On September 9, 2018, we welcomed donors and guests alike to unveil the newly completed construction of the Cross Schools Campus. Father Chuck Owens, along with Head of Schools Brad Schultz and Chairman John Parker, gave remarks on how far we’ve come and the excitement that’s building for the future of both Cross Schools and the Church of the Cross.
By God’s grace and with the financial support of over 400 families, The Present for The Future has reached its first milestone: pledges have been received sufficient to match the $5,000,000 challenge grant!
That said, $5,000,000 is still needed to fully fund the campaign’s objectives. In the months ahead, progress toward reaching that financial target will be tracked on this website, as will the work underway with the funds in hand. It’s important that: (1) you be kept aware of the campaign’s overall status; (2) you have a way to track the progress being made on each of the campaign’s four goals; and (3) your prayers be fueled for our strategy for sharing the Gospel with those who are lost “somewhere between nowhere and goodbye.” Remember: some of us is not the sum of us!
GOAL 1: Purchasing two tracts of land in Jasper County for future worship/ministry initiatives.
Negotiations have been completed on the first tract; the twenty-four acre parcel is a bit bigger than was being sought but the owners made it so financially attractive as to be feasible. Engineers and land planners contracted to examine every aspect of the purchase are now in the midst of a sixty-day due diligence period; barring something unforeseen, the purchase should be completed in mid-June. The second site has been identified and will be pursued after securing the first.
GOALS 2 & 3: Expanding the worship center, constructing a two-story classroom building, adding a perimeter road and more than doubling the amount of parking on the Cross Schools Campus.
Fraser Construction Company has been selected as the design/build contractor. Site plans are complete; final architectural drawings are to be ready within two weeks; in place is the gap financing needed to fund the total cost of construction over twelve months while pledges are being received over thirty-six months; and a groundbreaking ceremony is being planned for early June. Dr. Brad Schultz will be arriving on June 1st to assume his role as the Head of Schools for Cross Schools; he’ll join the School just in time to oversee this massive undertaking while preparing for the addition of a high school, starting with a ninth grade perhaps as early as the fall of 2018.
Goal 4. Establish a trust fund for future capital improvements.
So important is this aspect of the vision that the matching grant stipulates $2,000,000 be designated for it. While the present implementation of Goals 2 & 3 might capture our attention, the future impact of Goals 1 & 4 will position those who follow to continue our proactive evangelistic efforts. Thus, our collective efforts (to include those of Cross Schools and Cross Outreach Ministries) are captured under the umbrella The Present for The Future.
It is with an attitude of deepest gratitude that we thank those who have already made commitments to support our shared vision for reaching the next generation for Christ. It is with an attitude of humble expectation that we ask all to join in praying for the Holy Spirit to inspire many more to follow their lead.
A new video has been posted:
What a night! The Annual Meeting and Capital Campaign was a resounding success. Over 600 attendees, both inside and in the outside tent, were on hand to bear witness the vision that God has for the future of the Church of the Cross and Cross Schools.
Please join us for a catered meal after which we will hear Bishop Lawrence and Father Chuck Owens lay out the details of God's plan for the congregation. This will be a pivotal evening in the history of our Church as we define our future. You won't want to miss it!! Childcare will be provided. Advance registration is required but no charge for dinner. CLICK HERE TO RSVP
I’m standing here on the back of the campus of Cross Schools. Here for a purpose, I’m standing by playground equipment that the little folks who come here, who are aged 18 months old up through 8th grade, and along until the 5th grade they’re equipped with all this. Then they’re more into the boys and girls and socializing and so forth in middle school.
As we are here, I’m purposefully wearing this Irish cable-knit sweater. It was a gift to me the first time that I ministered in Ireland in 2005, the year this campus was built. There’s a story behind a cable-knit sweater. Fishing in the Irish Sea is hazardous, and when the bodies of folks die and bodies are left in the water for a long period of time, it’s hard to recognize them, so the traditiondeveloped in the 18th century for the fisherman’s wives to each knit their husbands a cable-knit sweater; each with a specific design known only to that wife. The idea being that when a body was found, it could be identified by the wife simply by the sweater, and the design this therein.
On the front of the campus there are three crosses coming out, and the children come in often with little or no understanding or knowledge about Jesus Christ. They come in to be prepared for a future. A future that’s in this world. Academic success and prowess is immeasurably important here, but there’s also a spiritual dimension in life in this world and the next, and bringing them into a knowledge and relationship with Jesus Christ is critical, because that shapes the way they will live and act in the world to come. The idea is that when the children leave Cross Schools, that they do so with an identity that’s unique, just like the identity that a fisherman would have as he wears his cable-knit sweater. The image is not one that’s the image of his wife and her love for him, but rather the child carries the image of Jesus Christ and his great love for that child in such a way that’s recognizable. Recognizable off campus out in the world to come.
We built this campus in 2005 and then 6 years later we had to expand it again. 16 classrooms gave rise to 32 classrooms. As you see behind me the 2-story building that was built then, Now here we are 6 years later and the campus is home to over 500 children, ages 18 months to 8th grade. Now it’s time to expand again. We need more room for middle school students, and we need room to position ourselves to add a high school. Year by year, 9, 10, 11, & 12. The goal being that when a child leaves here, they have a Cross Schools diploma in hand and they have a love for Jesus in their hearts. That will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives. They will be marked as Christ’s own forever and prepared to achieve the purposes for which he placed them on this earth.
That’s what we’re all about here. You can see behind me the place where the multipurpose room that I spoke about before will be expanded just to this side of that building, and then between us and the multipurpose room is where this second story will be built. This playground will still be here for the little people. The one on the other side, the ones in the back. There are four on campus, and they’ll still be there. We’ll be growing and expanding to handle the older children. The sign of that will not be a playground; it will be the perimeter road that will go all the way around the facility and the parking places that are there. The separate entrance that will be in the 2-story wing that will be added here for high school students to come in so that they’re not crossing paths with the littlest. And also that they got room to park their cars that become that source of identity for high school children as they go. The perimeter road will enable the folks to come and go in separate campuses almost. One campus, but three different segments so that there’s security involved with that as well. There will be a separate entrance built on the back of the multipurpose room. The circular drive will enable folks to enter from both ways there. It will become indeed a life-altering experience. Coming off the Buckwalter Parkway, coming through the pine trees and envisioning the crosses and leaving with a cross stamped on the children forever. Praise God.
An important part of life here is not right now. It’s about the present for sure, but all that we’re doing in this campaign is about the present for the future. Resources today being used to shape the next generation of leaders in this community and indeed far and wide across this area. We ask your help for that. Bless you.