Apparently, the second coming is scheduled for May 21, 2011, according to Harold Camping, the leader of independent Christian ministry Family Radio Worldwide. He’s gotten that message out to Christians around the country—through radio shows, the Internet, and like-minded independent churches—and started a small movement whose members are convinced that they shall know the day and the hour wherein the Son of Man cometh. Camping, 89, tells the AP that the dedicated can read the Bible like a kind of cosmic calendar. “Beyond the shadow of a doubt, May 21 will be the date of the Rapture and the day of judgment,” he says. He figures the subsequent end of days will occur sometime around October.
The AP talked to a lot of people who agree, including one woman who is organizing an RV caravan across the country to spread the news. "Time is short," she says.
RALEIGH, N.C. --
If there had been time, Marie Exley would have liked to start a family. Instead, the 32-year-old Army veteran has less than six months left, which she'll spend spreading a stark warning: Judgment Day is almost here.
Exley is part of a movement of Christians loosely organized by radio broadcasts and websites, independent of churches and convinced by their reading of the Bible that the end of the world will begin May 21, 2011.
To get the word out, they're using billboards and bus stop benches, traveling caravans of RVs and volunteers passing out pamphlets on street corners. Cities from Bridgeport, Conn., to Little Rock, Ark., now have billboards with the ominous message, and mission groups are traveling through Latin America and Africa to spread the news outside the United States."A lot of people might think, 'The end's coming; let's go party,' " said Exley, a veteran of two deployments in Iraq. "But we're commanded by God to warn people. I wish I could just be like everybody else, but it's so much better to know that when the end comes, you'll be safe."
In August, Exley left her home in Colorado Springs, Colo., to work with Oakland, Calif.-based Family Radio Worldwide, the independent Christian ministry whose leader, Harold Camping, has calculated the May 21 date based on his reading of the Bible.
She is organizing RVs carrying the message from city to city, a logistical challenge that her military experience has helped solve.
The vehicles are scheduled to be in five North Carolina cities between now and the second week of January, but Exley will be gone overseas, where she hopes eventually to make it back to Iraq.
"I don't really have plans to come back," she said. "Time is short."
Allison Warden, 29, of Raleigh, has been helping organize a campaign using billboards, postcards and other media in cities across the United States through a website, We Can Know.
Asked about reactions to the message, which is plastered all over her car, she laughs.
"It's definitely against the grain. I know that," she said. "We're hoping people won't take our word for it or Harold Camping's word for it. We're hoping that people will search the Scriptures for themselves."