Students gather in prayer after classroom shooting at Taft Union High School.

Every parent’s fear is that a distraught student brings a gun to school and exacts real or perceived revenge on a fellow classmate, and thereby putting their child in harm’s way as well. In January 2013 a student attending Taft Union High did just that, walking up to a fellow classmate and seriously wounding him with a shotgun brought to school from home.

One week exactly after the school shooting, I felt compelled by God to bring the 60-pound, 10-foot cross to this small but beautiful city and walk the cross throughout the entire town, including Taft Union High and pray long and hard for the peace and safety of all residents.

As I traveled the 30 miles to Taft, I began to verbally put on and take up the special seven-part armor/armaments of God (Ephesians 6:10-18), which He has given to all believers to wear during spiritual warfare and conflicts. I also asked the Lord of the Harvest to fill me up with the nine fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Since Jesus had mentioned in the 15th chapter of John that there are four degrees of fruit-bearing — no fruit, fruit, more fruit and much fruit — I asked Him to fill me up with much fruit.


Chief of Police Ed Whiting speaks to concerned parents after student-involved shooting at Taft Union High.

I decided to park next to the continuation high school adjacent to Taft Union High. As I began unstrapping and unloading the large cross from the go-ye-mobile, a police car slowly drove past. I noticed that the police officer was talking on his car radio. Just a few moments later, an officer approached  from the continuation school and greeted me with a polite but serious tone in his voice. Shared with the school police officer that I was going to walk the cross throughout Taft and pray for all its residents, including the city’s police force.

Asking for my I.D., he shared that a school shooting had taken place the week before and that everyone was still jittery and nervous. I mentioned that this was one of the reasons I was here, to pray for all the students, parents, school personnel and city officials.

I also handed him a special 2-sided tract/card that shares why I walk the cross. He put it in his pocket, thanked me for my concern and strolled back to the entrance door to the continuation high school. As I placed the cross on my shoulder, I waved. He waved back and smiled.



This is where the long cross walk began, at the continuation high school next to Taft Union High.

As I walked up to the continuation school, I hoisted the cross upright and began to pray for these special-needs high schoolers as well. If shootings in school take place, most of us feel it would take place at a continuation school, where many troubled and troubling youth attend. The police officer and school staff member watched as I prayed long and hard for these kids and their parents, as well as school personnel. I pray loud and I knew they could hear what I was asking God to do for all these kids, which included bringing them to Himself so that they would all become born-again believers. Several students stopped in their tracks and listened as I prayed as well. I waved at them between prayers…and they smiled and waved back, an indication that they were glad someone was praying for them.

This would be a long walk, but well worth it. I decided it was important to pray at all the schools, so slowly but surely I walked the cross throughout the city. I enjoyed hoisting the cross in the residential areas as well and praying for all the families living in these communities and neighborhoods too.

Everybody needs the Savior! Everybody needs Jesus! And so I asked the Lord of the Harvest to reveal Himself strong on the behalf of men, women, children, families and individuals living in this oil town.

Although I expected it, I couldn’t believe how many people came out of their homes and asked questions about the cross walk. Many thanked me for praying for their families and for the city in general.



The historic Fort, a popular setting where weddings and large civic events take place throughout the year.

Of course, there is The Fort, a very well-known and well-used replica of Sutter’s Fort in Sacramento. As I walked pass this historic compound where weddings and other civic events take place, I asked God to let there be an abundance of weddings and great social events to take place here. Nothing honors God more than for a man and women who really love each other to show this love by entering into the holy covenant of marriage, where God becomes the managing partner of their marriage and their family.

As I walked the perimeter of this entire city, I asked the Lord of hosts to surround Taft with His holy angelic warriors and to build a spiritual fortress around the entire city. In Christ I rebuked the forces of darkness and the spiritual powers of wickedness and asked the Lord of dominion and power to pull down the satanic strongholds of temptation, deception and delusion and to replace these strongholds with His towers of truth.

Throughout this walk, several Christians at different times stopped and prayed with me, also asking God to bring great revival and great awakening to the entire city. They asked for prayer for their children’s safety, for their marriages, for their families and for the leaders of the city.

And, of course, they asked for prayer especially for the student shooter and the victim.



No matter what it’s made of, the cross of Jesus Christ is God’s plus sign to all people!

As I walked toward city hall to hoist the large cross and pray for Taft’s leaders, I spotted a makeshift cross made from paper cups. A man came out from his house and shared that he had built the cross after the school shooting and for both families involved as well as all the students. He shared that he was also praying for all of Taft’s elected leaders, that they would address the issue of bullying taking place in all the schools and not just the high school.

We prayed together and I told him I would pray for the city often. I then walked to city hall, hoisted the large cross upright and prayed long and hard for Taft’s leaders, that they would all accept Jesus Christ as the Savior and Lord, and that they would, indeed, address the issue of bullying.

My heart broke for the residents of this small city. Yet I knew that the God who spoke everything into existence simply by His Word could most certainly bring peace and healing to this city’s residents. I also prayed for all the pastors and church members of all the churches, that they would join the Lord of the Harvest in the diverse fields of souls and work those fields unto salvation!

I’ll be back. But more than anything else, I will continue to uphold the precious souls of this city in prayer. Because the cross speaks loud and proud about Jesus Christ and what He did for the residents of this city, I am confident that souls will be added to the kingdom of God. Glory to the King of everything. \O/