Riveted to his bicycle 50 miles per day as he rides from state capitol to capitol is Bill Easter's way of obeying God. In June, the A/G minister and his 17-year-old son, Joshua, embarked on a journey that will take them at least five years and more than 7,500 miles of bike riding to complete. Their mission: to pray at every state capitol building.
"God gave me a mandate to do this," says Easter. "He said preach the gospel on the highways and byways and that's what we plan to do."
Already, the Easters and the driver of their recreational vehicle, in which they lodge, have prayed at Alabama and Ohio's capitols. At each capitol, Easter says, he drags a seven-foot wooden cross up the steps, then prays quietly beneath the cross.
Easter had not originally planned on bringing a cross; but after taking a friend's challenge to stand near three roadside crosses and pray for the passing motorists, Easter decided the trip would not be complete without the cross.
"As I watched the people drive by, I could see the conviction in their eyes," he says. "I knew then we had to have a cross with us."
In Montgomery, while he was praying, busloads of teenage girls, who were participating in Girls State, a state leadership program, inquired about the cross and what he was doing. After he told them, more than 100 teen girls formed a circle and joined him in prayer.
"They prayed with us for our government, schools, nation, and for revival," says Easter.
Since the trip began, Easter estimates that 30 people have made commitments to follow Christ as their Savior as a result of the unique ministry. Speaking engagements help finance the trip. Easter says he has taken several breaks from riding, including a six-week stop, to conduct revival services.
"Bill is a humble man of prayer, yet he speaks a very powerful message," says Wayne Coleman, who supports Easter through prayer.
When the trip is completed in 2005, Easter hopes to have prayed at every state capitol and driven stakes in Maine, California, Florida, and Washington in a symbolic act of covering the United States that he hopes will bring revival.
"We have divine appointments every day," Easter says. "I'm believing God for revival in America and that people's hearts will be stirred. If we will pray and humble ourselves, God will heal our land."