April 24, 2013

History of the New Life Cross

Phase One: Construction of the Cross

The history of the New Life Cross is rather remarkable. We believe we see God’s fingerprints all over it. The vision for the Cross Project was first brought forth to the New Life Assembly of God congregation on November 4, 2012. In his sermon “The Power of the Cross,” Pastor Michael Jackson spoke about the saving work of the cross and why New Life would be constructing a cross for Janesville.

Only five short days after the announcement, we began to receive our first funds. By the end of 2012, funding for the first phase (the cross) was completed at over $65,000. In less than two months since the New Life Cross was announced, we had received all the necessary funds!

On March 26, 2013, we did a small ground scrape to test soil composition in the location of the cross. The parts for the cross and groundbreaking for the project were scheduled for April 29, 2013. There were a number of professional contractors who assisted in completing the project including Silha & Sons Excavating, Lycon – Janesville Sand & Gravel, Fanning Concrete, Richter Electric, Oak Village and Boyd Security. Furthermore, we had a number of volunteers participate hands-on in the construction of the cross including Wayne Korsberg (Project Manager), Dale Teeter (Project Foreman), Coleman Atkeson, Jim Comstock, Lucas Comstock, Theron Dosch, John Dummer, Kevin Gister, John Kastor, Gene Myers, Jim Potter, Robin Shanks, Dennis Shockley, Gary Utterberg, Steve Wiedenheft and Bruce Witt. The cross itself was fully constructed on May 6, 2013.

The cross was then dedicated in a special ceremony on June 23, 2013. In a special one-hour ceremony, we took the time to not only recapture the vision of the project but to worship and thank God for what He has already accomplished.

Teaching on the Cross

In the weeks leading up to the installation of the cross, Pastor Michael Jackson dedicated his two-minute radio broadcast, Lifeline, to teachings about the cross.

Scars of the Cross

In Spring 2014, the New Life staff discovered the cross had been shot eight times sometime over the winter months. Four of the holes are located at ground level and another four holes are located approximately 20 feet higher. The holes appear to have been shot by a .22-caliber weapon.

The holes were filled in, and the “scars” remain visible on the cross today. Pastor Michael Jackson stated, “From a theological standpoint, as a minister, I think the cross looks good bearing the scars of the bullet holes, quite frankly, and there is a part of me that would like [to] leave them up there because people have been taking pot shots at Jesus Christ, the cross of Christ, for 2,000 years.”

Phase Two: Construction of the Pavilion

The New Life Pavilion constituted phase two of the entire project. The pavilion was dedicated in a special ceremony on September 21, 2014. Today, the pavilion is available for wedding receptions, funerals, birthday parties, outdoor services, family reunions, fellowship meals and much more. For more information on the use of the pavilion, you will want to check our Services page.