Church members finishing their 101 mile walk in Salisbury Friday

SALISBURY, Md.- Members of a local church will finish their 101 mile walk for suicide awareness in Downtown Salisbury.

The group led by lead pastor for Canvas Church, Richard Pope, has been walking since Monday.

He told us his inspiration for this partially came from when he was 14 and his cousin took his own life.

Pope says he almost followed right behind him.

That’s why he set out on this walk carrying a cross to provide hope , a sense of community, and to bridge the gap between mental health and faith.

“But this honestly inst enough, getting people talking about something is the goal, but what I’m really hoping to see is people doing something about something, we live in a world that’s so divided by politics and money and all these different things, you know suicide is not the illness, it’s the symptom. I really loved to see neighbors hanging out with their neighbors and people grilling together doing life together,” Richard Pope, Canvas pastor, said.

Pope said this has really been a community initiative.

He said around 20 to 40 people have supported him and members walking with him since the start of their walk in New Church Virginia.

Many stopping to bring them food and drinks.

What makes this feat even more special.

Pope is battling terminal cancer and his wife Payton said at first she was unsure of him doing this walk.

But, now she tells 47 ABC she’s really happy see her husband wanting to make a difference in the community and that others are willing to step in as well.

“We really feel like this is worth it, and I’m very proud of him but I’m also really proud of our church for coming together and doing this and really showing that we are what we say that we talk about and I’m just really proud of our community of coming together and helping,” Payton Pope, Richard’s Wife, said.

We are told the group has been walking about 20 miles a day.

They will be meeting at Canvas Church in Salisbury around 7, where they will be joined by 20 to 30 people.

From there, they will walk the last mile and a half to Downtown Salisbury.

Categories: Local News, Maryland