Pawhuska had the honor of an all-too brief visit by Pastor Jim and Glenda Buckley this past week during Buckley’s walk across America.
Dr. Buckley is a 66-year old minister who began his trek on April 1st in the Thousand Oaks area of southern California. Walking an average of 20-25 miles a day, his journey is expected to take six months. By the time Dr. Buckley reaches his targeted finish line at New York City’s Times Square on October 1, he will have racked up an estimated 3,000 miles. When he reached Little Chief, Oklahoma, he had already amassed over 1,400 miles and walked through four of thirteen states. Buckley can be sighted on non-interstate highways in his bright orange shirt.
Dr. Buckley is a Teaching Pastor for the Newbury Park First Christian Church in Newbury Park, California and former Lead pastor of 28 years. He spent five years as a Marriage & Family and Leadership Professor with TCM International Institute which is based out of Austria.
During his walk, Dr. Buckley is accompanied by his wife Glenda of 45 years in their RV.
“We play leap frog,” says Glenda. “I’ll stay behind and watch him go. When it gets where I can’t see him so well, I’ll pass him and find another turnout and wait for him to come to me. I do a lot of praying, too.”
My walk across America is a mission,” says Buckley. “The message is Inviting American Home in a nation where problems of abuse, addiction, abandonment, and immorality ravish the home. I am also challenging America to become champions of their homes by inviting Jesus home. I don’t find a whole lot of difference in values of the home. The heart of the home, the focus of the home — it’s the same for church and non-churched people. This Nation is built on our homes. There is no doubt about it.”
Buckley’s mission quickly gained the attention of the Bill Graham Evangelistic Association. They were with Buckley when he began his mission and made a video that says “to be continued.” The group joined Buckley again in New Mexico and said they would be with him in Washington, DC and again in New York where he will end his walk.
The Buckleys spent Thursday night at Pawhuska’s Settle Inn RV Park. As daylight approached, they backtracked west of town about eight miles so he could resume his trek. Their route would lead them through Bartlesville and Vinita on their way to Louisville, Kentucky. Because they are not allowed to use the interstates, Dr. Buckley’s route basically follows U.S. Highway 60 across the country.
Their route is available on the website www.invitingAmericanHome.org.
“God has things he wants us to do and is responsible for our incredible adventures,” says Buckley.
Both he and Glenda are writing blogs which are accessible through their website.
Like the Billy Graham saga, the JC will continue our interview with the Buckleys. Next week’s column will feature stories about some of their unusual encounters, their experiences with Oklahoma and Texas’ wicked weather and more.