BRANSON, Mo. -- It's been a long time in the making -- nearly a decade -- but dirt has finally turned on a giant cross, almost as tall at Hammons Tower, going up just north of Branson along Highway 65 South.
Kerry Brown says a 218-foot tall cross is about to be seen for miles.
KY3 viewers might remember the story from 6 years ago when we first reported it. Then, Brown said he had a God-sized dream of building a cross, but he also had to do some God-sized fundraising first... more than 3-million dollars. Now, construction of the cross is fully funded. Brown is still raising money, though, for the landscaping and walkways around the cross.
"There's a reason this cross is being built in literally the geographic center of the country," Brown said. He wants it to be people's center-- a life with Jesus Christ. "I've been ten years involved with this, and now we have a foundation!"
Each of the 22 bolts are 7 feet long into the ground-- set to hold a firm foundation... what Brown says is a life foundation.
"I believe that there are a lot of people that are going to be driving down the road, and they are going to see the cross, and they are going to have an encounter one on one with the Lord. They're going to want to pull over and we do want to minister to those people and help them come into the Kingdom," Brown said. "But the major purpose I see is maturing the saint, or perfecting the saint-- someone who is already in the Kingdom-- for the work of the ministry."
Locals are anxious to see it take shape-- in a time when this community-- and everyone, could use a little hope.
"It's exciting... Just something to look up to and admire," said Branson area resident Linda Bowman. "Salvation, Christianity, faith and hope."
"Sometimes we can be a little bit remiss, because we don't pass on Christ-- we don't pass on the encounters he has on a daily basis with us that make all of those other things in life possible," said Brown.
Developers hope to have it open by Easter 2019 so people can come to the cross to celebrate the resurrection.
If you'd like to donate, or learn more about the ongoing project, visit Images at the Cross on Facebook.