Arthur Blessitt

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Arthur Blessitt
Arthur Blessitt (1983).jpg
Blessitt in 1983
Arthur Owen Blessitt

(1940-10-27) October 27, 1940 (age 78)
ResidenceDenver, Colorado, US
OccupationMinister, author, evangelist
Known forCross walking
Sherry Simmons
(m. 1963; div. 1990)

Denise Irja Brown (m. 1990)
Parent(s)Arthur Blessitt, Sr.
Mary Virginia Campbell
ReligionEvangelicalism Edit this at Wikidata

Arthur Owen Blessitt[1] (born October 27, 1940 in Greenville, Mississippi, United States) is a traveling Christian preacher, most known for carrying a cross through every nation of the world.


Early life and career[edit]

Blessitt was born in Greenville, Mississippi,[2] and grew up in northeast Louisiana, where his father managed a large cotton farm. At the age of 7, Blessitt became a Christian.[3] He studied at Mississippi College and Golden Gate Baptist Seminary, but abandoned his studies to serve as a pastor in several Baptist churches across the US.[4]

In the late 1960s, Blessitt began preaching in Hollywood, California. There he became known as the "Minister of Sunset Strip."[citation needed] In March 1968, he opened a coffee house called His Place in a rented building next door to a topless go-go club.[citation needed] It was there that he first made a big cross to hang on the wall of the building on the inside. He started carrying the cross on Sunset Strip from time to time.

His first marriage was to Sherry Anne Simmons, whom he married within three weeks of dating[5] in 1963.[6] Together they had six children: Gina, Arthur Joel, Joy, Arthur Joshua, Arthur Joseph and Arthur Jerusalem.[3] Blessitt and Simmons divorced in 1990.

In 1990 in London, England, he married Denise Irja Brown. Together, they adopted a child, Sophia.[7] As of the late 2000s, he lives in Denver, Colorado.[citation needed]

Cross walk[edit]

Arthur Blessitt made the cross in 1968 to hang on the wall of "His Place" on Sunset Strip, Hollywood, and made short cross walks in that area. On December 25, 1969, he began his journey with the cross, walking from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. Speaking of his inspiration for the walks, he said he "heard the voice of Jesus calling him to walk to every nation."[8] For a short while, he set up an evangelical outreach at New York's Times Square, which was similar to his Hollywood coffeehouse.[4][when?] In August 1971, Blessitt made his first overseas cross-walk beginning in Northern Ireland.[citation needed]

Blessitt has carried the cross to all parts of the world.[citation needed] During the Cold War, he carried his cross into the Soviet Union, through Russia, the Baltic States, Ukraine and other countries.[citation needed] He has carried the cross through such places as Iraq, North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, China, South Africa, Lebanon, India, Antarctica, Palestine, Israel, Cuba, Libya, Northern and Southern Yemen, Vietnam and Mongolia.[citation needed]

Whilst traveling, Blessitt has met numerous world and religious leaders including, George W. Bush, Billy Graham, Pope John Paul II, Yasser Arafat and Muammar al-Gaddafi. He was arrested 24 times and lost his cross twice.[8]

On part of a cross walk through Beirut, Blessitt chose to bring his son Arthur Joshua.[9]

As of July 2019, Blessitt still partakes in cross walks globally.[citation needed] Blessitt claims to have covered over 43,00 miles (69,202 km) through 324 countries, "including island groups and territories". He also claims to have traveled every ocean and walked on all seven continents (including Antarctica). He is known internationally as the "Pilgrim with the Cross".[according to whom?] He is featured in the Guinness World Records Book 2015 for holding the record for Longest Around the World Ongoing Pilgrimage/Walk.

Blessitt has been the subject of various documentaries, such as The Cross Museum of Arthur and Denise Blessitt (2014), Arthur: A Pilgrim (1988), and The Cross: The Arthur Blessitt Story (2009), directed by Matthew Crouch.[2]

Religious views[edit]

Blessitt practices within the evangelical tradition of protestant Christianity, and sits within the Charismatic wing of that tradition.[10] He lists R. T. Kendall and Charles Spurgeon as inspirations.[11]


Blessitt made a failed bid for the 1976 Democratic nomination for President. He withdrew from the contest after contesting the New Hampshire and Florida primaries.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Blessitt, Arthur (March 5, 2006). "Vol. 5 No. 8 "Jesus (and Mercy)"". Arthur Blessitt. Retrieved January 9, 2009.
  2. ^ a b The Cross on IMDb
  3. ^ a b "Netherlands". Retrieved January 10, 2009.
  4. ^ a b Balmer, Randall Herbert (2002). Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism. Westminster John Knox Press. p. 72. ISBN 9780664224097.
  5. ^ Oliver, John A. (July 31, 1978). "The World's Most Itinerant Preacher, Arthur Blessitt, Bears His Cross 17,000 Miles". People Weekly. Retrieved January 8, 2009.
  6. ^ Blessit, Arthur (1985). Arthur: A Pilgrim. Blessitt Publishing. p. Forward (viii). LCCN 85-071322.
  7. ^ Hedges, Chris (September 19, 2006). American Fascists: the Christian Right and the War on America. Scribner. p. 166. ISBN 978-0743284431.
  8. ^ a b "Quite interesting". Telegraph. April 26, 2008.
  9. ^ Frisbie, Annie Young (March 27, 2009). "The Cross: The Arthur Blessitt Story". Christianity Today. Retrieved October 5, 2010.
  10. ^ Blessitt, Arthur. "Jesus and the New". The Official Website of Arthur Blessitt. Retrieved July 11, 2019. Jesus now only gives new life but new tongues! Should you have not received a new tongue then ask Jesus now and He will give you a new tongue! You can speak, witness and pray in new power! In Acts chapter 2 the new tongues came and you can experience the same.
  11. ^ Blessitt, Arthur. "Why I write these Column s". The Official Website of Arthur Blessitt. Retrieved July 11, 2019. I would say that my favorite theologians are Charles Haddon Spurgeon and Dr. R. T. Kendall both pastured churches in London, England. Dr Kendall I feel is the most powerful writer of our time.

External links[edit]