in Oklahoma,” Blackmon said, in his quiet voice. “I met a man in Oklahoma who offered me a job, so that's where I'll go back to.”
While passing through his hometown of Greenville, Blackmon said that he stayed and spent a week with his relatives.
Even though he admits to being “wild” when he was younger, Blackmon said that his Christian roots ultimately brought him to where he was supposed to be in his life.
“You know, if you raise a child in Christ, he may stray, but he'll always come back,” he said.
He picked up his bags, pulled on his worn, green backpack that carries his book of poems, and picked up his cross.
“It's time for me to walk on,” he said in his quiet voice, smiling.