Steel cross points the way to church

Motorists along Ridgetop in Silverdale might notice something a little different.

Anchor of Hope Church officials hope it will make a huge difference in the community.

“The great symbol of the Christian church is the empty cross,” said Pastor David Snapper of Anchor of Hope Church.

A 25-foot steel cross was erected Tuesday on Ridgetop between Hillsboro and Waaga Way in front of the church

“The cross is the great sign of hope, for by it we understand two things — first, that Jesus died on a real cross 2000 years ago, and, secondly, that Jesus didn’t stay dead. He came to life again. That historical event represents the greatest hope there can be — the hope that God is bigger than death,” Snapper said.

The cross has already made a difference in welder Leonard Christie’s life. Constructing the steel cross helped him galvanize his own career and keep moving in his recovery.

“It’s all therapy,” the Kingston resident said of the massive job. “The more exercise you give the brain the better off its going to be,” he said.

Christie was injured seven years ago in a motorcycle accident. He sustained injuries to his brain making it impossible for him to continue work as a millwright. But he didn’t want to just do nothing, so he started his own welding business, one within the controlled environment of Christie’s Machine and Welding.

This opportunity to fabricate the cross provided the impetus to upgrade his welding license to WEBO certification.

Christie met a friend of a friend who is an Anchor of Hope Church member at a Promise Keepers Convention in Tacoma. The chance conversation led to a chance of a lifetime for Christie.

“I really wanted the job,” he said. “it’s an awesome opportunity to build a cross.”

While virtually all Christian churches use a cross, Snapper said the Anchor of Hope Church cross is unique – it is located outside of the church building, on a hill above the church. It can be seen from every seat in the sanctuary.

It is visible from the road and sidewalk.

“Imagine a person late for an appointment, hurrying along Ridgetop. They see that symbol of peace and hope and take a moment to be reminded of the power of God. Maybe they will slow down and trust God a little more,” he said.

“Many people walk along the Ridgetop or wait for the bus. While commercial signs are advertisements to sell, this cross is a gentle reminder of God’s gift of Jesus. We sell nothing. We’re in the business of giving away what we have.”

The cross will remain unpainted so that the natural patina of the oxidized steel will fit into the design of the church, he said.

“It is our hope that the community finds some comfort as they drive past the cross leaving for work in the morning and returning home at night.”

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