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Taking their love of Jesus to the streets

May 30, 1998|By MARLO BARNHART

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - While everyone else was feeling the heat Saturday afternoon, participants in the March for Jesus were feeling the warmth of Christian love.

Between 150 to 200 marchers braved the blistering weather to walk together through town from the Coyle Free Library to Southgate Mall.

There they stood together and prayed together and held hands as they professed their faith aloud ... together.

"We're saying to all of Chambersburg that we are Christians," said the Rev. Mike Yeager of Jesus is Love Ministries.

The group held hands and proclaimed with Yeager that they were declaring war on the devil.

It was that kind of fervor that attracted Scott Brown, the organizer of Saturday's march in Chambersburg - the first ever for that town's churches.

"I contacted the churches and the pastors in town to tell them about the march," Brown said. There also was a mailing that urged the faithful to join up.

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A member of the Oasis of Love in Shippensburg, Pa., Brown said he has been involved in similar efforts there.

Christy Schale said she wasn't bothered by the heat Saturday as she enjoyed the fellowship with people she knew and many she didn't know.

But she said that didn't matter.

"My church cares ... it's really uplifting coming together like this," Schale said.

Several participants wearing "Soldiers for Jesus" shirts described their movement as a street ministry, an outreach to the poor, the prostitutes and others who need Jesus' love.

"We are a nationwide group that dedicates itself to the love of Jesus," said one of the Chambersburg members who wouldn't give her name.

Yeager led the march and he led the rally at the end of the march.

"We need to tell people that love is the answer to prejudice, the answer to hate ... the answer to everything," Yeager said.

About 10 churches in the Chambersburg area had members participating in the march.

Brown said the turnout for a first effort was extremely heartwarming for him and for his fellow organizers.

Brown said he believes the March for Jesus, a regular event in Shippensburg, may become an annual celebration in Chambersburg, too.

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