Last July, while attending a Christian youth group meeting at the Oasis Church in Saginaw, Texas, the teen decided that he was going to walk from his home state to Washington, D.C., and that he wouldn't be doing it alone.
"That day, I decided to take up my cross. And I felt so strong in my heart. And I felt Him tell me where to go and how to go," Garcia told CBS Dallas.
Garcia, a graduate of Lake Worth High School who is studying to become a physician's assistant, is carrying a 12-foot cross on a 37 day, 1,369-mile journey to the nation's capital. Accompanied by his parents and members of his Pentecostal church, Garcia plans to carry the cross to the White House and then pray.
“This is my way of showing them Jesus Christ wants a personal relationship with [everyone],” Garcia said.
One prospective route Garcia could take leads through the cities of Little Rock, Ark., and Memphis and Knoxville, Tenn.
A close-up photo obtained by MSNBC shows Garcia carrying a white cross that has been signed numerous times, though video from CBS Dallas (above) shows him carrying an unpainted wooden cross that has wheels on the bottom.
Garcia's epic feat has drawn comparisons to the spiritual walks of Arthur Blessitt, who began carrying a cross around the world in 1969 and is still at it today at the age of 72. Blessitt estimates that he will have walked more than 40,000 miles across the earth by the end of summer.
In an interview with CBS Dallas, Blessitt called Garcia a “wonderful young man.”