Cross becomes a new landmark for the Home Seekers Paradise

Published 11:20 am Tuesday, February 27, 2024

“We lost a landmark last night, but gained one this morning.”

Mayor Joe Cox made the comment Tuesday morning standing near the 150-foot-tall metal cross that had just been erected on the Hwy. 84 property of Easthaven Baptist Church. Monday night, he had watched the historic Stahl-Urban building on Main Street collapse under waves of fire.

Crews from Mike Rozier Construction used a crane and lifts to raise the upper portion of the cross and guide it into place. Work on the placement began just before 8:30 a.m. and took about 45 minutes. Hundreds of people had gathered to watch, with cars filling the parking lots of Easthaven Baptist Church, as well as lined up along the roadway entrance to the church campus, and on Hwy. 84.

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Officers with Brookhaven Police and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office directed traffic, ensuring the spectacle would not become a problem with traffic flow or accidents.

Members of the Rozier crew gathered near the base of the cross prior to the raising, joined by EBC pastor Dr. Hal Kitchings, and prayed together. When the cross was lowered firmly in place and workers had stepped back, signaling the joining was complete, cheers and applause erupted from onlookers.

One week earlier, when construction began, Kitchings expressed his hope for what the 50-yard-high cross could accomplish — “I’m hopeful. I pray it will reach people we’ll never know this side of heaven. But God knows, and that’s what counts.”