ORU Graduate Carries Cross Around the World
By KAYLEY FORSHEY
MILESTONE OF A LIFETIME: Missionary and evangelist Keith Miller took the final steps of his lifelong goal to carry the cross and walk 24,901 miles, the distance around the equator, on Oral Roberts University campus on Oct. 25.
KAYLEY FORSHEY for GTR Newspapers
The rainy day was anything but dark for missionary and evangelist Keith Wheeler. It couldn’t be for a man who’d just achieved his life’s calling, one he believed to be from God.
On Oct. 25, Wheeler finished his lifetime goal of walking 24,901 miles, the distance around the equator, while carrying a 12-foot wooden cross. This Oral Roberts University alumnus began his walk on ’s campus in 1985 on Good Friday. After trekking across the world, he completed his journey by walking from the Praying Hands to the front steps of the Graduate Center (GC). He’s walked on every continent and in more than 175 countries, hoping his unorthodox form of evangelism will bring people to Christ.
The walk from the Prayer Tower was an emotional one for Wheeler, but fellow students and alumni, as well as community members, walked with him, encouraging him in respectful solemnity. As Wheeler trudged closer to the front of the GC, he stopped before crossing the campus canal and looked through the crowd. His wife, Nicole, emerged from the crowd and held his hand for the final steps.
Once he reached the GC steps, onlookers and supporters began cheering and when Wheeler carried his cross to the very spot he began his ministry all those years ago, there were tears in his eyes.
After a brief speech, thanking God and his supporters, Wheeler lifted the cross high and prayed as the crowd bowed their heads with him. The prayer ended and one man in the crowd began singing the hymn “The Old Rugged Cross,” and soon the entire crowd was singing along.
According to the Keith Miller Ministries website, “In 1985, as Keith was praying one night, he felt that God spoke to his heart, ‘I want you to make a cross and begin carrying it through the streets of Tulsa on Good Friday.’” That calling extended into a lifelong ministry of carrying the cross and the gospel around the world.
Miller posted on his Facebook page on the day of his milestone step, “If the journey was only about miles, I would be finished. However the journey is about following Jesus from one heart to the next…And I think that means I will be on this journey until I see His face!”