Since Easter evening, Louisiana pastor Andy Jenkins has been camping in an unusual spot: a 200-foot-tall metal cross that contains an internal ladder and platforms. He has been sleeping and eating in there, taking “very minimal breaks” on the ground. The three-day mission will end on Wednesday, April 12.
Jenkins is raising funds for the Minden Family Center, which he and his wife, Christy, direct. The center offers both Adult & Teen Challenge programs, helping young moms overcome addictions and care for their children.
Pastor Andy Jenkins Camps in Cross To Set ‘Broken’ People Free
The cross that’s serving as temporary shelter for Pastor Jenkins is located at the Church of the Cross in Haughton, Louisiana. On a local TV program, he gave a brief video tour of the structure. A ladder reaches to the top, with a platform located about every 50 feet.
Jenkins is camping on the first platform, which he describes as about the size of a loveseat. After completing his first day and night inside the cross, the pastor shared a Facebook Live video of his “campsite,” complete with a chair, a pillow, snacks, water, and a heater.
For a suggested $25 per day, people can sponsor Jenkins to help keep the doors of the Minden Family Center open. “We get to see women find deliverance from their addiction,” he said of their work. “These ladies come to us broken, and it’s so wonderful to see these children get a mom [who] is being what God intended her to be.”
At the residential program, women struggling with addictions can bring along their children. “They don’t have to choose between [getting] help or leaving their kids,” Jenkins said. The center has onsite child care, and older children are transported to school.
Sponsors are investing not just in a ministry, added Jenkins. “You’re making an investment in the lives of these moms and in the lives of these children. Your investment is gonna help make some moms and some children free through the power of Christ.”
Teen Challenge Helped Save Pastor Andy Jenkins
For Jenkins, this cross-camping mission is personal. In a 2009 interview about his pastoral ministry, he described being “alcoholic and deeply into drugs” as a teenager. Jenkins landed in jail twice, serving about five months, for possession and theft. “I was going nowhere fast,” he admitted.