By CARLA SLAVEY
CNHI News Service
As Reverend Melvin Sisson points out, in historical times communities would find the highest point and put a cross on it, so that whenever it was in sight people could use it to navigate their way home.
Sisson is hoping that Pulaski’s newest large cross, located on Ky. 461, will help navigate people to their spiritual home as well as being a landmark on this earth.
That idea seems to have some traction. As a reporter was talking with Sisson next to the 30-foot tall cross that was installed this week, several truckers driving by honked their horns and waved in support.
The cross is located a few miles north of where the new interchange with East Ky. 80 is being built.
It sits in a field, the land for the cross having been donated by Jack and Kim DeBord.
The money to build the cross was donated as well, as was most of the labor involved in setting it upright. Sisson said the only labor that wasn’t volunteered was from Boswell Contracting, the company that did all the fabricating and welding.
Those who have traveled around Pulaski may have seen the other three crosses already built by Sisson and his group – one is on South U.S. 27 close to the Burnside interchange, one on Ky. 90 going towards Monticello, and one on the Cumberland Parkway in Nancy.
Sisson says there are plans in place for three more, with one in the beginning stages that will go on North U.S. 27 around Science Hill.
And so far, Sisson said, he’s received a lot of phone calls and positive feedback on them.
That’s especially true for the one on the Cumberland Parkway, he said.
“People pull over there – truckers, you can’t believe it. People pull over and pray. … And people that come from Russell Springs – doctors and nurses who live in that area – they say ‘That cross makes my day go smoother.’”
Sisson said the main reason for building the crosses is to bring some hope into people’s lives, including those of the younger generation, which he said he is truly concerned for.
“We’re living in a time that our country needs this. They need a touch of God,” he said.
He added, “It’s worth every effort. I love that cross.
“… The best way I can explain it, people – there’s an emptiness, there’s a void, there’s a vacuum in their life and they’re trying to fill that emptiness,” he said.
It’s no coincidence the crosses are going up in high-traffic areas. Sisson has done the math. “The one on [Ky.] 90 going to Monticello, there’s 13,000 cars a day [that pass it]. If there’s two people in the car, that’s 26,000. If you take all of that and multiply it, nine million people a year go past that cross.”
The blueprint he uses and the materials put into it are designed to stand up to all kinds of weather. Sisson said there is even one cross of the same design that stood firm during a hurricane in Florida.
The metal that goes into it is a half-inch thick, he said. A 10-foot-by-10-foot-by-10-foot cube of concrete set into the ground acts as the base.
Each cross takes about two hours to weld, and when the crane gets on sight, it only takes 18 minutes to set it upright.
But, as Sisson said, in his eyes it’s worth the effort.
While Sisson said the group involved, Crusaders for the Cross, gets donations through church groups, anyone who wants to donate can also send checks to Box 3145, Somerset, Ky., 42564.
Those who want more information can contact Sisson at 606-875-1391.