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DU QUOIN — Effingham has its 198-foot cross towering off I-57. Alto Pass has its huge 111-foot cross on a hill. And now Du Quoin has its own towering cross.

The Spirit of Life Christian Church in Du Quoin had a cross erected in its front lawn, off U.S. 51, in late August. The 25-foot-by-12-foot cross is lit 24 hours a day, providing its most remarkable viewing at night, according to the church's pastor, Gary Darnell.

Du Quoin's large cross

A 25-foot-tall cross was erected in front of a church in Du Quoin in August 2017.

The church plans to dedicate the cross in a special ceremony after church on Sunday, Oct. 22; a dinner follows the dedication. The public is invited.

"Our board and us had been talking about it for a year and a half, and we felt inspired to put a cross there next to U.S. 51," Darnell said. "I think part of the inspiration was from the Big Cross at Effingham. It's beautiful testimony of the witness of Christ, and we just felt like that's what God wanted us to do."

The church board approved the idea and the congregation voted on it, approving it also, he said. The church, which celebrates 30 years next year, has about 90 members.

The cross was set in place on Aug. 24.

The cross is made of alloy steel, material that is meant to last quite a few years, and decade, Darnell said.

"We wanted it made out of material that would last at least 100 years so that our grandchildren will know (that we believed in Christ)," he said. "We expect it to be there at least the next 100 years, if not the next couple hundred years. It's built to last."


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Stephanie Esters is a reporter covering Jackson and Union counties.

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