Rider brings 10 Commandments crusade to city
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
Riding his horse Chester and leading his pack mule T.J, Jerry Boswell passed through Hartselle on June 28 for the second time in two years. He completed his first "Ride for Religious Freedom" on Aug. 8, 2003 in Washington, D.C. This time, he's headed for parts unknown in Indiana but his message hasn't changed.
"We've got to turn from our worldly ways and put God back in first place in our lives," said Boswell. "God hasn't changed. He's still here, but we've got some people who're doing everything they can to hide Him from public view."
To illustrate his point he carries replicas of the 10 commandments strapped to both sides of his pack mule.
Boswell's trek through Hartselle along Highway 31 occurred without a lot of public attention. A few motorists honked their horns and waved as he passed and two or three pulled over to get a closer look and check out the what, when, where and why of his mission.
The story was different when he passed through Cullman, according to Keith Whitley, who decided to tag along for a day's ride.
"We didn't have much advance notice but we were able to get together 25 or 30 horses and riders and some pedestrians to accompany him through town," Whitley said.
"I totally support what he's doing. He's on a mission for God. We need more Christians like him. Anyone who is against the 10 commandments being placed in pubic view is against our country," he added.
Boswell, 65, admitted that life on the road can be difficult at times but he was quick to point out that he relies on God for direction, strength and endurance.
"I'm a diabetic, suffer from palsy and have a bad back and I've been through tornadoes, bad thunderstorms, wind, rain, sleet and snow," he pointed out. "But God takes care of me. This is what He called me to do."
Boswell said his mission is to create public awareness for the need to keep God's presence visible in schools and government. To help him do that, he takes time out from his journey to speak to church and civic groups and collects names on petitions which he places in the hands of elected officials.
"I don't know ahead of time how far I'll travel on a given day," Boswell stated. "It all depends on how much contact I have with the public, or the weather. I may be on the road three hours and go six miles or 12 hours and go 40 miles,"
Boswell said he was born and raised in Newnan, Ga., but now lives in Valley, Ala. He has spent most of his life following the trades of a plumber, electrician, carpenter and farmer.
Boswell carries everything he needs for his journey…tent, sleeping bag, clothing, food and personal items… on the back of his pack mule. Where he stops to pitch camp is God's decision, not his, he said. "I ride until He finds me a place to spend the night."
Boswell welcomes donations and the opportunity to speak about his mission journey. His mailing address is P.O. Box 54, Valley, AL 36854 and he may be reached by phone at 1-334-576-1138.