Religion

Biloxi church's cross tells Easter story

TAMMY SMITH/SUN HERALDThis cross at Edgewater Christian Fellowship in Biloxi has been illuminated with LED lighting and is telling the story of the Crucifixion through lights during the Easter season.
TAMMY SMITH/SUN HERALDThis cross at Edgewater Christian Fellowship in Biloxi has been illuminated with LED lighting and is telling the story of the Crucifixion through lights during the Easter season.

If you're on Switzer Road in Biloxi at night during the next week and a half, be sure to glance north across from Wal-Mart, across the railroad tracks. You'll see a cross shining in the dark, and its color has a significance each night.

The cross is at Edgewater Christian Fellowship on Mission Lane in Biloxi. The church, at the very end of the street, had wanted to make itself more visible to the community, said Bill Tolar, a deacon in the church.

"We wanted to let people who travel Switzer Road and go to Wal-Mart know we're here," he said. "We had cut a lot of weeds near the railroad track so the church would be visible. We put up a big white cross -- it stands about 18 feet in the air. The problem is, it's white, the building is white, and it's about 300 yards away."

So Tolar found a way to bring attention to the church and the cross.

"My son and I decided to put LED reflective lighting on the cross," he said. "At night, you can see it on Switzer."

For Easter, the lights are taking on special meaning.

"This year, we're telling the Crucifixion story on the cross," Tolar said. "The lights right now are solid white, through Thursday. The Crucifixion was on Friday, so Friday night, the lights will change to red, symbolizing the blood He shed for us."

Saturday, the day after Good Friday, was a time of darkness following the death of Jesus on the cross, so "the cross won't be illuminated. It will be totally dark," Tolar said.

"He rose on Sunday, so on Sunday night for a week thereafter, the lights will be solid purple to signify royalty, for the King of Kings. After that, the lights will be white with red for the blood stains on His hands and feet when He shed His blood for mankind," Tolar said.

"It tells the complete story."

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