A last-minute settlement last week cleared the way for a 77-foot cross to be constructed along Interstate 10 in south Texas.
The 70-ton metal cross will be part of a $7 million Sculpture Prayer Garden to be built on 23 acres near Kerrville, Texas, about 100 miles southwest of Austin.
The garden will be filled with works by charismatic artist Max Greiner, known for his 18-foot The Coming King sculpture, which illustrates Jesus on a white horse as described in Revelation 19. The bronze statue sits outside Trinity Broadcasting Network's headquarters in Costa Mesa, Calif.
Greiner said his goal is to present the gospel to visitors as they walk through the garden, viewing some of his more famous works such as The Divine Servant, which shows Christ washing Peter's feet.
But in 2008, residents near the Kerrville site sued to block the construction of the cross, a centerpiece of the garden. In an agreement reached March 1, the day the 15-month dispute was to go to trial, Greiner's nonprofit The Coming King Foundation agreed to pay for construction of a fence to block residents' view of the cross.
The settlement allows the cross to be lighted in a way that does not intrude on residents, and Greiner's foundation also will pay the Mesa Vista Lane residents $25,000 over the next several months.
"The Coming King Foundation will realize its vision of a cross and sculpture garden and the Mesa Vista residents will realize their goal of maintaining the privacy of their neighborhood," said Richard Mosty, an attorney for the Mesa Vista homeowners, according to a statement.
State District Judge Keith Williams said the dispute centered on property law, not religion, as some zoning rules limit structures to 40 feet, the Associated Press reported.
Greiner hopes to unveil the cross this summer. When the prayer garden is complete, Greiner plans to build similar gardens around the world, including in Las Vegas; Washington, D.C.; Jerusalem; and Sedona, Ariz.
"The tabernacle was a place where people met God in the wilderness," Greiner told Charisma when he launched the garden project in 2007. "That's exactly what's going to happen here. People are going to meet the spirit of God in these gardens."
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