Roy Scott has battled the demons. Now he's carrying a cross for Jesus.
He has struggled mightily since the June 1997 accident in which he backed a tractor over his 4-year-old son, killing him. His world further tumbled after Hall County closed his motocross track in 2002 for ordinance violations.
Sermons by Jentezen Franklin, senior pastor of Free Chapel on McEver Road, served to inspire and motivate him. And two years ago, he felt led by Jesus to carry a cross - quite literally - for him.
"I'm finally doing it," Scott said. "... He pulls it more than me. I'm just trying to be willing day by day to keep walking. He's shown me nothing but miracles all the way."
He left 13 days ago from Augusta and is taking the homemade cross across the country. He ventured into Hall County this week by way of U.S. 129 at the Jackson County line.
With a shirt wrapped around his head, Scott trudged up the busy two-lane stretch with the cross resting on his shoulder. He had some basic provisions, including blankets, tied to the foot of the cross.
As part of the construction work, Scott installed a wheel at the base to make traveling a little easier on the cross. "Otherwise, it would be worn to a nub," he said.
An Arizona native, he lived in Flowery Branch from 1982 to 2002. He returned to Arizona and joined the Army National Guard.
"The Army let me go for (having) post-traumatic stress disorder," he said.
Scott has lived back east, including the Gainesville area, since 2008.
He likened his call to carry the cross to the biblical story of Jonah, who resisted God's call to preach in the wicked city of Nineveh and ended up in the belly of the whale.
God's "purpose is known to him as to what he wants to accomplish out of this," he said of his walking.
"I do know that when I started in Augusta ... there was a boy helping me carry the cross, and he got saved," Scott said.
He said he wrestled with God over where he would stay in his travels, but the Lord told him not to worry, "that he has houses all over the place."
Scott said he left on the trip with 75 cents and "I've been fed and watered the whole way."
God's call that he should take the cross across the
country "is scary to me," Scott said. "Not everybody is nice."
His walk up U.S. 129 drew stares and honks from passing motorists. One vehicle stopped with the passengers offering Scott encouragement.
Scott takes it all in stride, saying he is leaning on God for strength and direction.
"It's going as it's going, and I'm supposed to keep walking," he said.
Scott also has noticed he has his post-traumatic stress
disorder under control.
"I normally have attacks daily - nightmares all the time," he said. "I haven't since I've been carrying the cross. ... It's like my panic is shedding as I'm walking. I can't explain it."