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Preacher goes to new heights
Nov 02, 2012 4:30 pm
Braving freezing temperatures and gusty winds, one Mt. Juliet pastor is committed to raising awareness – literally – about the plight of the homeless.
He is going to new heights to get his message across.
"We just have a heart for those hurting," said Pastor Greg Locke with Global Vision Bible Church. "The Bible tells us about taking care of the poor."
Locke has teetered on the platform of a scissor lift 30 feet in the air in his church parking lot since Monday at 7 a.m. to gain attention for a project that will help gather items for the homeless in this area and Nashville.
It's all about "radical compassion," he said. He wants to collect 100 bikes, sleeping bags and tents to give to the homeless.
"Yes, it's extremely cold," said Locke predawn Tuesday. "I had to bring the lift down to 26 feet because of the high winds associated with Hurricane Sandy. It felt like this was going to blow over. I'm layered up and determined to stay up here all week to reach our goal."
The fact that the temperature dipped below 30 degrees Monday night helped solidify Locke's message to the community.
"The homeless are out on the streets and they need warmth as our night's get colder," he said. "They also need transportation."
Locke said earlier this year he went to a homeless revival, and the homeless told him that their biggest needs were bicycles, sleeping bags and tents.
As of Tuesday morning, 16 bikes and 20 sleeping bags had been donated to the cause.
"I think things will pick up [Wednesday]," he said. "People are starting to become aware of the crazy pastor up in the sky."
A father of four, Locke said people are taking good care of him, bringing him food and coffee. A tarp on one end of his platform helps shield him from the cold wind. He said Tuesday's wind advisory might force him to lower the lift a few more feet for safety reasons.
His 8-year-old son, Hudson, stayed in the lift with him for five hours Monday after school.
"He thinks it's neat up here," said Locke.
Locke said this is really about the community's generosity,
"I'm just the visual picture of raising awareness," he said. "But, I'll stay here as long as it takes," he said.
This is not the first time Locke has stepped outside the box. For the past two years, he and his congregants have taken part in "Homelessness Experience," where they lived on the streets of Nashville for three days in order to realize what it means to have no home. He also walked for three days and 150 miles on a "Bible Walk" and raised $15,000 to buy Bibles to send to India.
Anyone with donations can drop off the items at Global Vision Bible Church at 2060 Old Lebanon Dirt Road.
Mt. Juliet News Managing Editor Laurie Everett can be reached at 754-6397 or by email at email@example.com.