Giant wooden cross graces westside church

Travelers heading into or out of Brady on U.S. Hwy. 87 North will have quite a sight to see now that a 28-foot cross has been erected at the Brady Community Church. The cross is the realization of a dream of a congregation member that came true Wednesday afternoon when it was erected at the entrance of the Brady Community Church. Constructed by Brady resident Jerry Simpson, the cross is made out of three pieces of cypress wood and its dimensions command respect. At 28 feet tall by 13 feet wide and weighing over 1,600 pounds, positioning the cross in the proper location took the concerted effort of several area agencies. The wood for the cross arrived in Brady earlier this month after traveling by private carrier from Phillips Lumber Co. in DeKalb. Once it was in Brady, Simpson headed the assembly of the large structure. “It took some doing, but we managed to get it all put together,” Simpson said. “We cut and chiseled the grooves and joined it all together and then put a steel plate on the back to strengthen it.” Randall Larr, pastor of the church, stated that the idea for the cross originally started with a vision or dream of the late Jim Shuffield. “This was always a dream of his and the members of the church wanted to help realize that dream,” said Larr. A three-man crew from the McCulloch Division of Cap Rock Electric assisted the church with raising the cross into place. The crew used a bucket truck and a pole digging truck to raise the cross and position it appropriately. According to Larr, the original idea was to construct a cross similar to the one that overlooks Ballinger. “We went over to Ballinger one day to look at that cross and it was then we realized that we probably couldn’t go for one quite that large,” said Larr. Although it isn’t the biggest cross in the state, the new symbol that greets travelers along the highway tells passersby Who is the biggest influence in many Bradyites’ lives.

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