77'7" Kerrville Cross Raised on IH-10, Ending 9 Year Epic Struggle
July 30, 2010
KERRVILLE, Texas, (christiansunite.com) -- Tuesday, July 27th a two-million-dollar, 70-ton, 77'7" red-brown contemporary sculpture named The Empty Cross(tm) was erected by The Coming King Foundation (TCKF) overlooking Interstate 10, half-way between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, on the transcontinental highway that connects California and Florida. The purpose, according to TCKF Vice President Jim McKnight, is to "draw people to God and to bless all those who visit the 23 acre Sculpture Prayer Garden in Kerrville, which will be free to the public."
The week-long cross erection process began on Monday morning, July 26th. Eagle Bronze of Lander, WY supervised the raising of the massive cross sculpture with the help of local welders, steel erectors, and crane companies. This historic event caps a 9-year epic struggle to raise the cross which included several financial "miracles", threats and attacks by atheists and others opposed to the cross, numerous letters to the media and city government, and a lawsuit filed by neighboring landowners which was settled.
The spiritual park, located at the main entrance of Kerrville, looks like the "Holy Land" and happens to be at the same latitude as Israel. The "Hill Country" town of Kerrville is home to about 23,000 people. It is known for its beautiful Guadalupe River, scenic views, and abundant wildlife. The area is a favorite of tourists, campers and hunters from across the USA. Only 60 miles northwest of San Antonio's main tourist attractions, the Alamo and River Walk, over a thousand people a day are expected to visit the free "Coming King Sculpture Prayer Garden" when it is completed.
Sudie Burditt, Director of the Kerrville Convention & Visitors Bureau, said: "Thanks to TCKF for making our world aware of Kerrville, Texas. The national publicity it has received for the Sculpture Prayer Garden is enormous, and the publicity and awareness of the City of Kerrville is great for our economy. As the Garden is developed and the beautiful art is put in place, the rocky, cedar-covered hillside will become a place of beauty and serenity that will attract visitors for generations to come. These visitors will eat, sleep and shop in Kerrville, making a positive growth impact on our hospitality industry."
The non-denominational Christian Garden and the seven-story hollow cross sculpture are the "vision" of artist/evangelist Max Greiner, Jr., a 1974 architecture design graduate of Texas A&M University. The spiritually symbolic, Cor-tin steel cross is the largest sculpture featured in the Garden park and the largest sculpture ever created by the artist and his foundry, Eagle Bronze, of Lander, WY, one of the largest art bronze foundries in the USA.
The unique hollow cross symbolizes the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The "walk-in" cross sculpture is being displayed at the top of a 1,930' hill, at the end of a 100-yard-long, cross-shaped Garden. The Garden when completed, will display 77 Biblical scriptures on 16" etched ceramic tiles in multiple languages. According to Max and Sherry Greiner, God "called" them on December 9, 2001 to build a "last days, outdoor tabernacle" as a way of sharing the love of Jesus Christ with the world.
In May of 2004, the Greiners formed The Coming King Foundation, a non-profit, tax-exempt arts foundation, so these meditative gardens could be built across the USA and world. Today, the 17 Trustees of the 501c3 organization consist of leaders from different Christian denominations. Since the beginning, the non-profit arts foundation has trusted that God would provide all the funds needed to build the Kerrville Garden, without debt, public tax money or professional fundraisers.
To date, about two million dollars has been donated by generous Christians across America for the glory of God. In addition, three million dollars worth of monumental, contemporary Christ-honoring sculptures have been donated by three internationally- collected Christian artists. The sculptors are Beverly Paddleford of Lander, WY, David Broussard of Dallas, TX, and Max Greiner, Jr. of Kerrville, TX. The 23 acres of valuable land that fronts IH-10 was donated by the Hershel Reid family of Dallas, TX.
TCKF still needs about $250,000 to build the main entrance and parking lot. Around two million dollars more is needed to build the interior roads for the Sculpture Prayer Garden so it can be opened to the public. Guided tours to see the cross are possible now by calling the TCKF office. People around the world can also watch "LIVE" streaming video of the cross at the organization's website: www.thecomingkingfoundation.org
Many Christian-owned businesses have donated their services to raise the 77'7" cross sculpture. These include, Max Greiner, Jr. Designs of Kerrville, TX; Eagle Bronze of Lander, WY; Choat Painting & Sandblasting of Kerrville, TX; Alamo Crane Service of San Antonio, TX; Debsteel, Inc of Spring Branch, TX; Equipment Depot of San Antonio, TX; Town & Country Welding of Kerrville, TX; Nixalite of America, Inc. of IL; Cherokee Septic of Kerrville, TX and professional welders Everett Blair, Daniel Wolfe, Earnest Taylor, and Rex Vandiver.
Max Greiner, Jr., TCKF President, said: "Like the American flag that was raised in World War II at Iwo Jima, we believe God will use the raising of 'The Empty Cross' to energize and inspire Christians across our land to rise up and fight for the Christian principles that founded this great country."
This ambitious Christian project has many well-known supporters. Governor Mike Huckabee, Dr. James Dobson, Franklin Graham, Dr. Pat Robertson, Rick Warren, the late Dr. Bill Bright and Dr. Oral Roberts have all prayed for the Kerrville Garden.