Standing tall, just days after a federal judge said they couldn't, organizers place nearly three-dozen crosses near the Evansville Riverfront, legally. Today's 'Cross the River' event was about different denominations joining as one congregation. On Wednesday a federal judge struck down a church's request to display crosses on public property near the riverfront, but to their luck, some nearby privately owned property helped make the event possible.
A judge ruled they couldn't, yet thirty-one crosses stand tall in Evansville. After a church asked the city to put up the crosses along the riverfront, a judge ruled them down, but the 'Cross the River' rally shows how they found a way around that. "The gentlemen who owned the McCurdy building actually contacted us because it was right across the riverfront. He said, if everybody is opposed to it and you guys want to have them down by the riverfront, you can have my property to put them on." says Curtis Hall a Pastor at today's event. They sing, they rejoice, and more than a thousand show up in support, some bearring their own crosses. "We did not want to focus on the opposition people had to the cross. We wanted to focus on the message of the cross," says Pastor Hall.
Supporters say it is a successful display of their beliefs. "The federal court judge saying there were too many crosses, really there can't be too many crosses. There can not be too many reminders for what Jesus did for us," says supporter Robert Barron. "No matter what the enemy had for harm, as far as trying to not let us get together to worship the Lord, God turned around for good because here we are. No matter were those crosses are displayed, Jesus is Lord," says Kari Barron.
There is more to this rally than the thirty-one crosses. "The story here is not really even about the crosses, it's about the thirty-one different denominations saying, it's not about our denomination," says Pastor Chet Todd of the First Church of Nazarene. Pastor Todd says the rally is a unique unity between Evansville churches, he hopes to see continue. "There were no Baptist, no Nazarene, no Pentecostal. It was one church, coming together, saying we are the body of christ," says Pastor Todd.
This will not be the last time the crosses will be seen in the Evansville area. Pastor Hall says several places have asked to have them displayed on their property. On August 12th expect to see the crosses along Highway 41 near the front of Whirlpool.