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Man spreads Christian message through cross country walk

As people around the Christmas tree this holiday season to share present and fellowship, there is one man who will be celebrating in a whole different way — carrying a cross.

It may not be the typical symbol for this season of the year, but for Chuck Johnson, it’s just what he does every day.

Known by some as “Cross carrying Chuck,” Johnson has been traveling across the country for almost nine years with a cross to spread a Christian message.

“I do it just to keep the message that people need Jesus in their lives,” Johnson said.

In 1987, Johnson said he first received the message to carry the cross after he was baptized under water.

And since March of 2000, Johnson said there have been very few days that go by where he isn’t carrying a cross somewhere in America.

After receiving a vision, Johnson set off without food, money or transportation, and since, he has traveled across the country 11 times.

“God always provides,” Johnson said.

Johnson, of California, said he spent the day in Troy Monday, and he was to his surprise quite welcomed.

“It’s amazing to me because the hardest times I usually have is during the holidays,” Johnson said. “But, since I’ve been here I’ve had about five people stop just to tell me hello.”

Even on his stop in Troy, Johnson was donated a coat from Wal-Mart and a meal from a local resident.

Johnson said it’s not always easy to follow his mission, but it is one worth it to him. Usually, he sleeps outside, but he said God takes care of him even in the struggle.

This Christmas season, Johnson said the message he is looking to spread is one of Christian baptism.

“Go get baptized in his name,” Johnson said.