Mighty Men Conference: Christian soldier marching onward from cape town to mooi river

2011-10-19 00:00

JAMES McGowan (50), famously known as Piperjames, carries a cross, plays the bagpipes, dresses in Scottish tartan attire and has walked from Cape Town to KwaZulu-Natal.

He is marching to Mooi River for the KZN Mighty Men Conference, which takes place this weekend at Hidden Valley on the Southern Cross farm.

He is not a pastor, but a mighty man of God, says the colourful Piperjames.

He left on foot from Cape Town in August and today marks 54 days on the road.

“A Christian man, Angus Buchan brought me to the Lord last year when he came to Paarl. He was preaching about ‘Marching in the Armies of God’,” and that is when the idea of walking as one of God’s soldiers came to him.

Piperjames’s mission is to visit as many towns as possible to gather the warriors en route to come and attend the Mighty Men Conference (MMC) and evangelising.

McGowan is originally from United Kingdom and is a professional wedding and funeral piper.

“Today marks a special day for me because my South African citizenship has gone through and I’m celebrating a five-year wedding anniversary.”

His cross and flag bears more than a thousand signatures of people from all walks of life — Hindus, Muslims, black, Indians, coloured and white.

He said that since he became a Christian and attended a Mighty Men Conference he has been a better man, more tolerant, loving, caring and more accepting.

“My most challenging experience ever since I started this journey was to meet a young man who told me to my face that he was the anti-Christ,” he said.

But other than that everything has been smooth and people have been supportive.

Piperjames has already been to Bloemfontein, Northern Cape, Lesotho, Durban and Ladysmith. Mighty Men Conference attendees have been welcoming him into their houses since day one.

“I never ask for lifts while I’m walking but some people have offered me one.”

The Mighty Men Conference is being held from Friday to Sunday.

• gabisile.ngcobo@witness.co.za

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