The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

March 29, 2013

Footsteps of faith: Participants find inspiration in annual cross walk

JOHNSTOWN — With its long-awaited sunshine and higher temperatures, Good Friday was a good day for a walk, especially a cross walk.

East Hills Ministerium’s procession of the cross began with a short service at noon at Beulah United Methodist Church, 716 Bedford St. in Dale Borough and ended with a service at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, 1000 Scalp Ave. in Richland Township.

Participants ranged from first-timers to old-timers and ages included young and old alike.

It’s still a new event for Pastor Jeff Popson of Beulah UMC.

“This is my second one, and it’s wonderful,” Popson said.

His wife, Audrey, added, “It’s great for the community and the church and for people to see.”

It was the first year for Erik Crum and Tina Perecinski of Hornerstown.

A friend had told them about the event, and they wanted to see what it was like and possibly lose some weight.

Bill Geisel, former owner of the nearby Geisel Funeral Home, has been with the cross walk since its beginning and finds it inspirational.

“It is uphill to Mount Calvary,” he said, referring to both the biblical Calvary where Jesus died and Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, where the cross walk ends.

“We pick people up along the way and get around 80. Members of each church we stop and carry the cross to the next church. We get a lot of young people.”

Geisel added that when bad weather comes, it seems to stir up enthusiasm as walkers suit up in their foul weather gear.

Other longtime walkers who come when they can are Raymond and Rebecca Hill of Richland, members of Homestead Avenue United Methodist Church.

“It’s a good witness with everything going on in the world today,” said Rebecca Hill.

“Christians need to be more outspoken. I enjoy the people and the messages at each stop.”

A younger participant, 5-year-old Glenn Dougherty, son of Mark and Amanda Dougherty, members of Oakland United Methodist Church, proudly said he wanted to carry the cross.

Some walkers were there with their grandchildren.

Lynn and Donna Bray of Richland, also members at Oakland, had 13-year-old Brianna and 2-year-old Olyvia.

“It’s been a tradition with me and Brianna since she was a

1-year old,” said Lynn Bray. “She will ask me if we’re going to go. It’s an experience for the children. It’s more symbolism to me. This cross is not the same weight as the cross he carried for us.”

The Brays have gone on the cross walk in all kinds of weather and consider a day like Friday a challenge.

“The thing to do is to wear layers so you can take something off when you overheat,” Lynn Bray said.

Popson opened the service at Beulah by saying the abuse, suffering and humiliation heaped upon Jesus Christ on what we call Good Friday was not a good day for him, but it was a good day for Christians.

He used Luke 23:13-25 as a scripture reference.

The passage tells of Jesus being brought before Pilate and Herod for inciting rebellion, but neither official could find that he did anything wrong.

The angry crowd insisted that a known criminal, Barabbas, be released and that Jesus be crucified.

Popson likened Pilate giving in to the crowd’s pressure to giving in to the pressure of sin.

“How many times do we buckle under pressure?” he asked. “We do what we shouldn’t do, and there are consequences to pay, but we cave in. We have all caved in to sin, but at the cross there is love, mercy and forgiveness.”

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Halfway house inmates can ease back into society

    Prison life can be a time warp.
    When inmates are locked away – for months, years, decades – society moves forward: Technology evolves, major events occur, pop culture changes. From a personal perspective, families and friends live their lives: weddings, funerals, graduations, births, retirements. All the while, criminals bide their time, existing in a regimented world of cement walls and metal bars.
    Almost all of them eventually rejoin society, though.

    April 19, 2014

  • Crime board took aim at house

    Johnstown’s unemployment rate is around 8 percent.
    One-third of the city’s population lives in poverty.
    Burglaries and assaults significantly increased between 2010 and 2012. There is a thriving illegal trade in heroin and prescription drugs.
    Given those conditions, it can be challenging for Johnstown Community Corrections Center residents to find jobs when living in the facility or to avoid falling back into a criminal lifestyle upon their release.

    April 19, 2014

  • Homicides linked to center

    Three homicides that took place in Johnstown last year involved either a suspect or victim who previously resided in the Community Corrections Center.
    Police Chief Craig Foust confirmed the name of one victim, who spent almost two months in the facility on Washington Street during 2007, a time period verified by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.

    April 19, 2014

  • bachota Volunteers helping to spruce up community

    Walls and ceilings inside the Cambria County Library look clean and bright with fresh new coats of paint on them.
    The work was recently done by inmates from the Johnstown Community Corrections Center.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • alanna Hartzok targets income disparity

    Alanna Hartzok described herself as being a conservative progressive.
    The Franklin County resident said she is in favor of conserving environmental resources, education opportunities, Social Security and Medicare, while wanting to progressively address wealth inequality, health care and taxation.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Schools rise to leadership challenge

    Forest Hills and Cambria Heights high school students put the spirit of healthy competition toward a good cause and picked up some lessons in leadership along the way.

    April 19, 2014

  • KATEY LADIKA Student’s photos win awards

    A Forest Hills High School junior has captured several awards in a high school arts and writing contest that has identified greats such as Truman Capote and Andy Warhol.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jim Siehl JIM SIEHL | Music to my ears

    Seldom has $15 produced such a high level of entertainment as it did a few weeks ago when I found myself in the second row just left of center keeping back the tears once again during my third live performance of “Les Miserables.”

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Michele Bender Bye, bye, Easter birdies

    Animals fascinated my mom. Riding the train between Johnstown and Philly, she saw horses, pigs, sheep, cows … a Mattel See ’n Say of farm critters.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bill Eggert Columnist Photo Travelogue of terror features Johnstown area

    A historic week will surround the venerable Silver Drive-In come the beginning of May.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos


Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads