Three crosses, one message
By Caitlin Davis, Senior Staff Writer
Apr 21, 2014, 13:59
CAITLIN DAVIS/HOPEWELL NEWS/NEWS-PATRIOT Jimmy Walker, Wayne Trevillian and Ryan McLasky stand on crosses in the parking lot of Liberty Baptist in Hopewell.
HOPEWELL — In the parking lot of Liberty Baptist Church stood three men on three crosses, draped in nothing but a robe around their waist and red paint spread on their bodies. With their heads bowed and standing silent, holding onto the cross, people started to slow down in their cars. Some even stopped to take a picture, take a moment of silence and take in the very silent, yet powerful message.
Three years ago, Cindy Powroznik, a member of Liberty Baptist for five years, and her husband were on their way to Matthews County and saw three men standing on three crosses in a field. There was no church near them, just an open field.
“I just feel that God put that in front of me to bring back to the church and see if the church would want to start doing that at Easter,” Powroznik said. “It’s so hard to get people to come into the church. but we felt like if we could do something outside of the church that maybe people would realize ... it seems to me like this is non-threatening.”
Powroznik brought back three pictures to her Pastor and to the church. With no objection, the church accepted the concept and by the next Easter holiday, three crosses were erected to stand atop a trailer in the parking lot of the church.
The three men on the crosses represent Jesus Christ and two thieves. The men who portray them are deacons and young men of the church. Standing there on Friday afternoon was Jimmy Walker, Wayne Trevillian and Ryan McLasky.
After coming down from standing on the cross for almost 30 minutes, Walker said the experience was something that, even after doing it for two years, he still cannot put into words.
People in Hopewell stop to take pictures and take in the message from Liberty Baptist with their live Easter presentation.
“It’s something that I just felt called to do and if me being up here for 30 minutes or an hour at a time will help bring somebody to the church, the pathway to Christ, then I think I’ve done what I’ve needed to do for the day,” Walker said.
Pastor Phil Andrews, who has been at Liberty Baptist for almost seven years, was across the street as the three men stood on the crosses. As he walked back across the street, he bowed his head and remained silent for a few moments.
“As a pastor, it’s just one of the most exciting things that I could even imagine in a day. I sit across the street in my car and I just stare and it and sometimes I just weep. I just sit there and weep,” he said.
The reaction that Andrews had is the sentiment that Powroznik wanted to bring to Hopewell. She too had that emotional reaction when she saw it for the first time in that open field more than three years ago.
“I cried. It ministered to my heart so deeply that I just wept and that’s when I felt like if I could bring it home to our home church and to the pastor here that it could make other people weep and realize that Jesus is alive,” she said.
Powroznik said on Thursday when the three crosses were put up, there were some people in Hopewell who stood across the street, knelt and prayed, and took several pictures.
In addition to the live presentation in the parking lot, which occurred Thursday to Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m., the church also had an Easter drama, directed by Nelda Andrews.
“When I see guys up on the cross, it reminds me so much of what happened over 2,000 years ago,” Andrews said. “The death of Christ on the cross has been emotional for me anyway.”