A California church held a "Jesus March" with the purpose of reaching out to the surrounding community.
New Destiny International Christian Center had around 300 people show up on Saturday in the Imperial Valley town of El Centro to convey their message. Tony Hernandez, assistant pastor at New Destiny, told The Christian Post that the purpose of the "Jesus March" was "just to go out into our community and to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
"To let them know, remind them that there is hope, that there is such a thing called sin and that people need to realize it," said Hernandez. "To let people know that there's hope in Jesus Christ. It's time that people recognize their condition, their need of Christ in their life."
Participants in the "Jesus March" held various signs as they went up and down Imperial Avenue between Main Street and Adams Avenue.
Among the estimated 120 signs included "Faith Love Believe," "Got Jesus?" "Back Slider Come Home," and "John 3:16." Other signs touched on social issues, with some reading "Abortion is Murder" and "Marriage One Man, One Woman."
In an interview with local media, New Destiny head pastor Thomas Alvarez explained that such positions on contemporary social issues come from the Bible.
"We're against abortion and same-sex marriage not because of us personally, but because the Bible says that," said Alvarez to the Imperial Valley Press.
"We march because we believe in the Bible as the word."
In addition to the congregation of New Destiny, other churches affiliated with the El Centro congregation joined the march.
"We had some of our fellowship churches from other towns that came in. We're a fellowship of churches," said Hernandez, adding that "there were about five other churches."
While the Jesus March at El Centro went without incident, other similarly themed marches elsewhere in the world held earlier this year have not been so fortunate.
In London, Toronto, Canada, a "March for Jesus" event organized by G.J. Rancourt with an estimated 500 supporters, drew some protest. According to the Toronto Sun, that march featured Occupy Movement protesters making jeering remarks at one of the speakers. Other protesters, including some LGBT individuals, led organizers to call police to remove them from the space for the demonstration.