In Depth: The man known as “What’s Your Name?” is back in Delco after two years.
MARPLE — His moniker is unusual, but his message is universal.
Dressed like a disciple of Jesus, the man identified as “What’s Your Name?” has returned to Delaware County to preach the Good Word. After a two-year trek taking him as far south as North Carolina and as west as Michigan, he is currently staying with a family in the township.
“My ministry is a very grass-roots one,” he said. “I go out the way Jesus sent his apostles, on foot without shoes or money.”
“What’s Your Name?,” who said he was raised in a non-religious family, was baptized as a student attending a Christian grade school. Like other teens, he strayed from the church, but never lost his faith, and became fascinated by individuals who abandoned their possessions.
His first foray into evangelism came as a Christian journalist and for a time he ironically equated assets with the ability to spread the word.
“I thought if I had more money, I could do a better job of promoting the kingdom of God,” he said. “I had a sudden inspiration, however, that it was not the best way.”
Donning a white robe, carrying a well-worn Bible and usually walking barefoot, “What’s Your Name?” began his itinerate ministry 12 years ago. Profiles in newspapers in the United States and Great Britain and interviews on American and French television made him a recognizable figure and he has traveled to 47 states and 13 countries.
He spends his days attending worship services of various denominations, visiting hospitals and nursing homes and speaking to groups from 25 to 1,000. He spreads thoughts on love and morality, sharing the basic tenants of all religions and answering questions about the Lord.
“I convey a traditional Christian message of salvation and that God is at work in all people,” he said.
After leaving this area in February 2001, “What’s Your Name?” traveled to Delaware, Washington, D.C., Virginia, and North Carolina, concentrating his time in Richmond and the nation’s capital. He attended the January 22, 2002 March For Life, but found the fast pace of D.C. a hard one in which to minister.
“People are focused on their way of life,” he said. “It was difficult to evangelize.”
Upon learning of his grandmother’s illness, “What’s Your Name?” journeyed to the upper peninsula of Michigan, where he visited with his family while continuing his work. An interview on a local rock station introduced him to a new audience.
“I think God arranged for this to happen, because the D.J. was bitter against the church due to the death of his uncle,” he said. “By the end, he was urged by the depth of the callers and called it ‘a cool experience.’”
He recently spoke to a prayer meeting at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Upper Providence and joined a Medjugorje prayer group in the Havertown home of Lorraine Walsh. She has followed his teachings for many years and admires his devotion.
“I think he is very inspirational and wanted those in the group to be inspired, too,” she said.
“What’s Your Name?” said his wanderings are a combination of answering the call of God and making specific contacts. He may be reached through www.whatsyournameonline.com, a Website maintained by a friend in Maryland.