Steve Thomas had an idea and walked out in faith to build it, like Peter walked out in faith on water. I call people like Steve and his wife, Bobby, water-walkers. (See the previous blog below.) The Thomas family prayed about the idea and shared it with other Christian friends. One man donated the land for the cross. The family hired 150 welders to build the steel framework, which was hauled to the site in pieces. Since the cross would weigh 1,250 tons when put together, a very large stable foundation was poured all in one day. It took every cement truck in all the neighboring counties to haul in enough cement!. A special crane was brought in to raise the sections of the cross. When finished in 1995, the cross stood 190 feet tall. It can be seen from a distance of 20 miles!
The Thomas's were not done. The cross attracted a lot of attention, but it didn't tell the whole story of what Jesus did. The Thomas's decided to add statues around the base of the cross to depict the events of Jesus' crucifixion. They commissioned Mickey Wells to sculpt life size statues to portray the story. In all, there are 13 stations around the cross plus a number of other Bible scenes in the park, including the empty tomb. In addition, the family is now building an auditorium for Christian music concerts and meetings. The memorial park welcomes one thousand visitors a day from all over the world and is open 24/7 all year.
Many people have been inspired by the cross, and two more have been constructed - one in Effingham, Illinois and one in St. John, Indiana. Other prayer gardens with statues are located in Effingham and Gatesville, Texas. The guest book on Cross Ministries' website has pages and pages of visitors' comments about how they have been blessed and inspired by the memorial at Groom. If you would like to plan a trip to visit this site or read more about it, the link to the Cross Ministries' website is HERE.
All of this began with one man listening to the urging of God and stepping out in faith. What special work has God chosen you to do? Yes, God has a plan to use your particular set of gifts and talents. Each of us have had experiences that are uniquely our own. If we allow God to use us, He will use all those talents, gifts, and experiences for His glory and to further His work on earth. Steve Thomas had experience in building, and God used that. Listen to the Lord-s urging!
Link to Becoming a Water-Walker
Link to Titus 2 Tuesdays blog party