50-Year-Old Cross On Top Of Monte Sano Shines Over Huntsville Once More

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — You may not have noticed, but among the trees on Monte Sano, a cross towers over the Rocket City.

From its perch, it dwarfs even the rockets themselves.

For years, the lit cross could be spotted for miles around, until it fell into disrepair and went dark.

Last fall, a group of church goers went to work on the area, cleared the ground, and re-lit the cross.

Because sometimes, you have to make your own way forward. You have to leave the road everyone travels.

Brave the wild, beat a path, and maybe, light the way for others.

The 75-foot cross now towers over a clearing. Church volunteers cleaned brush; they stacked stones for those who might sit and reflect.

They made the foot of the cross a destination.

These 38-tons of heft reign over the mountain, as they have since 1963.

Mayfair Church of Christ minister Joe Essner confides, “When I returned to Huntsville about eleven years ago, I hiked in here to the cross and expected to see it as it was back in the late sixties. It was overgrown. You couldn’t really get around the base of it anymore. The lighting was out.”

That led to a musing, that would echo all the way down the mountain.

Wouldn’t it be nice if it were lit?

So the mission began. Volunteers laid new power lines. They turned the lights back on.

“We’ve since heard several stories of people at Huntsville Hospital having to face critical decisions in their life, critical times in their life that looked out of the windows of Huntsville Hospital and said that their faith was renewed by seeing this cross lit,” Essner said. “Just reminding them that it’s truly God that’s in control, and some things are bigger than us.”

Right now, Mayfair Church of Christ spearheads the efforts to spruce up the area and keep it lit.

They pay a power bill of about $50 a month from a special fund.

They hope donors will step up to help keep the cross shining over Huntsville.

If you want to help, you can contribute to the W.R. Dickson Fund at any Rocket City Credit Union Branch.

Also, we want to share your view of the cross all lit up.

If you feel so moved, go out at night and snap a picture. Help us build a web gallery of the icon that has brought so much comfort and peace. You can submit your photos below Рjust click the button underneath the gallery to add them. We will check for new photos and approve them.  Or, you can email pictures to photo@whnt.com.


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