By JOSH FRYE
News Staff Writer
It has been over 400 days and 1,883 miles since Gregory Allen Jones Jr. first set off from Lexington, Kentucky on his journey to California on foot. Armed with a backpack and simple wood walking cane with a cross, Jones has been able to move across the southern east coast of the United States, spreading the word and love of Jesus Christ.
Jones made the decision to leave his home in Kentucky on Nov. 22, 2019, after praying to the Lord for answers on how he can help spread the gospel of Christ to a country, who he says, is much in need of bringing God back into people’s lives.
“I was working at a Kroger at the time and living day to day just like everyone else,” Jones said. “I would turn on the television and see how broken our country is. God is being taken out of schools and almost everything else and it is unfortunate. In order to get through, I knew our country needs God. I prayed and He answered by telling me to drop everything and leave on a journey to spread the word.”
The voyage across the country has so far taken Jones from Kentucky into Tennessee, across the state into the Carolinas and into Georgia where he touched the ocean in Savannah to officiate his cross-country journey from sea to sea.
Along the way, he has experienced many ups and downs.
Jones stressed that everyone has been kind and welcoming, except in larger cities where the homeless population is much more prevalent.
“When I get to a larger city, it can be stressful at times,” Jones said. “These cities usually have a much larger homeless population who take advantage of the system and cause problems. When they see a guy with a beard, backpack and cane walking through, I usually can get confused for a homeless person.”
Jones explained that his goal is to help be a positive influence for others and spread the love and word of Christ to a country that is pushing God away. Local churches and Christian ministries have helped aid Jones from town to town by contributing donations, food and shelter as he makes his journey from place to place.
“I have had the opportunity to speak at many churches and share the gospel with different people,” Jones said. “Churches have contributed funds to me for my trip which helps pay for hotels and food as I travel from place to place.”
Jones also explained that the pandemic has thrown a major wrench in travel. Masks and the absence of dine-in fast food restaurants has been a major hindrance to a way of life for most of us, but in Jones’s case, it has made life more difficult as he usually finds rest from the hot travel while grabbing a meal at a local diner.
Jones explained that California was where he was born and he has set his sights on reaching his old area of birth located near Mexico in the Imperial Valley.
After serving the Navy, Jones relocated to Kentucky where he lives and worked until he began his pilgrimage back to his home state.
Even though his choice of travel is not a convenient or fast one, Jones explained that it gives him the chance to help place Christ back into the life of a country that needs Him now more than ever.
To this date, Jones has helped lead 27 people to Jesus Christ through his travels.
It will take him about two years to complete the journey as he often stops for a brief time to find work and reallocate funds, but he refuses to give up and never stay in one place too long.