A Tale of Two Walks: Minister and Mental Health Advocate Meet

David HolmerTwo years ago, David Holmer undertook a major walk that continues its influence today. He walked from his home in southwest Michigan all the way to south Florida in order to see his family during the holidays. During his walk, David, an ordained minister, felt led by his faith in God. He found churches each Saturday night for rest and devotional time. The following morning, he would attend Sunday morning services at his rest site.

As David walked the Highway 41 route, he passed through Talbotton, Buena Vista, Plains, and Koinonia. One Saturday night, the bright lights of the Buena Vista United Methodist Church drew him in and became his place of rest for the evening. He attended church the next morning, beginning a two-year friendship with the people he met.

Upon his arrival, David was full of stories about what he had experienced on his walk. After two weeks spent with family in Florida, he rode back to Michigan. But his memories of his experiences on the road and the people he had met stayed with him.

Now two years later, David is following this same route – driving this time – to take photographs, make videos, and finish a book about his adventure. He is the author of three previous books. David describes his latest undertaking as a volume filled with photos and reminders of the challenges and glories of his walk.

One major goal of David’s return visit was to meet Stuart Perry, a man with whom he identified as a fellow walker with a mission. In 1999, our founder walked approximately 1000 miles from Americus to Chicago, in order to spread his message of recovery from depression. A book about his own walk, “Journey for Life,” was published in 2000.

Mulkey McMichael, a staff member at the center, is also a member of Buena Vista United Methodist Church. David turned to Mulkey to coordinate a meeting with Stuart. This week, David and Stuart met at Perry Wellness Center and discussed the excitement and perils of their respective walks.

“This was a fun meeting, and David and I had great but quite different stories about our walks,” Stuart noted. “I enjoyed his sharing in our groups and his time at Perry Wellness Center. David is always welcome, and I hope to see him again on our campus.”

While David is in the area, he will also visit Plains and looks forward to attending a Sunday School lesson with former President Jimmy Carter. But this will not be his last trip to the area. David’s book release is planned for net year. Upon publication, he promises to return with cases of his book.

In the photo, Stuart autographs his book, “Journey for Life,” and presents it to David Holmer.

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