Unity walk through community of Loveland Friday, June 5, 2020 (Chuck Gibson)
It was the seventh consecutive night of gathering, praying, and walking peacefully together as a community in unity through the streets of Loveland for Gault and the hundreds who joined him. The demonstration of unity began with Desmon Gault walking alone united only with his commitment to God to walk for seven days to bring people together peacefully. His walks grew from that first walk alone, to walking with his wife and family, to a community of over 200 on Wednesday, and group counted at 185 Friday night.
Gault did it. He fulfilled the promise God put on his heart to walk for seven days. He says he is unsure about what is next, but certain the gathering of the Loveland community for prayer and a peaceful walk together in unity is not the end.
Branches Church pastor Shane Harden with Desmon Gault (Chuck Gibson)
Leaders in the community, like pastor Shane Harden of the Branches Church, and Rev. Jonathan Eilert, Prince of Peace are getting together with Gault to see what they can do next.
“We haven’t decided anything yet,” said Gault. “We’re letting God lead us. That’s all we can do right now. This happened for a reason. God is stirring the pot and people are answering the call. We’re still letting Him lead us; we’ll let Him guide us.”
People have answered the call to pray together and walk together through the community of Loveland with Desmon Gault, his wife Brittany, and all his family in numbers that total nearly 1,000 for the seven days. .
The mayor of Loveland, Kathy Bailey, Loveland police officers and Chief Sean Rahe, Prince of Peace Pastor, Rev. Jonathan Eilert, the pastor from Grace Point Church, where Gault practices his faith, have answered the call. Friday evening Amy Crouse, Loveland Schools Superintendent joined the walk with her husband Don and two of their children: Libby and T.J. She saw the community come together to help each other and to feed and celebrate students during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I believe in this community,” said Crouse. “With this civil unrest, I think this is a call for our schools to play an important role in teaching anti-racism, being very clear and specific.”
Loveland Schools Superintendent Amy Crouse with daughter Libby, son T.J., and husband Don joined the unity walk (Chuck Gibson)
The walk began with some words and prayer just as it did throughout the week, but Gault introduced another speaker Friday evening who read some inspiring words in a call to actively come together peacefully in unity beyond the walks. After prayer, Gault called upon the crowd to remember the purpose, out loud together as one. “It’s not about me, it’s about US,” they chanted with him. It got the walk started in a special way.
“I liked how it started, it’s not about me, it’s about us,” Crouse said. “It’s about community. I think the heat and the sweat gives you an opportunity to be a little introspective in what is our role in all of this; in forgiveness, reaching out and listening.”
Desmon Gault used a megaphone to lead the group in prayer before the unity walk (Chuck Gibson)
The Johnson family, Howard Johnson, LaRhonda, Raekwon, Zechariah, and Rakale joined Gault for the walk each evening throughout the week.
“It’s been really cool to come out here each day to help support Desmon and the vision that God gave him,” said Rakale. “It was really unexpected, especially in Loveland because you don’t really see that community aspect a lot. For everybody to be committed to it every single day this week, I just thought it was awesome. It’s comforting. There were days we would come out and it just makes you want to cry out of joy. I didn’t know so many people cared. To see so many people care and be genuine is just outstanding.”
The Johnson Family: l-r Raekwon, Rakale, LaRhonda, Zechariah, and Howard Johnson (Chuck Gibson)
The group walked together along Lebanon Road and through the adjoining neighborhood streets united peacefully. Along the way people watched respectfully, maybe with a little curiosity, and even some compassion offering bottles of water on a hot-humid evening. For Gault it was the fulfillment of his promise to God to walk for seven nights. For those who joined, it clearly is just a beginning.
“It’s a great faith builder,” said Gault. “It doesn’t stop here. This is only the beginning. God gave me seven days just for this week. As we continue to progress, move forward as individuals, as families, as a community, I think it’s going to be a uproar of unity.
Diane presents Desmon with a “unity key” as a gift after the unity walk Friday, June 5, (Chuck Gibson)
Gault believes we’ll be hearing stories of how people are affecting the community in their own positive way. These walks with the community were never about Desmon Gault, they were always about God reaching out to the people of the community through him. The community of Loveland responded.
“God used me,” Gault said. “There were great men and women before me. I am the littlest thing on the totem pole, but God used me for His purpose. The people harkened to His voice, not my voice. This is just a start.”