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Obadiah Franklin sat holding up his 100-pound cross at the intersection of Washington Avenue and Highway 10 Tuesday as part of his silent sermon across America.

What's this guy's deal?

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Detroit Lakes Detroit Lakes, 56501
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

You might have seen him -- the man in red who has been standing all day long, propping up a red cross around Detroit Lakes.

Who is he and what is his deal?

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His name is Obadiah Franklin, and he is a preacher from West Virginia -- complete with a southern drawl.

Franklin is in Detroit Lakes, an invited guest of the Christian Retreat at Strawberry Lake.

He isn't speaking at the retreat until Sunday morning, but he will be preaching in Detroit Lakes all week without saying a word.

Franklin says he heard the Lord speak to him eight years ago.

"He said, 'Obadiah, you're not as important as you think you are'," he laughed, "So, I quit my three-piece job, put on working man clothes and hit the road."

Those 'working man clothes' are all red, as is the cross he carries, symbolizing the blood of Christ.

Franklin says over the last eight years, he's been to every state and hundreds of cities doing this very thing -- just standing in different places, usually busy intersections, propping up his wooden cross.

And it truly is a heavy, wooden cross, made of 4-foot by 4-foot cedar posts weighing nearly 100 pounds.

The preacher says he's been on several national broadcasts, including the O'Reilly Factor, NBC Nightly News and several other news programs.

Google him and you'll find a plethora of YouTube videos.

He says he's been preaching since he was 14 years old, but says he now preaches to two different churches.

"The church of the highway and the church of the sidewalk," he smiles.

His goal is to move people to think of Jesus in the few seconds they are stopped at that intersection or drive by him.

"I preach all day long this way," Franklin said, "And I don't even need to say a word."

But he does.

If a passer-by stops to talk to the preacher, he will recite you scripture and tell you stories of miracles; joke about current-day events and give you his take on the bible.

He will also pray with you and for you.

He is an evangelical Christian, and for him, this is what he is called to do -- which accounts for the occasional tear in his eye when he talks of his Savior, Jesus Christ.

"I love him. I want others to love him, and I know what I'm doing here does just that. I've had numerous people tell me that all they needed was an unexpected glimpse of 'the man in red' to change their lives in one way or another. I've had prostitutes fall right down by the nail of the cross and sob."

Franklin says his preaching has nothing to do with him, though.

That's why he will not knowingly let photographers take a picture of his face, as he pushes his red hat down.

It is also why he keeps his back to the traffic.

"It's not about me. I'm only the messenger," explains Franklin, "I do not want me or my face to be a distraction from the name that sits on this cross."

Franklin began his silent sermon Tuesday afternoon on the corner of the Depot, on Washington and Highway 10.

As one can imagine, he gets a good number of rubber-neckers and horn beeps throughout the day.

He says just in his first hours in Detroit Lakes, he's had free pizza delivered to him, as well as kindly offerings of water or other drinks.

He does not ask for money and does not get paid by anybody, but according to his website, 'believers accommodate him for the night, and others provide for his lodging or meals'.

He says he does get donations now and then, but his mission is mostly funded by his wife, who works full time during the week and then flies out to meet him wherever he is at.

"I couldn't do this without her," said Franklin, "She will be joining me here Friday."

Before arriving in Detroit Lakes, Franklin says he was in Fargo.

He says although he has not yet (as of Tuesday afternoon) talked to a Detroit Lakes police officer, he will often get questioned by them.

"And if I do talk to a Detroit Lakes officer, I will tell them the same thing that I tell the other officers -- that I pray for them. I pray for their safety and I pray for the criminals of Detroit Lakes that they will stop what they are doing and come to love Jesus."

Franklin says he will be out at the Christian Retreat Saturday night, as Elivis Posey, a man he calls a very dear friend of his, will be performing his famous Elvis Presley impersonation in concert.

"I invite everyone to come out there," said Franklin, as he pointed up to the sky, "because I always ask, what have you done for him lately?"

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