It’s almost impossible to miss. But in case you have, Christ Place Church has installed an 80-foot cross in front of its new worship center, which held its first services Sept.16 last year.
“The cross, it’s a symbol associated with our faith, so we just really wanted to display that in a very prominent way to our region and our community,” said Stephen Odum, creative director at the church. “We wanted to share that in a very huge way.”
Installation of the cross, which stands 80 feet tall and 30 feet wide, began Monday, Feb 4. By Wednesday, Feb. 6, everything was in place for passersby to see from Interstate 985.
Funding for the cross came from part of the $18 million building campaign for the church’s new worship center. Image Manufacturing Group in Norcross was contracted to do the work.
The face of the cross is made up of black walnut aluminum composite material, which gives the cross a modern look, while still being able to withstand the outdoor elements.
“Behind those black walnut panels is where the LED lights run and they shine directly onto the silver and radiate the light out from the gaps in the panels,” Odum said. “We’re waiting on some lightning protection to go into it before we can actually energize it and have it lit up every night.”
The lights will be on a timer so “it will light up every evening and run all night until the sun comes up the next morning.”
The cross was installed in different sections, all of which attach to a steel pole inside. Cranes had to be used to install it and Odum said church members were enthralled by all the action.
“We were over there meeting and people were pulling up,” Odum said. “They’d stop, get out and take pictures. They’re ecstatic. They're very excited about it. It’s been a long time coming and they’re very excited to have this piece associated with our church.”
Christ Place, which used to be Blackshear Place Baptist Church, chose to change its name at the beginning of 2018 in an effort to reach more people.
“Blackshear Place has lost its geographical distinction,” Rick Hermann, pastor of discipleship at the church, said in an interview in March 2018. “New people moving into the area really don’t know where the Blackshear Place is.”
As the name changed and the first services eventually took place in the new worship center church members were told about the cross that would be erected outside. They hoped for it to arrive sooner, but delays in material pushed the date back.
Now that “everything is up,” Odum said he’s ready for everyone to see it.
“We think it’s going to become a landmark in our community,” Odum said. “It’s visible from I-985 … I drove out to the interstate and you can see it so easily. We really feel like it will be a great addition to the community.”